Have you ever paused at the start of a day, and felt buried under the pile of things you had to do?
And have you ever then stood back at the end of it, and realised that somehow, you did actually get everything done? It’s no secret that we’re getting busier and busier, and expect more out of our lives, right down to what we can get done in one day. Here’s a great article which talks about how to get lots down in one day, but doing so in a healthy way, and also taking care of yourself in the process. We’ve reproduced the top tips here, have a read and see if any of these could help you take care of everything you need to do:
1. Prioritise: Establish a hierarchy of needs.
Sometimes we put everything we need to do onto onto one giant pile, and try to tackle it from there. This isn’t very useful, because it means that we lose sight of which things are the most important, and which things simply don’t need our attention right now. Try and establish a hierarchy of needs, by thinking about what is truly essential, and what can wait. Be really tough on the ‘essential list’, and think about bumping the lowest priority items off the list altogether. This exercise will help give you perspective, because you’ll be able to focus on the things that are most important and give yourself the option of leaving other things until later, rather than feeling you have this huge amount of work with no idea where to start.
2. Compartmentalize: Be present in the moment.
Divide up your time and be fully present to the task at hand. This is something that can be improved with practice. When you’re working, really focus on work. When you’re parenting, be completely present to your children. This helps you have complete focus on whatever it is you’re doing, and do a better job at it. And as an added bonus, you can truly and properly enjoy a break when you get one. When we let ourselves off the hook for what we’re not getting done, it frees us up to celebrate what we are fully showing up for in each moment.
3. Time-out: Take a moment of stillness.
Ever have a moment during the day when you feel like your head might explode with everything you’re trying to keep in there at once? Taking a self-imposed time-out is the perfect medicine for this.
Step away from all electronic devices and sit for five minutes in silence. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed and slow your breath. Pause at the top of each inhalation and at the bottom of each exhalation, creating a moment of stillness. Starting you day with this practice sets a baseline for inner peace which you can return to throughout the day. If you give yourself this chance you’ll be much more productive when you return to whatever you were doing beforehand.
4. Support: Ask for help.
Asking for help can be pretty scary, Busy people often live by the idea that if they want something done well, they have to do it themselves. The problem with this is that it isn’t sustainable – you will always have to do everything yourself, and you’ll never be able to do less. In order to feel supported, we need to relinquish control and this can seem daunting.
Get really clear about what it would mean to feel supported. How would that manifest? Help people help you by asking for specific things. Sometimes delegating one small task creates an exponential amount of space for another. Consider asking for help a daily practice: “What can I ask someone to do for me today?”
5. Self-Care: Put your own oxygen mask on first.
Your own needs rank high on the hierarchy of needs. Do not pretend otherwise or they will come out sideways. If you are a multi-tasker, your energy output is enormous. You must find ways to fill up your own tank. This is your responsibility; no one will do it for you.
Make time for self-care—a warm bath at the end of the day, a yoga class, dinner with friends—only you know what you need to feel nurtured. Make it happen so you can continue to be of service to others.
What do you think of these tips? Anything you think we’ve missed? Head over here to read the full article.