Julie screams, “There aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything! Just when I think I’m getting a handle on it, it all falls apart. When I try to set aside time to get some of this done, I keep getting interrupted.”
Taking a deep breath, she continues, “To tell you the truth I’m just doing what’s in front me. How can I be so busy all day and still feel like I really accomplished so little?”
Sound familiar? Julie’s story isn’t uncommon. Life will run over us if we let it. The house, the job, the kids, the laundry. It never ends.
Cheryll asks, “I’m feeling so unfocused due to huge upheaval in my personal life. How do you clear the mountain so that you can get on track?”
Ahhh yes, the mountain. Life is like a pile of laundry laying un-“Sorted” (see what I did there) on the floor. It’s looks unmanageable. You grab some off the top and throw it in hoping to feel like you’re making progress only to find, upon returning, that the mountain has grown. The solution for your laundry is a system. The solution for your life is no different.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, you need to get a mental handle on the mountain. When you can’t see what’s there, it’s just an overwhelming mess. When you take the time to go through it, you end up with nicely organized piles of items that you can now name and put in their place.
START WITH A LIST
Sit down and list all the things weighing on you. Most are “to do’s.” Some are “wish I could’s.”
DETERMINE WHAT’S IMPORTANT
Everyone needs life goals. If you’ve never set any, read up on Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life. Learn to set goals in each area of your life. Then make sure that you run your TO DO list through those filters.
SET PRIORITIES WITH THE URGENT/IMPORTANT MATRIX
For every task on your TO DO List, ask yourself in which category does it belong:
Important and Urgent: DO THESE THINGS FIRST! Important things are the things that move you toward your goals. They improve your life. Important and Urgent things will have a noticeable negative impact on your life if you don’t do them first. Going to have a potentially serious medical condition cared for is important and urgent.
Remember Urgent isn’t the same thing as Important. Often we confuse the two and put the Urgent and Not Important before the Important and Not Urgent. If you do this, you will always be playing catch-up.
Important and Not Urgent: DO THESE THINGS SECOND! Important things often have life-long relevance.
For every task, ask yourself, “Will doing this have a lasting effect on my life goals?” If the answer is “Yes” it is Important. Do not push these things down the road. Make them a priority.
Urgent and Not Important: DELEGATE, POSTPONE, OR PURGE THESE THINGS! Here is where most find themselves stuck. Urgency screams in our face until we give in. Filter these through your goals. Will it have a lasting effect on your life goals if this is not done today? If the answer is “yes,” it’s Urgent and Important. If the answer is “No,” it’s Urgent and Not Important. Even though something seems Urgent, if it is not also Important, it truly can wait. Ask someone else to take care of it or put it on your calendar for a later date or time. Calendar based living can make your life so much simpler. As you begin to focus on the Important, the tyranny of the urgent will subside.
Nor Urgent and Not Important: DON’T PAUSE. DON’T DELIBERATE. PURGE THESE FROM YOUR LIFE! If it’s not Urgent, and it’s not Important. It has no benefit to you whatsoever. If you’re thinking, “but I really enjoy it.” Then, maybe you have incorrectly categorized it as Not Important. Your life should have balance and the things you enjoy are Important. Again, I suggest the Wheel of Life.
Giving your mountain of things names and defining your goals makes them manageable, reduces stress, and allows you to focus on the Important things.
About the Author
Growing a business is hard. It can be easier. Jacqi Glenn helps businesses solve problems and make more money by strengthening their procedures.
Jacqi Glenn has owned and worked with small businesses for over 20 years. She knows the struggle. She works with business owners to help them plan, organize, and grow their companies. Find out more at: http://www.itcanbeeasier.com/