How often do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stressed and pressed for time? How often do you find yourself constantly checking your phone for emails and messages?
How often do you find yourself surrounded by people making demands on your time? How often do you use your busy schedule as an excuse for not doing the things you know you need to do or would like to do?
If you're anything like me, then there's a good chance that you answered quite often or always to these questions. There's also a good chance that you are a victim to your own doing and find yourself stuck on the treadmill.
The problem with living on the treadmill is that you can run as fast as you can and still get nowhere. You can run for as long as you can, but sooner or later you will run out of steam.
Something has to change!
In this article, I'm going to share with you four key areas to help you reboot and get control of your life.
Step off the Treadmill
It's impossible to gain perspective when you are stuck on the treadmill. You need to take a step back and breathe. Only then will you be in a position to reflect on where you are, where you are going and how best to get there.
- Take a day off to relax; free your mind from the shackles of your routine.
- Take a day off to reflect; where are you now and where do you want to go?
- Take a day off to refine; how are you going to get where you want to go?
Start thinking about what needs to change once you have a clearer perspective of where you are, where you are going and how best to get there.
Control your Schedule
If you are not in control of your schedule there is a very good chance that it will be in control of you? Knowing when to say no is the first step to getting control of your schedule, but in order for you to say no you need to understand how you currently spend your time.
- Track your activity over a two week period
- Group your activities by type
- Rate the importance of the activity
- Analyse how you spent your time
- Start controlling your time
Rule of thumb... Before committing time to any activity, ask yourself how much value you or others stand to gain from your time. Then ask yourself what's the worst that could happen if you said no to that activity.
Now, contrary to popular belief, being strategic is not about planning for what you need to do in the future. It's about doing things now that will have an impact on the future.
- Map out your short, medium and long term objectives and the associated activities
- Approximate the time and effort required for each activity
- Identify activities of strategic importance
What can you do now that will have an impact on your medium to long term objectives? For example, investing time in developing your team now will have an impact on their productivity in the long term.
Budget 'Me Time'
The demands of modern-day life can be overwhelming, and it's very easy to prioritise the needs of others at the expense of our own health and well being. This is not sustainable, and you can't take care of others if you don't take care of yourself.
- Budget time to disconnect
- Budget time to reflect
- Budget time to create
- Budget time to find inspiration
- Budget time to learn
- Budget time to eat well
- Budget time to get fit
It doesn't matter whether it is 20 minutes or 2 hours; when it comes to budgeting 'Me Time' the quality is more important than the quantity.
You only get one life, and it's up to you to get control of it. If you're a people manager, its equally important that you help them to get control. I hope you find these four key areas helpful.