How are you adjusting to the modern ‘rat race’?
Is it time to take some decisive action about how you live and work?
One of the disadvantages of our information overloaded, the hyper-connected world is, it can give us increasingly more things to think about, must do, read, buy or experience.
These all go onto our mental or physical to-do-list and fuel the frustrations associated with tasks getting on top of us and not being completed.
If the ideas do not relate to your aspirations, they are almost certainly taking up the Real Estate in your brain and not paying the rent.
There will always be people who seem to be constantly coming up with ideas, different scenarios and ways to make the business work better. While they motivate and inspire others, if this individual does only the talking without delivering, it can be a serious issue.
Our time management issues, personal effectiveness, and productivity are concerns which hang over us like a persistent headache.
We have plenty of things to blame, from the government to the 24/7 business world, globalisation, family commitments, technology and social media, just to name a few.
There needs to be clearly defined action orientation for practical implementation. Trust yourself, you know more than you think you do. Trust in your abilities, your strengths, your values and your intuition, you know much more than you give yourself credit for.
Revisit your to-do-list
Being productive is often seen as a holy grail of success. But it’s pointless if your productivity isn’t managed carefully and responsibly and you’re a person who’s getting a lot of ‘stuff’ done without accomplishing anything of real value.
Many people often feel overwhelmed by the amount of work they have to do and find themselves missing deadlines or forgetting to do important tasks. All of these are symptoms of not keeping a To-Do List.
Don’t get bogged down in your to-do-list and don’t major in minors. Far too many people major in minor things and at the end of a week wonder where their time went and become frustrated because they never got around to the important things.
The reason why people get bogged down in their to-do-lists is simple: they put the wrong things on it. Rather than calmly and rationally prioritising the stuff coming into their lives, they just stick it all on the ‘Big List’ and keep ploughing through it. They don’t limit the number of projects to a manageable level.
“The world opens up for those whose actions show that they know where they are going and who are grateful to those who have helped them along the way”. Peter Sergeant
This gets things done, but not done well. Sooner or later, they will miss something important, simply because it entered their to-do list too late, or it was wrongly prioritised on the list.
To make sure you properly organise yourself, you have to ensure the really important things, the things with the most impact, are prioritised so they always come to the fore. This means taking your list of things to do and making a prioritised to-do list.
One way is to focus on the five important things each day which will positively impact your business outcomes and only things you have significant management control over. Don’t worry about the things you have any control over; delegate them to someone who can do something about it. For example, if you are worried about a letter from the tax department, hand it over to your accountant to fix and get on with things that will make real a difference.
If you keep adding things to the list, this means more and more stuff will not get done. Your brain, as it works from moment to moment, needs a steady focus, so focus it on important things. Every time a new task comes up, ask yourself “is it important?”. If it is, then ask yourself if it needs absolutely doing today, if not – schedule it for another day. This applies particularly to emails; if people want something urgently they will ring you or should ring you.
Maintain this simple list of important things, commit to it and avoid distractions; and after a week you will definitely notice how much better you feel because you have accomplished many really important things.
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Remember procreation is a ‘killer’
To some extent, we all tend to procrastinate and then end up with ever-growing to-do lists we never seem to be able to master, even though we know a to-do-list works. This causes many difficulties in making adjustments to the modern world.
I find the most useful and simple suggestion is to think back on the most productive periods of your life and reflect on the ways in which you were able to achieve what you needed to despite any perceived limitations at the time.
Who’s in control? How many times have you changed or modified your priorities to meet another person’s or group’s expectations? How many times has your tightly scheduled day been interrupted and thrown away off schedule? Think about the times you had to adjust to another person’s working style or changes over which you had no control.
Your emotional filtering, and weighing up of your tasks to be done, tends to lead your responses. Apply reasonable thought before you act, much like stopping for a red light without really thinking about it and having a few minutes to contemplate your future.