Too many of us are running around scattered, stressed, and begging the heavens for just a few more hours to get things done in a day. This inevitably leads to frustration and burnout if we don’t do something to stop it in the process. Are you feeling frazzled?
As much as the solution feels like demanding more time, the chances of us switching to a 25-hour clock any time soon are limited. The reality is, we all get the same amount of time in a day, and often we need to look at how we’re spending it when we find ourselves flustered and frazzled.
So what do you do to ensure you’re using the time that you have in the most efficient way possible? This article is going to go through an extremely simple two-step process that helps you to do that very thing. You’ll have a much better idea of how to get what you need done, and feel better in the process.
We need to simplify our lives by getting organised and getting realistic. The two-step system I propose is simple, and involves being mindful about the use of our time.
Sit down and take some time to think about what you should do in a typical day. Write down the routine. Then, on a separate sheet of paper, jot down what you’re currently getting done in a typical day. Chances are, there’s a few differences, especially if you’re being honest with yourself about the amount of distractions you’re engaging in.
Too many of us are spending valuable hours scanning Facebook when we need to be getting outside to clear our mind, or switching the laundry at the very least. If distractions are your issue at hand, then form a plan to stop them from influencing you. Schedule a time to look at your email, disable your wifi when you’re working, whatever you must do to stay on track.
Another problem that can arise when we look at to-do lists is we may be committing to too much, this is where we need to get more realistic. If you’re looking at a paper that’s crammed with to-dos, it’s hardly any wonder you’re struggling to get everything done – nobody could get it all done. It’s important to take a moment here and evaluate this list. How many of these items do you think you could get done in a day? Can you shift some of the commitments to later days, or do you need to drop them?
We can’t get anywhere by trying to be superman every day, and getting mad at ourselves for not having superpowers. So be realistic, and let go where you need to.
Focusing – what are the most important items?
Now take time looking at these same lists and ask yourself, if you could only do three things on these lists what would they be? Are the things you’d want to do on the lists? Are they making the priority list? Too often we dedicate our time to meaningless tasks that don’t make us happy, rather than including at least one item purely to generate joy.
Repeat this same task, but ask yourself if it was only one thing you could get done what should it be? Then work on that next. Getting the most important task out of your way will go a long way to clearing your mind and allowing you to decide what the next thing is to do.
The bottom line
The bottom line with being mindful about how you’re spending your time is that you need to be consciously processing what you’re trying to do, evaluating if it’s realistic, and adjusting as necessary. If you do that, those same 24 hours won’t seem so short after all.
A lot of our frustration and stress comes from trying to do too much, or not getting organised on what we must do, both of which inevitably lead to failing at our goals. Failing at goals is frustrating, but it’s more frustrating to expect yourself to fulfil impossible ones – so be mindful.
We can’t lengthen the day, but we can change how we’re using it. Remember that you are ultimately in control of your time. Yes, there are things that must be done, but there is probably a lot more flexibility even in those things than what you’re currently thinking.
So be mindful, take control, and get focused! Your mind will thank you for doing it absolutely every step of the way!
Let us know how you stay mindful and if it’s working for you, we’d love to hear your comments.