Have you ever felt as if there is just too much going on? Not enough hours in the day? Can’t seem to find the time between the kids, work and other commitments? Trying to fit all of our obligations and commitments into a day is difficult and even overwhelming.
How do the most successful people – those who have even more on their plates than most of us – manage to conquer the world and do it all with ease? There are 10 ways they approach each day and life in general, and the result is better time management and the ability to get more done in less time.
The good news is anyone can apply these strategies and better control their time. Here’s how to do it.
1. Keep things in perspective
Most people crack under pressure because they lose their perspective. Their fear of losing overwhelms them to the point of physical, emotional and spiritual breakdowns. List the three events that cause you the most stress on a regular basis, and ask yourself what you need to do to put these things into proper perspective, to reduce or eliminate the stress.
Most people get bogged down in the details of every little problem, yet some people are able to manage multiple problems and maintain emotional control while solving them individually. This is called compartmentalization. Commit to compartmentalizing your problems by focusing exclusively on one problem at a time. While most people multi-task, the great ones focus.
3. Escape excessive cognition
The enemy of creativity and clarity is excessive cognition, or having too many thoughts to process at the same time. Cognitive overload is a major problem for many of us. Schedule some time to get away and be alone with your thoughts. Investing in solitude will keep the mind rested, fresh and able to focus. The simple greatest asset you can give yourself is the ability to think with a clear mind.
4. Master Follow Up
Most people over-promise and under-deliver. It’s not that they don’t have good intentions, they become forgetful trying to balance too many things at once. Keep a pen and paper with you at all times or make a note on your Smartphone to do the things you say you are going to do. Follow through inspires confidence and fosters trust.
5. Don’t be addicted to the approval of other people
A lot of people value the opinions of other people over their own. It’s conformity at all costs. Constantly living in worry will eat your time and zap all of your energy. Next time you wonder ‘what if’ people don’t agree with you or won’t like you, reframe the question to ‘so what if’ they don’t? What’s really the worst thing that will happen?
6. Learn to say ‘No’
If you’re a ‘yes’ person and always agree to help with additional favors, projects and other requests for your time, it’s taking away from other things you could be doing. It’s great to help others, but it’s also perfectly acceptable to say ‘no’ from time to time. People aren’t going to dislike you or stop being your friend because you say no. Time is your most valuable resource.
7. Develop a world-class work ethic in all you do
When it comes to getting results, most people manage to produce average results and do just enough to get by. They’re worried about time, but the reality is they have more time than they realize if they cutout meaningless activities like watching TV and playing on Facebook. Whether it’s your career, a personal relationship or anything else, develop a world-class work ethic of GSD (Get Stuff Done) and watch your productivity and results go through the roof.
8. Be future oriented
Most people dream of the good ole’ days and never get anything done. The only thing significant about the past is how it affects us in the present and future. Stop looking in the rearview mirror wishing things were different. Don’t play the victim game. Be focused on ‘living in the now.’ Focus exclusively on the present and future.
9. Develop a sense of urgency
Most people operate like there is an endless amount of time in a day, week, month year and life, and constantly procrastinate. To be more productive, you need to be more sensitive to time. Life is short. Go after things with a sense of urgency and learn to think about life as if there’s no tomorrow.
10. Become a problem solver
People who manage to do it all are focused on solving problems. They aren’t worried about being recognized or given credit for what they accomplish. Drop your ego and reach out for help when you have too much on your plate. Learn to delegate. You’re human, after all, and there’s no shame in turning to others for help.
Next time you are feeling overwhelmed and just can’t seem to fit everything into your schedule, take a step back, slow down and rethink your approach. Life shouldn’t be stressful or leave you with that feeling of fatigue and exhaustion just because you have a lot on your plate. Many times it’s just a matter of reprioritizing and looking at what’s in front of you in a different way.
Steve Siebold is author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class, and a mental toughness and psychological performance coach to Fortune 500 executives, entrepreneurs, professional athletes and other high-performing achievers.
Featured photo by Chase Elliott Clark