It's amazing how busy, hectic and crazy we have become in our society. Trying to find balance between work and home can present such challenges. Ever feel like you are being pulled in every direction? There seems to be not enough time in the day? The more you do, the more there is left to do? Your desk is constantly reminding you of demands and deadlines? How about feeling as though you are just going through a cycle of chaos? Well...you are not alone! There are countless others having this same conversation in their head.
For the last 90 days or so, I have learned to turn all of that busyness into productivity by simplifying. As a result, I have more time to do what's really important, I have weaned out time-consuming-energy-siphoning activity. I get more sleep. I have more energy, and most of all, I have a lot more peace!
Here is a list of things I started right before January 1, 2011:
The precursor to these steps was making a personal commitment to do it! You need to contract with yourself, and hold yourself to it. Set a date with yourself for reflection and introspection.
1. I cleared the space around me.If your physical environment is chaotic, it will affect your mental environment.There is something almost physiologically beneficial about physical order. Start by clearing your desk. You can scan really important documents and create a folder on your computer, and file that way. De-clutter! If it's your home, then start with one room at a time, you may even start with one section of that room. Hang up your clothes right away. Put things back immediately in its proper place. Shred or get rid of junk mail ASAP! Break your tasks down to mini-tasks
2.Habits become behaviors! I had to take a real hard look at some of the habits I had formed from being soooooo busy. The interesting thing was I was tired from being busy, but I wasn't exactly productive. Being busy became a habit! A habit practiced every day turns into a behavior that's hard to go away. For example, when you come home from work, instead of going right into your home responsibilities, take 10! Take ten minutes to re-group, catch your breath, and clear your mind from work. Making that transition from work to home should be a little smoother than rushing in without some type of recovery time. Oh by the way, multi-tasking is over-rated, and can easily become habit-forming. Make a habit of doing one thing at-a-time! It's ok to say, I will do "that" when I am done with "this". Now this one will take some practicing, because I think we all multi-task in our heads all day! In my humble opinion, it is one of the main deterrents of productivity. If you change the way you think, you will change what you do!
3. Wake up earlier, and/or get in the bed earlier!Be realistic with this one. I know we all differ, but this has helped me tremendously. As soon as the alarm clock goes off, get up and get out of that room. Don't allow your mind to start talking to you because it may talk you into going back to sleep. Starting each day with meditation by clearing your mind works. Think about one good reason and a reward to getting up early. I have one aspiration in the morning, and that gets me up each day.
4. Cut out or reduce TV! This may not go over so well, but let's face it, we spend way too much time watching television. It robs your time. It makes withdrawals and no deposits. It sucks up valuable energy. Read more...it's fundamental. I listen to audio books, that's just as good. Learn to play an instrument, or develop a new hobby instead! Use that time to think of different ways to do a random act of kindness for someone else. Maybe you can spend more time with family or a friend. Perhaps you can sit with an elderly person, or a homebound person.
5. Make a checklist!I call mine Getting It Done! Write down some personal goals. Be specific and measurable. Make it attainable, realistic, and timely, Every day, I do at least one thing towards those goals. The benefit is having a sense of accomplishment. This saves time and energy. It also provides motivation for accomplishing something really important in your life.
6. The last thing I want to say with major emphasis is...Block negativity! It comes in the form of people, problems, situations, circumstances, attitudes, etc. YOU have the power within you to determine how you are going to respond to negative vibes. You can offset negativity only when you have something to work with to counter it. We all know that energy is transferable, either positively or negatively. You can neutralize negative energy when you have filled yourself with positive re-enforcements. There are many sources to use to keep your mind healthy and strong. Every battle is not yours! Please do not give people the power to alter your vibe. I know it's easier said than done, but you can start today. Positive affirmations are very effective.
You have to purpose that you are going to reclaim your day, your life! At the end of the day, you must gain control over those things that you can.
Let me remind you that you have the power within you to make each day your BEST day ever!! So let's make it happen!