Slow Down and Get More Done in Less Time

Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed?  Maybe that’s because you’re pushing yourself too hard. Being in a constant rush lowers your energy levels and deprives you of satisfaction.  You’re ticking off boxes on your task list instead of engaging in meaningful activities.

It’s time to start accomplishing more with greater ease.  Consider these 3 steps the next time you’re straining to hurry up.

Do Less

  1. Set priorities.  Figure out your definition of success.  Devote as much time and energy as possible to the activities that matter to you.  Cut back on making commitments that are irrelevant to your goals.  Learn to tactfully say no to distractions.
  2. Budget your time.  Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a single day.  If you’re frequently falling behind schedule, track how much time some of your routine tasks really take.  Block out your time and give yourself a buffer between engagements.
  3. Adjust your standards.  Know when good enough is acceptable.  Maybe you want to aim for an A plus when it comes to parenting, but you can live with a B minus on washing your car.

Be Mindful

  1. Plan your day.  Know where your time is going. Act deliberately instead of drifting from one external demand to the next.
  2. Live in the present.  Give your full attention to what you’re currently doing.  Silence your phone and resist the urge to check for messages.  Notice your surroundings and savor your experiences.
  3. Remember your purpose.  Stir up your enthusiasm by remembering the reasoning behind your choices.  Does your job enable you to help others?  Do you take pleasure in volunteering for a good cause or spending time with friends?
  4. Work out.  A fit body supports a strong mind.  Keep time in your schedule to exercise regularly.  Incorporate more physical activity into your day.  You’ll feel more peppy and alert.
  5. Rest and relax.  A few minutes of meditation, stretching, or repeating affirmations can help you pace yourself.  Learn to be comfortable with taking a break.

 

Ask for help

  1. Divide chores.  Sharing household responsibilities is good for your marriage and your children.  Talk with your partner about how you can work as a team to complement each other’s strengths.  Praise your kids for taking on age-appropriate chores.  Even small children can set the table or put away their toys.
  2. Be a good neighbor.  Each family on the block could buy and maintain a snow blower or you could pool your funds to share one so it costs less time and money to prepare for an occasional blizzard.  Join a neighborhood committee or browse for apps that help busy neighbors support each other.
  3. Consult an expert.  You may want to hire a professional who can clean your house or fix your dishwasher faster than you can.  If you prefer doing things yourself, you can still seek advice on time-saving tips and techniques.
  4. Follow up.  Maybe you already have family and friends who’ve offered to assist you when you need a little help.  Accept their generosity instead of clinging to your pride or feeling like you have to do it all on your own.  Be prepared to return the favor.
  5. Be specific.  Wherever you turn for help, it pays to be precise.  Let others know what you need done.

 

Slow down and get more done.  When you’re feeling under pressure, change your strategy instead of speeding up.  Take a few deep breaths and count your blessings.  Your to-do list will look less daunting, and you’ll be more productive.