I can get very busy distracting myself from the daily grind of life pressures. With no one here to see what I am doing, as my office is at home and my husband works away, 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.
Social media is a classic example of time slipping away unchecked—where magically 10 minutes 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 –
- Prioritise tasks in order of importance and urgency.
- Group similar 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 the FIFO (fly in fly out) 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 that I have on the fridge awaiting his return.
To delegate chosen tasks 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 being judged as not coping and the fear of not being noticed as a super, important and busy person. 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 that 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 to-do list— dump it. If family time or exercise time is lost due to being in front of a screen—turn it off.
Your turn – What can you be doing, delegating and dumping to be more productive?
Write down three things you can start to do differently from today and watch your stress reduce and results increase.