I can get very busy distracting myself from the daily grind of daily life pressures and separation from my husband who is FIFO (fly in fly out worker). With no one here to see what I am doing I can get caught up in meaningless tasks that do not contribute to any level of achievement or feelings of satisfaction. I often remind myself that how I am using my time compared to how I could be using my time is completely different.
Facebook is a classic example of time slipping away unchecked – where magically 10 mins turns into 2 hours and during this time the tasks on the to do list did not magically get done. To overcome the distractions I follow the 3 D’s. They are –
Do – The tasks you must do or want to do yourself.
Once you have identified these then –
• Prioritise tasks in order of importance and urgency.
• Group ‘like’ tasks together, for example all phone calls, appointments, housework, play time, you time etc.
• Make the best of your prime time – the time when you have the most energy during the day and the least interruptions.
Delegate – Get someone else to do some tasks. I am living a FIFO life, if my husband was home I would ask him to do certain tasks, or they would be his job. He is not here some of the time so I will ask my daughter, her boyfriend and close friends to help. Tasks that can wait till my husband gets home go on his list.
Delegating is helping others as well as yourself. I encourage my family to think as part of a team, and when one team member can’t the others step up. In the beginning I found it hard to ‘let go’ of tasks, for many reasons including the fear of not being noticed as a ‘super, important and busy person’ and the fear of being judged as not coping. I had to look at it another way – I had extra time for other things I wanted to do and I had shared an opportunity for someone to learn something new and they could be appreciated for it.
Dump – If it is of no value get rid of it. Be aware throughout the day of the time ‘eaters’. Decide if what you are doing is taking you closer to your goals. The time ‘eaters’ are the activities that take you off track or are not contributing to feeling happy, healthy and productive. Good examples are –
• social media pages and games,
• those wonderful warm, funny and fuzzy emails that are sent to you,
• too much TV,
• annoying and draining people or worry.
If it is not on the to do list – worry is rarely on a too do list – dump it. If family time or exercise time is lost due to being in front of a screen – turn it off.
Till next time – Kirsty