We are rushing towards the end of the second month of 2016 already. Time waits on nobody and once you’ve fallen behind, it’s a battle to catch up again. But how do we keep up? It’s hard enough to keep up the pace under normal circumstances, let alone catching up once we have fallen behind. Does all this sound familiar to you?
But how can we get out of this evil cycle? You are up before dawn to get a workout in at the gym, you are performing at maximum capacity at work running two or three projects at the same time just so that you can meet the deadlines, then it’s rushing back home, helping the kids with their school projects, until you fall into bed, totally exhausted, just to force yourself out of bed tomorrow morning to repeat the same process.
Can this really be all there is to life? What is the sense in all of this? Do you want to know how to get focused and improve your health, to get more out of life?
Get Focused and Improve Your Health.
We all got caught up in this trap called “busyness”. It has almost become like a status symbol. When we can’t tell other people how busy we are, it is almost as if we start feeling guilty about it.
We don’t really want to admit to the fact that many times we are the cause of our own high stress levels. We try to take on more than what we can handle. We pride ourselves on our ability of multi-tasking. We feel good when people take notice of how busy we are. It creates the impression of being so productive….but is it? Are you really being productive, or are you just being busy.
Unfortunately, the latter part is true. Firstly, multi-tasking is damaging to your brain and it even lowers your quality of work and efficiency. Something completely out of the ordinary or something beautiful might be staring you right in the face, and you’ll miss it because you are so caught up rushing through the day that life passes you by and you don’t even notice it.
You may think that this is because you are tired, or you are completely overwhelmed by everything you need to do. But we find a surprising answer to this problem in an eye opening blog post from Marc and Angel where they say that it’s ‘not the number of minutes we spend awake and working hard each day’. They state that it’s ‘the way we often spend 99% of those minutes juggling too many things at once’.
They mention the following examples:
- Do you check social media apps on your phone when you’re sitting in meetings, or when you’re spending time with family and friends?
- Do you eat lunch at your desk, or while you’re on the run?
- Is the TV often on in your home, even when you’re busy doing other things?
- Do you send the occasional text message while driving?
We need to be more focused. It has been proven that people who pride themselves in being good at multitasking were actually worse at it than people who like to do one single thing at a time. The frequent multitaskers were having more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another.
When you think about doing one thing at a time, you can’t imagine how you’re going to get everything done on time, right? Well….sometimes less is more and slower is actually faster….
So here’s the deal, why don’t you ‘slow down’ for a while, get focused on what you are doing, one thing at a time, and complete the task at hand. Prioritize your activities for the day and focus on what really needs to get done….the real important stuff.
Block some time out for each activity on your calendar. That will enable you to know exactly what you should be doing and when you should be doing it.
Develop some new routines. Developing routines are nothing more than developing new habits. By developing a good routine (completing certain tasks in a certain manner at a certain time every morning as an example), can lower stress levels tremendously. By performing this routine every morning, you don’t have to actively think about what to do next. This allows you a great saving in mental energy which can be most welcome when you start meeting the real challenges during your working day.
This way you might end up doing less, but you’ll get more done. It will feel as if you are going slower, but you will get things done faster.
Start Some Physical Activity and Get Some Exercise
Never have any time for some exercise? And when you do have the time, you just don’t have the energy. Sounds familiar?
Well if we can start focusing on the important stuff and start developing those routines, you’ll be amazed about the extra energy that becomes available. And by developing those routines and blocking your time out on your calendar, you’ll start gaining control over your time as well.
And when I refer to exercise, I’m not saying that you should start torturing yourself. Find some activity that you can enjoy. If you love the outdoors, start hiking, or just start by taking a walk. If you are a bit more energetic, start playing squash or tennis.
I recently read an excellent article – 3 Steps to Living Healthy Now – by Marty Copeland, where she takes you through the process of starting an exercise routine, and as she points out, it starts by making the commitment. After we’ve made that commitment, it’s all about the routine and seeing it through.
Get Rid of the Chaos and Start Living Healthy
By getting more focused on what we are doing, one thing at a time, taking control of our time and developing routines, we can not only get rid of the chaos in our day-to-day activities, but we can also reduce our stress levels, enjoying more inner-peace and calmness as we regain control over our lives.
Are you still rushing ahead, trying to keep up with the rat-race? Are you telling everybody how busy you are? Or do you have things under control? Can you retire peacefully at night and wake up refreshed in the morning, looking forward to the day ahead?
Tell us about it. I look forward to hearing from you.