Many people feel the pressure of time pressing down on them and they get overwhelmed because they have so much on their plate. “There are not enough hours in the day to get everything done” is a common theme in my conversations lately.
Using time effectively is one of the keys to your professional and personal success.
You can’t change the number of hours in a day, but you CAN create more time. You can manage your time instead of allowing time to manage you, and it will start with just 5 or 10 minutes a day. Even the busiest person in the world, if they allow themselves 5 or 10 minutes of ”Just Being”, can create more time in their lives.
In addition to allowing yourself some “Being” time, there are other practices that can help you shift the pressure of time.
Choose 3 practices from the list below and apply them to your life. Start small so you don’t get overwhelmed. Conquering the feeling of being overwhelmed is the goal!
Here are 9 practices that can help you Get More Done in Less Time while Keeping the Balance.
Balance DOING with BEING
One of the keys to being satisfied at work is balancing DOING with BEING. Taking vacations, taking breaks during your work day, pausing to breathe, pausing to take a walk – whatever helps you clear your head and to “just be” will make you feel better about the pressure of time and life. For me meditation is the most effective BEING practice, but for you it might be something else.
The benefit of meditation is that helps you stop the noise in your head so you are more connected to your inner-self and ideas start to flow naturally. You might face a situation at work where you feel stuck and your natural tendency is to push your way through to find the solution. The best solution might come when you actually detach yourself from the situation, get centered, and shift into a quieter place where you allow the solution to emerge.
It’s about finding the simplest, most effortless way of meditating or getting centered, one that is EASY and ENJOYABLE and fit it into your busy life. It is important to understand that even 5 minutes of focusing on your breath is a form of meditation.
Make ME time a priority
Another way to shift the pressure of time is to focus on being happy and doing things you love to fill up your tank daily. First, you will have to release the guilt you carry around when taking care of yourself before taking care of others. When you start seeing self-care as a necessity rather than a luxury, you are actually helping others because your positive energy is like a magnet for good energy.What can you do daily, for only 5-10 minutes to have fun and reenergize yourself? For me, playing the piano, listening to music, or coloring in adult coloring books are a few examples of things that light me up. What is it for you?
Plan ahead and schedule ALL your activities in your calendar
If you only include work-related activities in your calendar, expecting yourself to find time for everything else, consider scheduling self-care, fun time, “Just Being” time, and rest time in your calendar. These activities are as important as your professional appointments.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!
Time is a question of priorities. You think you don’t have time to meditate? Ask yourself what’s higher on your priority list. Find something that is lower and meditate instead of doing that. If you change your perspective and see the real benefit in meditation, it will become more important for you than other things. You think you don’t have time to cook healthy meals? Again, ask yourself: how important is eating healthy for me? What’s higher on the list?
Create realistic To-Do listsRealistic lists, not “superwoman” lists!
When you schedule your entire life into your calendar, you will realize that only a superwoman, supported by an army other superwomen would be able to achieve your tasks. Chances are that no human being can follow your list of actions and stay sane. Review your task list for the week: How can you make it more realistic?
Set boundaries (learn to say NO)
When you say NO to others, you say YES to yourself.
When you struggle to say no to people, it creates resentment and tension because you end up doing things because you have to or feel obligated. This drains your energy. Know your bottom line and set boundaries.For example:
When you are asked to do something, say: “Let me check and get back to you.” Ask yourself if saying YES is respectful of your goals and values. If it isn’t, say no! Make sure your NO is communicated in a kind way: “I wish I could, but I have to say no because…”, or “I would like to do it, but I’m going to say no because…”
Find a single point of focus
Recently I got inspired from one of my coaching clients when I asked her what stops her from being the successful business woman she wants to be and she said, “I’m missing a single point of focus.” She was knowledgeable and skilled, but she ended up being scattered, wanting to teach different modalities at the same time, which resulted in being “all over the place” and not feeling complete in any area.You will become much more effective if you choose one simple point of focus and concentrate on that. When you switch constantly between multiple tasks, you tend to not make progress, and you lose energy switching gears and transitioning from one task to another.
Manage external distractions
What “expected interruptions” do you have?
Do you have any automatic alerts, email or phone ringers, vibrating message alerts, etc. that interrupt your attention? Do yourself a huge favor. Get rid of them! If your current habit is to be notified every time you get a text message or email and you’re in the middle of concentrating on a task, it will take you 5-15 minutes to get back on track every time your attention is diverted. Create a new habit of doing one thing at a time, and when you’re finished, read your messages or emails. You will be more productive.
Adopt the “Joy No Matter What” Practice
This practice has helped so many people that I share it in almost all of my writings and talks. In fact, a woman who listened to my training call a few weeks ago shared with me that she got so inspired from this concept that she took it with her when she went on a job interview. The JNMW practice simply says that you bring joy to everything you do, just like we said earlier, that you make joy your purpose. Your commitment to yourself is to feel joy, regardless of what is going on in your life. The woman I mentioned? She was surprised by how energetic the interview went when she walked into his office smiling, happy, and really having fun in the moment. She ended up getting the job.
Remember: choose only 3 practices from all the practices I share and start applying those practices to your life.
Time is your friend, not your enemy. Learn with me how to be your own best friend.