Time management has always been a topic close to my own heart. I generally review my week on a Friday evening to see where I’ve succeeded and where I’ve failed to meet my goals. I don’t beat myself up about my failures, but I do look to see what might have happened. Usually I’ve either tried to squeeze too much in, or simple tasks actually took a lot longer than anticipated, eating into my time. And with each week’s review, I learn something about my own limitations. I’m proud to say that I’m getting better at gauging the time needed for tasks now – and it’s been quite an evolving process.
I’m also interested in stress factors and how a successful time management process can actually eliminate stress triggers, resulting in a real sense of empowerment and increased energy. Successful time management can definitely lead to a natural ‘high’ and even change the whole direction of one’s life.
A simple, written step to mental freedom
Anything weighing on your mind means you’re not clear. You may become irritable and snappy for no obvious reason to those around you. There’s a major loss of mental and emotional freedom when you’re carrying a problem. So, a really helpful tool to free your mind is to write down a project or problem that’s creating pressure or stress. Clarify what it is about this project that’s bugging you, or causing procrastination. Maybe you feel it’s too much or you just don’t have the knowledge or expertise to complete the project. Whatever comes to mind, just write it down.
Now add another short sentence with your intended successful outcome for this problem or situation. For example, perhaps you need to re-design your website’s Home page. Ask yourself: what would you need to do to tick this off your ‘to do’ list? It could be as simple as: ‘Restructure my Home page.’
Now write down exactly what you need to physically do to set that in task motion. What specific action would you take? Imagine that it’s the only thing you need to do (i.e. you’re not multitasking). Would it be to draw an outline on paper of what you’d like your new Home page to look like? Or would it be to phone a web designer to do it for you? Make a decision and write it down.
Relax – take a deep breath… and exhale slowly… You’ve just achieved enhanced control and focus over your project. And even though nothing has actually happened as yet to push the project forward, you’re probably more motivated and less anxious.
So, what just happened? Well, you just acquired a much clearer definition of the outcome you desired and the direct action needed to create it.
And all you did was to think a little bit. Not much, just a little – enough grey cells working to solidify your goal and the resources needed to manifest it.
Try it now. I’m sure you’ve got at least one nagging task on your mind, sitting there, draining your brain and energy over time. I know I’ve got at about three to work on!
In a nutshell: how to approach a project or situation, and be quickly free from mental tension
Write down your project (or type it)
Write down all the things that are bugging you or stopping you from moving forward with this project
Write down your intended successful outcome for this project
Write down what action you need to take to get the wheels in motion