Time is precious: how to avoid being overwhelmed
At many stages of our life we can be on “time overwhelm“. Whether we are in business for ourselves with commitments to meet or whether we have a 9 to 5 and have children. Also we need to factor in home up-keep and one on one time in our relationships. We also could be at a stage in our life when time seems to trickle away at an unending quick pace with goals not met. Time is precious and a valuable commodity to appreciate and use wisely. There are ways to make the most of our time so that overwhelm does not hold sway with us.
Consider priorities that contribute to easing the mind
I cannot stress enough the importance of families and friends in our lives. These relationships help to build us up and get us through difficult times mostly. Some of us also have commitments to parent and be responsible for those with little knowledge of what the future holds. There may also be aged relatives such as parents to look out for. Live in “the present” with them. They are worth your time.
Your personal development and learning is big on the growth scale. Become a person who you are proud to be. Cultivate your intellect, your practical and physical skills and “heart-work” (time for your community and those who need help). Remember heart work includes your spiritual development and that this brings balance and harmony to the human spirit.
Realising that relationships and growth is not wasted time when you have other items on your agenda will help you make time for both of these.
Rest is another priority that sorely gets over-looked when you have so much to attend to. You need adequate rest at night but also “mind rest” daily. We live in an awful world of continuous bombardment of where our world considers what we have to know. You will never get to the end of what you can know. Leave it. Search for understanding instead. It is a relief for the mind and will set you up for making wise decisions. Trust and faith is something that is outside of yourself and many recognise the benefit to the human soul. It truly is the ultimate rest and is more precious than many realise.
Getting down to work and how to shorten time needs.
There are any number of tips to cut down your “time blow-outs”. The time blow-out can be large monsters which gobble up the precious 1,440 minutes you have in one day. If you are in business, work a regular job or a parent consider implementing these:
- Have a main list ie a Brain dump, Master list or an Ultimate to do list. This will start to ease your mind as it is corralled in one place.
- Do an assessment on where you use your time – so you can make decisions about how to change that. Use Toggl or similar app which shows where your time is being used. A week of doing this gives you a good idea.
- Set goals – for the year and also for a quarter. I use a spreadsheet for my numeric goals which shows me where I want to end up not just what I’ve been accumulating. It has a chart of course included with the goal marked in red and shows your monthly movements. If it is non-numeric use a place such as Trello or your Bullet journal or your planner to take note monthly where you are aiming for. Review at the end of the month.
- Don’t multi-task too often. As a parent you learn to do this – but if you are in business or working sometimes just focusing means you are able to achieve more.
- Practice answering email in 5 to 10 words.
- Read email once then delete, answer or file it for educational purposes or referrals you want later.
- How available are you? If someone wants to have an extended chat – let them know how long you will be available for. “I have 5 minutes now but I’m happy if we can plan now to get together later in the week.”
- Set up routines and time blocks. Don’t let these rule you however since perfectionism is a nasty thing to deal with too and just adds to your stress levels. Aim for excellence.
- Meal plan loosely and keep meals simple. Engage a freezer. ie use one to help your meal preparation for when you know time is short. Steam some extra vegetables to add freshness to the meal or include salads. If you need to include things a little more tightly incorporate setting up meal plan ideas.
- Exercise. Can’t work smarter and better without it. Your brain will think more clearly. Move little and often if you are becoming time poor presently. De-clutter that desk, go and get some water. If you have the bonus of a lawn – go and ground yourself as you walk around. Go for that short walk around the block. Include short walks to the car, the grocery store and while chatting with friends (weather permitting) go for a walk at the same time. Include housework in your exercise plan. Work it!
- When the unexpected happens. Have something unexpectedly added to your work-load? Spend 5 minutes assessing before you jump into it to plan around it.
- Learn to say no. There is so much you can do in life – but consider what is really important. If you have crisis happen in your life you start to re-assess and see what is important. Many things (before any crisis) you can easily say no to without any drawbacks.
- Be positive and look at what you have achieved. Don’t just focus on what you have to do – there are a myriad of accomplishments you have completed just in a week. Be happy with that.
Value time and don’t be regretful
Sometimes we can achieve on the “wrong” projects in life. But don’t leave yourself with too much regret. As Theodore Roosevelt wisely said “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Deborah Hunter Kells
I have a wide range of interests and the top of my list is people and relationships. I appreciate our big wide world and nature which tries so hard to deal with what we do to it. I enjoy learning and am a “forever student”. I would love to hear about you and what you have experienced – that one or both of us may learn.