This Rolling Stones song title rings true. Time continues to move and there’s no slowing it down. At the end of each day, have you accomplished all that you set out to do?
I’m a time-control freak and you should be one too. When you factor in 8 hours of sleep, you really have only 16 hours to work with each day. By taking charge and organizing my day in advance and keeping my focus throughout the day, my energy can go solely into what I have scheduled and those tasks that pop up that require my immediate attention. Deadlines are met and projects are completed. I can then devote my time to what is really important and enjoyable…my family, friends, the community and me.
Can you have control over the clock? In almost any situation, you can find a way to be efficient. In my Help for a Complicated Life blog last week, I gave an example that you can save time by paying your bills online. Here are some more suggestions:
It’s OK to say “no”. You cannot control your time if you take on too much. Take on less but do what you do very well. I recognize that sometimes work or your personal life may force you to shift your priorities. Those immediate attention getters are the exceptions rather than the rules to your otherwise organized day. Know yourself and become an expert in counterbalancing the rest of your life when those high-urgency priorities come into your day.
Your brain is a sponge, wring it out regularly. I tell the story that there are two pieces of information that I keep permanently stored in my brain…my wife’s birthday and our anniversary. Occasionally a stray LA Kings hockey stat will float in there. Thanks to Google, calendars, emails, day-timers, corkboards and (fill in your favorite tools here), we can find out any other piece of information quickly and accurately. . Try not to commit everything to memory. Use these wonderful tools and you will forget less. It’s amazing how much time gets saved by not worrying about forgetting.
Avoid multi-tasking. Humans are amazing creatures but one thing we cannot do well is multi-task. (Now, my wife disagrees with me here. Apparently, many women can multi-task quite efficiently. Comments welcome on that point.) Ever tried to text, look at Facebook and work at the same time? Even when we have two or three projects going at work or at home, try to put your energy into one before moving to the other. You’ll see that you accomplish more with less time.
Create a positive flow to your day. The very first moment you open your eyes to a new day, you can begin to fill your being with an optimist and positive view on what you can accomplish. Try to keep negative thoughts and distractions at bay through the day while you focus your attention and energy to the tasks at hand.
Here are some additional links that hammer home some of the points above:
Five Reasons it’s OK to Say No – Lead Big Blog
A Cluttered Mind – My Simpler Life Blog
Train Your Brain to Focus – Harvard Business Review Blog
How to Achieve a State of Flow – Work Awesome Blog
I hope some of the above suggestions and links will make your Life Less Taxing.