24 short hours — that’s all we’ve got in a day! And yet, in the mad rush of our lives, we’re constantly trying to fit a zillion thing into its tiny package. Here’re the five steps that set me free. I believe they can do the same for you!
- Stop believing in busyness: Believing that we need to fill each moment of our day with activities to feel productive is a fallacy of our times. We evolved to benefit from ample breaks, variety, and connections. Even our ancient ancestors spent no more than three-four hours per day in the active pursuit of hunting. Consider the time for recovery, socialization, and creative expression as essential to your well-being.
- Use a long-term Lens: There’re times when everything on our lists seems equally compelling. However, when we’re connected to our true selves, we become aware of the direction that speaks to us. Connect to the things that you want to be remembered by, and it’ll be easier to shed everything that’s simply creating needless noise in your mind and your life.
- Plot your goals on a time ladder: Even so, we’re multi-faceted beings and there’s surely more than one goal we wish to chase. And yet, functioning on too many fronts simultaneously means that we do justice to none. Our attention gets exhausted, our energy becomes distributed and we leave most things incomplete. Instead, make a list of all that you want to achieve and prioritize it on a time ladder. By focusing on one goal at a time, you’ll manage your time and regain the energy that was scattered in all directions.
- Draw a relationship circle: When we fill our agenda with urgent items all day, we leave little space for the important relationships in our lives. It’s ironic, given that we’re the most social animals on the planet and our strength and success lie in the relationships we nurture. Make a pie chart of all the important relationships in your life and respect each one with the time they deserve. Your journey will be far more fulfilling.
- The two-column action plan: Once you’ve identified and prioritized important goals and acknowledged the relationships you need to nurture, you’re ready for action. Take a sheet of paper and draw two columns. Now write down the three things you can do more of in one column and the three things you can do less of in the other. Implementing these small and simple changes will begin to move you steadily in the direction of your goals. Then go ahead and take the first step. The action is the best way to create momentum.
Space isn’t a waste of our day. Rushing around in mindless pursuits often is. I know that I’ll never rush to fill it in again, treasuring the moments where I can hang onto that hug just a little longer, gaze at the stars just a little deeper, and perhaps, one special day, build in an after-lunch rest.
Now it’s your turn.