3 Crucial Lessons for Staying in Control When Time Is Scarce

I haven’t written for a while because my schedule has got busier. I am student again, half way through a Masters in Business and I am busy writing my second book, to be published before the end of the year.

It’s been a challenging year to date but I’m managing well, no meltdowns nor hair pulling, just seven day weeks and lots of planning. I didn’t plan to do both at the same time but sometimes when opportunities come knocking you need to open the door.

Here are my three biggest lessons from this year.

Letting Go to Focus

It’s not possible to do everything, there are always tradeoffs. I didn’t start the year with a plan not to blog but as time passed I realised it wasn’t going to fit in. I could have tried harder but the more I split my focus the more I am dissatisfied with the result. Focus is such an important element in success. Learning to focus on the right thing is what matters. A week contains 168 hours, taking control of how you spend them is the key to getting stuff done.

Focus on Your Priorities

Being clear about your goals and what you want to achieve will help you to understand your priorities. Once you know what your priorities are you can let go of the other things that take up your time. There may be times when you realise you need to let go of a priority to allow another one in. My blog was abandoned for a little while but all for the greater good.

Advanced Planning

The best way to feel in control of your workload is to understand what is involved. Before I started to write my latest book I created the table of contents. Chapter titles, headings and subheadings. This will allow me to write 90,000 words in six months. Planning the content before starting has been invaluable.

Advanced Scheduling

Scheduling time for each chapter of my book and for my college work has been the only way to fit it all in. I sit down in front of my calendar each month and plan out a month or six weeks in advance. By doing this it eliminates any overwhelm that can come from a high workload. When I schedule the work I can see how it fits in. If it didn’t’ fit in I would have to eliminate something.

Lesson Learnt: Focus on the things that matter, don’t waste precious time on things that won’t help you achieve your goals. Sometimes it is necessary to let go of important things to make space for others..

The Power of Habits

When I get busy it is easy to drop the good habits that I have worked hard to create.

Not having enough time to keep things in order leads to disorganisation, the house gets messy, the paperwork piles up, the little chores and tasks sit on the To Do list for longer than I would like and I start to feel overwhelmed.

Travel and tiredness leads to getting up later and not having time to exercise or meditate. This year I have realised that the time invested in these habits is repaid tenfold. If I don’t exercise I start to feel stressed and lack energy. If I don’t meditate my mind becomes groggy and I lose my clarity.

Being busy can lead to not cooking the healthy meals that I know I should. When life is busy and you are working long hours these are the times nutrition matters even more. Making sure your body is nourished and hydrated will help you maintain a fast paced lifestyle.

Positive habits or daily rituals are what makes us who we are. If your day consists of a variety of positive habits chances are you will be happy and successful. If your day is filled with bad habits, well, I’m sure you know the result of that.

Lesson Learnt: Stick to the habits that work, Exercise, healthy eating, meditation, scheduling and personal organisation all help to stay focused and get more done.

Be Present

In all the hustle bustle of daily work it’s easy to get caught up with all work and no play, too much planning, organisation and routine. All of that will help reduce your stress but it is also necessary to create space in your schedule for nature, for being mindful and for spending time with the people you love. These are the things that will rejuvenate you and help you to keep going in this world that spins faster every day.

Lesson Learnt: Life is not all about achievements and success. The trick is to walk slowly in the same direction and no longer run to try and catch up.

Have a great day

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