I'm sure we've all had occasions when we've looked on in awe and wondered, perhaps out loud, how someone's able to fit in as much as they do. While we're still pondering tonight's dinner menu they may well have been to the gym, organised the food shop, made several important calls, volunteered at a local charity and completed an important piece of work.
How do they do so much?
- Being organised is the key to getting things done. Without organisation things can become too random, dipping in and out of tasks with very little focus or planning. Lists can be an efficient way of introducing order and method, so enabling things to be sorted by degree of urgency.
- Some things are too big or complicated to tackle in one go. Input or a contribution may be required from a third-party, so being efficient is about passing things on quickly so that each person can tackle their part. Keep an eye on what's going on and where individual tasks are up to.
- Delegating is a valuable tool in a busy life. Being precious and insisting on doing everything yourself may feel like an important position to protect, but not everything needs to be jealously guarded. Let others help, share in the story and maybe come up with new, even better ideas. It motivates everyone when they're included as part of the team.
- Don't wait for everything to be perfect before you start. There's no need to practice-run every possible scenario or set of circumstances in advance. Often things come together well enough once you begin. Allow your mindset to be flexible and receptive to different possibilities and enjoy where it takes you, unless it's one of those times when it's essential to follow very specific criteria.
- Double up. Some social arrangements could, under normal circumstances, potentially be combined. Eating out, seeing a show or concert and catching up with friends may successfully maximise your time and create almost a party atmosphere. Equally business networking combined with a game of golf pulls together two areas of life, as does exercising or enjoying a hobby with family or friends.
- Hire help. Certain routine or mundane tasks like ironing, cleaning and gardening may be worth outsourcing. It may be worth paying good money to free up your time for other things. Equally, tasks outside your area of expertise may be better done by someone else, rather than having you spend hours agonising over your accounts, admin or design work.
- Learn to say 'no' appropriately. When we work for ourselves or are new to a location, are keen to fit in and be accepted it can be tempting to say 'yes' and agree to everything. Sometimes we need to review what we're already committed to, or we may run ourselves ragged, trying to accommodate everything and everybody.
- Take regular breaks and recharge. A twenty-minute break gives enough time to eat a healthy snack, hydrate, maybe get outside for some fresh air. Often people find that they then return to work with a clearer mind and renewed enthusiasm for the job in hand.
- Remember to give yourself credit for each achievement. Rather than systematically working your way through your list, instead pause to appreciate each stage of the journey, every task completed.
And sometimes might it be relevant to ask yourself why you do so much, why you allow your time to be so fully occupied. Some people are constantly busy because they need to be in control and are loathe to pass on work to others for fear it may result in them being cut out of the loop, it may allow others to be seen to do a better job or have their mistakes and shortcomings discovered.
FOMO, fear of missing out, having something to prove, trying to be indispensable, not wanting to let go of the reins and filling every second with meaningful activity can all create their own stress.
But then, there are those people who are eager to try everything that's on the menu, can't wait to sample every option that's on offer. Whilst not wanting to dampen their enthusiasm too much, it's also important to take time to rest, savour, rehearse and make the best choices for you. Enjoy doing one thing at a time. You can always return another day and try a different delicacy.
Susan Leigh, Altrincham, Cheshire, South Manchester counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.
She's author of 3 books, 'Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact', '101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday' and 'Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain', all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, tips and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life.
To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit http://www.lifestyletherapy.net