I am drowning. I am completely submerged in the endless sea of papers that represents my personal and professional responsibilities. To make matters worse I can’t swim. With both arms swinging and legs flailing I desperately attempt to bring my head above water. I am frantically in pursuit of a breath.
While many people in this situation would be looking to breathe, all I want is a second to inhale. One second to be able to feel the air massage my nasal cavities as it makes its way to my deflated lungs. One second to be able to enjoy the refreshing feeling of expansion and inspiration of the things to come. One second to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
Instead I am sinking deeper and deeper into unrealistic expectations due to improper management of time.
Time is the most precious commodity in the world. It has a value that can not be replaced. It is more precious than gold, silver, crude oil, wheat or pork bellies. If I had to choose between time and wealth I would wisely choose time.
Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t
own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep
it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it
you can never get it back. ~Harvey MacKay
How can I get back the time I have lost? What can I do to appropriately make the most of the time I have left? I am glad you asked.
One of the biggest challenges I have for myself this year is to become a lot more organized in all that I do. Using these tips has allowed me to resurface and I am confident if I continue my progress I will never be drowning again. Here are some great tips that I know will help you along the way.
- Make a list of everything you want to accomplish. This process took me 35 minutes to complete. I included everything on my list from washing the dishes to publishing my first book.
- Categorize your list. Combine similar items together for ease of navigation.
- Create an Action Plan. This was the most tedious and mind numbing tasks but once completed it was the most freeing. It consisted of breaking down each minor and major project into a group of small actions. Ex: Instead of listing prepare a presentation on the effects of political turmoil on a stock portfolio you might create a list of action steps. Step one Define political turmoil. Step two research historical political turmoil. Step three. Gather charts of the various stock market indexes during researched historical turmoil period. Using this process has changed my life and made me a lot more efficient.
- Organize you big projects in software or filing system with complete action steps. Now whenever I find myself with a free moment instead of being consumed by all I need to accomplish I just pull out the folder of one of my prioritized projects and start to knock off some of the actions steps.
- Buy a planner. I never used to carry a planner. I thought they were a waste of time. Boy was I wrong. My planner is the most important piece of equipment I have ever owned. I have not yet mastered the art of scheduling times to work but I have used it to schedule my tasks for the day.
In life each of us are allotted a time to live and a time to die. We can proactively make the choice if we want to spend our time being overwhelmed by our circumstances (drowning) or maximizing the time we have left to change the world (pulling someone to shore). There is so much more to life than spending your time trying to refuel after you burnout. Take some time and organize your life.
Take a breath. You deserve it.
Have a great week!