I can often be heard moaning, usually to my boyfriend Jose, about lack of time that I have and that I am so easily overwhelmed by the amount of ‘stuff’ that I have to do… I am absolutely certain that I drive him mad!
I have noticed lately that I keep getting all stressed and ‘tick-listy’ about stuff and that is sucking all the joy out of doing things – most notably my walks with my dogs have become a chore, rather than what they are… which is not acceptable in my world!
For the first time in ages, I called into work sick yesterday (I really was sick, but normally I’d do the ‘soldier on’ thing and get into the office) and I had some time to sit and reflect on things, there’s nothing revolutionary in this list but if anyone has a tendency to get even as remotely caught up in this cyclone that is life, this may help!
Plan as much as possible in advance.
Clean as you go, have a place for everything and put everything in its place. Do meal prep, Iron as soon as the laundry is dry, have a key hook by the door. (Jose argues that this is borderline OCD and a bit restrictive, I argue that actually having all my clothes ready to wear gives me more freedom and keeps the house tidy, and space organised!)
Wherever you are, be all there.
There’s an argument for multitasking, I don’t buy it. Whatever, you are doing, commit to it for a time-bound period and then close down and move on. There’s only one thing worse than not getting something done and that’s getting everything done but in a crappy way! (This includes conversation and/or interactions by the way)
Stay in charge of your time – but be flexible with it also.
Everything is a priority to someone, distractions and diversions will come – if you need quiet time, let people know and if you feel your attention being pulled, say no… likewise, if you are allowing your attention to be pulled, now is not the right time to do that job – ask yourself what’s going on?! (Jose laughs at my lists and reminders all over the house, but even he can’t deny that they keep our house running like clockwork!)
Be your own pit-crew!
Unfortunately most of us don’t have PA’s following us around. It is easy to get off track (with me it’s usually a new notification that a video has been uploaded to YouTube by some drag queen or other) Every hour or so I ask myself:
- Is this on my plan for today, and now?
- Is this going to keep me on track, save me time or cost me time?
- Do I actually want to be doing this?
- If I don’t do it what will happen?
- Is something being neglected because I am doing this?
Eat – well and not whilst working!
I have two rules, my plate should look like a rainbow and when I eats, I don’t speaks! This is legitimate, absolute, unquestioned down time. Eat slowly to avoid overeating and the dreaded after food crash!
Stop living in the problem!
There’s an old technique in the sales world (my day job) whereby you spend 20% of a sales pitch talking and the other 80% listening. I try to apply the same method to problems that arise daily… I allow myself a bit of a moan and groan but then I focus on the solution – after all, pity parties only ever have 1 guest!
Don’t be a control freak – even if it’s ‘your way’.
Jose tells me off regularly for running around like a maniac doing everything and he feels like he can’t do anything right, let others help. Another advantage of doing this is that this will develop a sense in others of where you are in terms of expectations vs delivery – people can’t know what they don’t know.
Let others know where you stand on communication types.
My nearest and dearest know that they can’t call me after 7pm because I’m likely to be doing something with my three dogs… talking on the phone, picking up dog crap and wrangling three idiot hounds is not a recipe for success… in work, I’m the complete reverse, I despise email and would prefer a call. I used to have a manager that loved email, I have trouble understanding pitch, tone and tempo in emails so we had to clear that up – you are allowed to, and should, communicate your viewpoint!
Be RIGID with Work and You times!
I will NOT work past 6pm and I refuse to work at weekends. I don’t have my work email on my iPhone Mail App either and my team know that unless it is a life or death situation, I don’t need to disturb or be disturbed out of work hours. I cannot stress enough the importance of this!
Clean your energies!
I am often getting quizzical looks because I question the energy around me, this is why I eat well and have firm boundaries – if my energy is off I usually notice very quickly and put corrective action in place. Not everyone is self aware, if someone seems off, talk to them about it and help them to re-calibrate! It’s a WIN WIN! If you do this then you will avoid the ‘straw that breaks the camels back situation’.
The fact is that most of the ‘things’ that we do on a daily basis are things that we get to do rather than have to do, and by remember this you wont allow the joy to be sucked out of your life… be it work or home!