Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Can't Keep Up? 4 Ways to Simplify Your Life

Ever feel like you are going around in circles? 
Are you always busy but rarely feel like you are getting things done? 
Are you spending time on those things that are most important to you?

You are in luck! Today, I am going to share with you some simple ways to get you spending time on what is important and getting some clarity and direction in all areas of your life.

Organising your time doesn't have to be painful and it doesn't need to be complicated. You could use one, all or any combination of the following tools to help you in your busy day. These tools I am sharing today are about identifying what is important to you, setting goals for those areas of focus, creating a weekly plan using your goals and what's important and a very simple to do list which focuses on your six most important things to do.

Some of these things may appear too simple but as a busy mum I find that if I have too many things going on I actually end up feeling overwhelmed and don't get anything done. I've found that if I identify goals for what's important to me and then draw from those goals to create my to do list then I am achieving everyday towards my ultimate plan.

Before you can do anything, you need to identify what it is you're actually so busy for. You do know it deep down, you just need to have it written and in your face. So, to begin with I want you to identify what you want to be working on ... what your areas of focus are moving forward from this point. 
In my example, I have Personal Development (Body & Mind) as my biggest priority, then I have Wife and Mother and finally I have three areas of focus for my Business with Planning, Marketing and Production. Nothing complicated, just simple. 
Try to keep it limited to the six areas, if you have too many you might find difficult or overwhelming to plan around. You could combine a couple of areas that compliment each other, for example, Business Planning & Marketing or even Wife & Mother. Don't forget if you are involved in P&F or even sporting committees you might need a Community focus too.

Once you have identified what is important to you, you can now set some simple goals within those focus areas to keep your focus where you want it.
Ultimately you might have one sheet per focus area. Some will only have a couple of goals, some will have many. 
Goal setting is really simple, forget about all the stuff you have learned about so-called "smart" goals and just focus on WHAT you want to achieve and WHEN. 
As you can see from my example, I have recurring goals for my Personal Development, Mother and Wife focus areas. I have a full page for all the business areas.

My third tool to share with you is the simple Weekly Plan. If you have completed this previously it would be interesting to see if your weekly plan actually reflects what you have identified as being most important to you. Using your completed What's Important To Me? and even your goals, complete the Weekly Plan. For more detail about how to complete the Weekly Plan visit this post.

This next tool is something that you already use. The simple to do list. Unlike most lists, this one is limited to just six items. I find (depending on the tasks) I can struggle to complete my six items each day but I can tell you that by limiting my list to just six I actually attempt to complete it each day. 
I am a list maker, I have lists everywhere, so what I do is draw from all my lists to identify what the six most important things I need to do are and then I can do a little bit of work on everything each day. I usually have a housekeeping task or two on there as well as tasks associated with my goals. What I don't have is my puzzle time or even play time with the children as these are already built into my weekly plan.

Remember to review your plan as you go, what you thought was important then, isn't now and may be again in the future. 

If you are driving your car on a long straight stretch of highway, do you hold the steering wheel rigid in position or do you adjust it from time to time? Adjustments are essential and without them we can veer way off course. It doesn't mean that you had it wrong, it just means that other variables have come into play.



Running a Business From Home - The delicate balancing act

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