I saw an interesting quote on Facebook the other day: ‘Beyoncé has the same 24 hours as the rest of us’. At first I laughed, then I thought about it. OK, so I’m guessing that Mrs Carter doesn’t have to make time to sort out the washing at home, but you get the point.
If you have been struggling to ‘keep all the plates spinning’, I hope that the list I am sharing below will be of some help:
Decide your priorities – what do you really want and how do you want your life to look? This is crucial in working out what has to be done – it kind of follows on from my last blog: ‘what’s your why?’
Decide which things you really have to do yourself, i.e. actions that fall into the list of priorities, and that no one else can do
If possible, arrange for other people to do the things you don’t really have to do – at home this could be delegating chores or paying a cleaner, at work this could be making sure you are not unnecessarily doing someone else’s job (this can happen if you actually feel it will ‘save time’) or asking for/hiring an assistant. People who like to do everything themselves (myself included) will struggle with this one – it is really important, though, to find a way to reduce the time you spend on unnecessary tasks
Live the calendar – I am still mastering this one.This means that instead of just making a list of things to do (one of my favourite things to do!), you allocate time in your calendar to those things. This can give you the reassurance that you actually do have the time to do everything you want, or it could force you to prioritise by doing some things later or not doing them at all.
What would happen if…?A good way to choose between two or more ‘urgent’ tasks is to ask yourself ‘what would happen if I didn’t do this now?’ If the sky will not fall on your head, it’s probably OK to do something else first.
Do you really want to do what you say you want to do? You may have to read that again! Sometimes we keep putting off things on our list of things to do.It may be a good idea to look at why you are not doing it. It may be something that can’t be avoided and you will need to just make a start and/or break it down into manageable chunks.If it’s a burden you have laid on yourself, maybe it’s based on an out of date need or want, and can be abandoned without guilt.Or you may feel intimidated by it, in which case making a start or breaking it down could make it easier to get through. Or (gasp!) ask for help!
Allow time for planning. You need to be able to review what you have done and think about the next steps
Allow time for reflection. The temptation is to feel you have to be doing something ‘useful’ all the time, which can lead to stress and burnout. This seemingly passive activity can yield a lot of productive ideas. At the very least it will allow your brain to cool down!
Allow time for relaxation. This should need no explanation.
Watch out for time-wasting activity. Planning, reflection and relaxation are necessary but make sure you are not just procrastinating in disguise!
Please comment below if this blog rings a bell with you, or if you have found useful ways to get organised.