We have a variety of activities and tasks that seem to need our attention on a regular basis. Whether it’s getting kids to school, managing family activities, preparing meals, as well as getting our jobs done, sitting in on video meetings, or dealing with an ever-growing stream of emails and social media notifications. Just when we feel we’ve climbed one hill of work, another mountain range of tasks seems to face us.
People feel overwhelmed and frustrated. They feel unable to control their daily affairs. It seems like we need to be working 20 hours a day. They just get to sleep, then wake up at 2 a.m. with their minds spinning, worrying about all they need to do the next day.
We think we could gain control if only we could get more done in less time.
The good news is that there are strategies to help you feel in control and get more done in less time. Here are three things you can do:
Plan with lists and priorities
It might seem silly but many people don’t have a plan when they have to accomplish a large amount of work. This is why they feel overwhelmed.
Analyzing the situation and developing a plan to get through your workload starts with listing all the tasks you need to do, putting a time estimate on them and prioritizing them.
Once this is done, it’s much easier to come up with a strategy to get the most important tasks accomplished in a timely fashion.
Brian Tracy in his book Eat That Frog, talks about doing the most difficult tasks first. “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, everything else seems easy.”
As leaders, we often don’t delegate as much as we should and as a result we struggle to get work finished in a timely manner.
We have a variety of reasons for this attitude, including:
- a belief that no one does it as well as we do;
- we don’t want to bother our staff with undesirable jobs;
- we think it will take more time to train someone than to do it ourselves.
Unfortunately, we can continue to come up with these excuses for years before we realize that our lives would be much easier if we trained someone to do these tasks. That would allow us to get more of the important jobs done in less time.
Take time to meditate
While it might seem counterintuitive, taking time to think and meditate has been proven to help leaders be more productive. Henry Ford took regular breaks during the day where he would stop and think.
Surprisingly, blocking time for this in your schedule will help you accomplish more in less time.
Life’s too short and precious to occupy most of it in frustration and busyness.
However, if we treat our tasks less haphazardly, with the intention of getting the important jobs done, we will be less stressed.
Setting priorities and avoiding distractions such as social media notifications and interruptions that waste our valuable time will help us to better acknowledge ourselves and our accomplishments.
It’s possible to get more done in less time, but it takes concentration and disciplined leadership skills.
Dave Fuller, MBA, is an award winning business coach and a partner in the firm Pivotleader Inc. Still stressed? Email email@example.com