To have more free time, you have to make every nearly action count.  That means looking at the value add of the activities you perform in your life.

Busy people may even be procrastinating, because they distract themselves by helping others out.

I’ve definitely been guilty of this one. We’ve all had those manic weeks. We run around like headless chickens and end up exhausted, weary and demotivated.

Take these five steps to help achieve focus and then we can start to look at the tools you will need to manage the action!

STEP 1

Define your mission and goals in life. If you know what you want, you can prioritise the actions that will help you along the way.  It does not have to be fancy and you can keep it simple but it does have to be realistic.  So here may be some of your problems.

-Do your goals conflict? (I want to be the best career professional, best mother, best wife, best daughter and best friend.) If you want to be all five, you’re aiming to be Superwoman. This is why I talk about setting realistic goals.

THE MORE NARROW YOUR FOCUS, THE HIGHER YOUR CHANCE OF SUCCESS!

-Next, be more specific about each goal. What does career success mean to you? More money, a better title or positive feedback. If you are asked to take on extra work or a new project, make sure you will benefit and you are not taking one for the team. It should be a win-win scenario. If you constantly get asked to do things and don’t get rewarded, you will get burnout and feel like a doormat.

BE AWARE HOW YOUR ACTIONS WILL SERVE YOUR GOAL

STEP 2

Record your time spent on various activities. Don’t guess. Track the hours on paper or with an App. Then ask the question, would I like to do more or less of this.  Sometimes we will be surprised by the number of hours we allocate to an activity. I spend a lot of time on the phone!

AWARENESS & REFLECTION ENABLES CHANGE

STEP 3

Don’t feel guilty if you say no to people. You’re not letting them down. Ask the question, ‘how does it serve the other person if I say no?’ Will they grow and develop and become more independent? Will they find someone else to help them who is more suited and has the time?   For example kids will never learn how  how to cook, clean and look after themselves if you do it for them!

EMPOWER OTHER PEOPLE BY NOT DOING IT FOR THEM!

STEP 4

Identify areas of frustration. If you spend two hours a day sitting in traffic, instead of getting stressed, get some phone calls out of the way, listen to an audio book or write by dictating (my favourite).  Or you could just chill and listen to music. It could be your only chance for downtime in the day.  Look how you can minimise this time, consolidate trips and avoid peak travel times!

MAXIMISE YOUR POTENTIAL BY TAKING EVERY OPPORTUNITY

STEP 5

Plan your diary so it serves your mission and goals whether directly or indirectly. You need to see the link. Plan your time for reflection. I like to do this on a Sunday evening. I reflect on the past week and make plans for the week ahead. If your week is planned out and you are asked to do something that does not serve your goals, you can explain you are already committed and don’t get side blinded.

PLAN YOUR DAY FOR HIGH PROIRITY ACTIONS SO LOW PRORITY ACTIONS DON’T TAKE UP ALL YOUR TIME.

Let me know your thoughts and I will share more on the tools I use for the implementation soon.

Regards

Pauline


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