You’re a busy Mama juggling a family, career, partner, household, friends and the family’s taxi service, among other things.
Time is your most precious resource and a very valuable commodity. If only you could save it in the bank and withdraw an extra supply when you need it.
What if, instead of withdrawing time when you’re out (like cash from an ATM) you were able to maximise the 24 hours in your day and reduce the risk of being time-poor again?
Would you create opportunities to invest more time in your day-to-day life, to live with less stress and get more done?
Research suggests, when we feel like time is in short supply, instead of breathing through the discomfort and honouring what time we have, we panic and our brain tricks us in to believing we actually have less time.
Essentially, the less time we think we have, the more we place ourselves under stress, frustration and overwhelm, convincing ourselves we are so busy, we don’t have time to do anything at all.
If only you could stop time, you’d be more productive, less stressed and feel happier. Right?
Or would you, like me, decide to spend the time-frozen hour watching another episode of Orange Is The New Black, catching up on Instagram and seeing what funny thing Amy Schumer has done that week?
While relaxing and taking time out from the normal hustle might help you feel happier, the emotion is short-lived because once that hour is up…hey look, you’re back where you started!
Save yourself time and stress with these three easy tricks you can implement today to increase your productivity:
1. Be Mindful
Online Business Guru Marie Forleo loves to say, ‘the is-ness is the business’. What she means by this is, what you are doing in the here and now, is what’s most important.
If you’re making the bed, then focus on making the bed. If you’re reading a book to your child, then that is your only priority.
When your mind flows relentlessly it is very easy to feel busy, stressed and tired, but practice being in the moment with everything you’re doing and feel the pressure lift off your shoulders.
2. Identify Interruptions
When we’re interrupted, it means our focus and attention is taken away from what we’re doing and is used to complete something else. Yes, sometimes interruptions are fantastic and are a well-deserved distraction (note I used the word distraction on purpose), but when they are not useful they can cause us to lose momentum, a train of thought or big chunks of time.
The best action is to be mindful of interruptions. Does your computer ‘ping’ each time you receive a new email? Are you answering every phone call when you could easily ring people back later? Has the latest James Corden car-pooling skit turned in to an hour of watching Youtube?
Start taking notice of all the interruptions weaving their way in to your day (including the ones you’re responsible for). Is there a theme (like staff asking endless questions, your teenager asking for a glass of water when they could get it themselves etc…), then identify how you’re reacting to them.
The key to managing interruptions is thinking about how you should react, instead of reacting on auto-pilot. Remember, you can say ‘yes’ to the person, but you don’t have to say ‘yes’ to their request. Respect the situation, but also respect yourself and your time.
3. Let go of #FOMO
Are you inclined to say ‘yes’ to each opportunity that comes your way because you suffer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)?
Could your need to be involved with the latest school reunion, collaboration or VIP business function be making you more busy than you need to be?
While it should be commended that you’re willing to help others, this help often comes at the sacrifice of other things, like your sanity!
The one thing you can do today to ease your workload is asking yourself, if you’ve agreed to get involved out of a true heart-warming desire to help, or because you think you should?
What would be the worst thing to happen if you didn’t take part? Would the event fail? Not likely.
Tell me, do you wish you could stop time? Which trick from the 3 above will you start today?