I don’t know about you but I find there are definitely times in the year when life gets just that little bit more busy, I’d even go as far to say hectic. For most of us Christmas is probably one of them, I’d also count when we are preparing to go on holiday, returning to school/ university and planning a wedding in with this. So what can you do to simplify your life?
How many of us are guilty of trying to manage three or four jobs at one time, but not actually ending up doing any of them particularly well. There aren’t many times when we have the luxury of only having to concentrate on one job. What we can try to do is complete one thing at a time, even if we are trying to juggle many more. I find it helps to write a list of everything that needs doing, whether that is by day, week or month. Whether you call this a ‘To Do’ list, ‘WIP’ (work in progress) or ‘TIP’ (tasks in progress) it will help to keep you organised. If you have unrelated jobs on your list concentrate on one activity at a time and cross them off when completed. If your list consists of related jobs then it would be helpful to break this down into a logical and manageable order.
2. Evaluate your commitments
We are all guilty of taking on too much. As we don’t want to let anyone down we carry on regardless focusing on a time when life will be become less busy. But sometimes the quiet time takes longer to arrive than anticipated and by then we are nearly ready to crack. Our time is precious so take a look at where your commitments lie and ask yourself a) how am I benefiting from this? b) is it benefiting my family? c) is it having an affect on my health? d) is my contribution benefiting my community?. All of these questions may not apply to you, however, if you feel you are over committed then it’s time to take stock and cut back. It really is OK to say no.
3. Ask for help
Hands up how many of us are fiercely independent and prefer to do things for ourselves rather than ask for help (my hand is up). Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. There are times when a helping hand brings a different view point or quite literally another pair of hands. It also makes the person offering the help feel valued and we all like to feel useful. So next time someone offers to help you, however big or small the job, accept and say thank you.
4. Don’t worry about tomorrow
Another one of those ‘easier said than done statements’ especially if you are a worrier. But you can’t worry about something that hasn’t happened. As long as you have done all you can to prepare for an event or outcome, then that is the best that you can do. As my nephew likes to say ‘yesterday is history, tomorrow is the future, today is the present, that’s why it’s a gift’. So give your energies to enjoying today and deal with what may happen tomorrow if it is required.
5. Don’t let things get on top of you
It’s so easy, when there are an overwhelming number of jobs to be done, to feel like you aren’t getting anywhere fast. But if you inititate point 1 and 2 you can start to feel organised and in control. At times like these I find it useful to take time out whether this be a trip to the beauty salon for some much needed pampering, a social media detox for a few days or concentrating on family rather than work. Find what works for you in order to free your mind and come back to your list refreshed and ready to forge ahead.
6. Avoid distractions
This can include many things such as online browsing, using social media, catching up with friends even going to the gym. We all have our vices and as much as we enjoy these, they are not going to allow you to complete the tasks at hand. The key here is to recognise what you use as a distraction and work out a way to eliminate or at least limit this. For example if you have completed a large job or several smaller jobs, then you might want to reward yourself by having 20 minutes looking at your social media, or emailing a friend. The more you learn to recognise why and how you distract yourself, the easier it will be to do something about it.
I’ve already taken one step to simplify my life. I’ve recently evaluated my commitments and reduced these so that I have time to relax as well as channeling my energies into my work, blog and increasing my fitness.
You too might also be able to apply these over the next few weeks or they might help you to re-evaluate your priorities in 2013.
You’ll find some inspirational words on my Pinterest Things to Remember board that might help you keep focused.
Is it time to simplify your life? Let me know what you might start to do.