In this fast paced lifestyle that most of us live these days, it’s always go, go, go. Eating on the run, talking on the cell phone while doing three other things, and hardly taking any time to sit down and enjoy.
We do this in our personal lives as well as our business lives. We are expected to do more, and we expect more out of ourselves.
Think about this, how long can you actually go without pulling out your smart phone?
We use it for everything these days. Checking time, email, friends update statuses, if it’s our turn on a “with friends” game, to do lists, grocery lists, reading the next chapter in a book(s). Even reading the news, checking the weather, getting directions, following a recipe while cooking a meal.
Obviously, the list could go on and on but I think you get the idea. The thing is that’s just one distraction/attraction in our busy lives. That doesn’t even include our spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, coworkers, bosses etc.
Let’s just face it—we are busier than we have ever been. Stats show that business is up 15% and leisure time is down 30% and, in my personal opinion, that is not good.
I mean it is good we are getting more work done but it creates a viscous cycle. In a recent Sunday school class we were talking about why society has become a 24/7 lifestyle. What happened to taking Sunday as the day of rest? I’m not just meaning for religious reasons either although that would be a good thing too.
We just don’t take time to recharge our batteries anymore.
In this day and age we even have devices that charge our devices on the go. Little power cells that we can plug into to charge up our beloved smart phones while we’re still using them.
The same is not true for our mind and bodies, they need time for rest! We often wonder why Mondays are so dreaded and it’s mostly because we are still tired from the previous week. We didn’t take time to just stop, relax, unwind and enjoy.
Now I’ll be the first to admit I’m a recovering work-a-holic and will admit it is hard to slow down and start making some changes.
First thing we need to consider is why are we working so hard in the first place? Is it just to achieve more? Get more done? Impress the bosses? Make more money?
I know that’s a lot to think about but before we can make a change we have to evaluate what needs to change.
In my case it was I felt guilty I wasn’t getting done everything I wanted to get done in that week. I had high expectations of myself, pushed myself to hard and over committed. I also wanted to achieve certain financial goals.
The next step after you identify why it is you are doing so much you then have to figure out what to do about it. In my case it was to first (and this one is still hard) quit promising everything for today! There are only 24 hours in the day and it is, in most cases, impossible to get everything done that day.
Use your tools effectively
I’ve been using an application called Asana I can put my tasks in there and prioritize and move things around and cross things off the list as I complete them. The trick here is to list steps or parts of a project, don’t just list “write a book” as a task. It will take too long to complete that task and it you won’t get any satisfaction of crossing things of your list. By not crossing things off the list you won’t feel you are making any progress and you will go back to just reacting to the next task thrown at you.
I find it best to review your list at the end of the day. Cross off what is completed, add any new items that have come up and possibly prioritize for the next day. Then when you start the next day you are ready to go and accomplish the “must do” for that day.
The next challenge for me was I was wanting to make more money (and I still do) but I needed to look at why. Was it to buy things I didn’t really need? In many cases it was.
So now I work hard at not making impulse buys by writing down the item or making a book mark in my browser. Then I wait 24 hours check that list and many times cross it off, realizing it was a want not a need, which of course saves me money.
My next goal is to start using my money more wisely and that will take some time but in doing these exercises I am finding I am not as stressed I do have a bit more time to relax some and am finding more time to recharge my batteries. Plus I am MAKING time to just do some things for fun which I’m finding I’m more relaxed, more focused and feeling healthier.
Do you run into these same issues? What are some of the things you do fight over working? Do you take time to “recharge your batteries”?