At some point in time, pretty much everyone has felt more rushed and stressed than they would like.
Most of us live busy lives.
The busier you are, the more important it is to prioritize and simplify!
This is especially true if you reach the end of a hectic day and feel as if you have accomplished little.
Thankfully, implementing a few strategies can make a world of difference.
Put these seven strategies into action and simplify your day:
1) Prioritize your day.
Rather than attempting to get everything done, try focusing on just a few items.
Get in the habit of making a list of everything you’d like to get done. Then, prioritize the list and focus on the top three to five items.
It can be helpful to do this in the evening so you can start the next day without wasting time trying to decide where to start.
Limiting the number of things you’re going to tackle is a highly effective way to approach your day. The most important tasks are sure to get done, and no time is wasted on the superfluous. If time allows, you can start to scratch off the smaller tasks once the big three to five are finished.
2) Turn off the TV & the social media.
Distractions are a huge challenge for most people. It’s easy to become distracted by the television, radio, email, social media, and the internet, in general.
Avoid even starting to get involved in these distractions while you’re conquering your big three to five items of the day.
Commit to "work windows" -- periods of time where you are only focused on working -- and don't check your phone or other devices during this time.
3) Take breaks.
While it may seem counterintuitive at first, breaks are essential for keeping your mind alert and focused.
When you're less stressed, you can accomplish your top three to five in less time with more ease and better results.
For many people, the most effective work schedule is approximately 60-90 minutes of work followed by a 20-30 minute break. For others, 45-60 minutes of work followed by a 10-15 minute break provides the reset needed to best accomplish one's goals.
Play around with intervals of work to break times to see what works best for you.
Try to get outside, if you can, for some fresh air. At minimum, stand up and stretch.
By taking a break, you’ll clear your mind while staying fresher and feeling less frazzled. When you return to your task, you will be a lot more focused and ready to seize the moment.
4) Create routines whenever possible.
Rather than waiting until the kitchen floor is dirty, why not mop it every Wednesday night? If you wait until a chore desperately needs to be done, it’s likely to require a lot more time and energy. It’s also likely that several things will need to be done at once.
Set a schedule for household chores, paying bills, yard work, grocery shopping, food prep, etc.
Try to pick a specific time that you can show up for consistently (i.e., I will workout at 9:00am M/W/F).
Or, link a new habit to an old habit to create a new routine (i.e., I will take my Vitamin D supplement each morning after I brush my teeth; After I start the coffee pot, I will meditate for five minutes).
5) Clean up after yourself.
It might seem easier to just leave your mess and deal with it at another time. But one mess tends to lead to another and before you know it, everything needs attention just to be tolerable.
Take the extra few minutes to put everything away when you’re done with a task.
The lack of clutter helps calm your mind and simplifies your day.
6) Establish a regular sleep schedule.
It’s easier to plan your day and get the necessary things done if you’re well rested.
If you sleep too little one night and then need an unplanned nap or are having a difficult time functioning, your day just became more complicated.
Your day-to-day capabilities will be much more consistent if your sleep is consistent.
7) Evaluate to improve.
At the end of each day, take two minutes to evaluate how the day unfolded. Was it a good day? Did you feel rushed or overwhelmed?
Get in the habit of asking yourself a simple question: "How could I improve and simplify my day?"
Then listen to the answers you receive. Make a plan to implement some of those ideas into the next day. Continue to adjust.
Simplifying your day is one of the best ways to get more done while feeling less burdened.
No matter how much you have to do, odds are that only a couple of those items are truly critical.
Focus on the most important tasks and limit your distractions.
A simpler day is in your future.
One of the biggest reasons we do not actualize our goals is because when we are faced with an unexpected barrier that we're unsure how to deal with, we have the tendency to shut down.
We become discouraged, we start making excuses, and we allow ourselves to back off of our original plan.
While this is human and a natural tendency, it's not conducive to success.
An important step that you can take to avoid this barrier blunder is to create backup plans for those little "what ifs" that may arise.
"What if I don't pass the prerequisite course?"
"What if I don't get the loan?"
"What if I run out of time?"
"What if the marketing doesn't work?"
"What if I just don't feel like it?"
These are all very real barriers that keep us from realizing our life dreams.
By planning for them, we greatly improve our chances of succeeding and experience the power of being unstoppable.
There are two kinds of barriers: internal and external.
Let's break them down here.
1. Internal Barriers
Internal barriers include the thoughts you have about your goal, success, and yourself that keep you from being successful. They include your personal fears, motivation, self-esteem, and paradigms.
"What if I'm not good enough?"
Solution - Shift that mindset! Have 3-5 affirmations ready to repeat to yourself throughout the day.
"What if I just don't feel like doing it?"
Solution - Commit to working on it for a set period of time. Schedule it in your planner like you would schedule an important appointment.
"What if my fear of the phone keeps me from following through on my marketing campaign?"
Solution - Have a friend help me make phone calls. It might not be so bad if I'm not alone.
"What if I find myself procrastinating?"
Solution - Work on my goal first thing in the morning to get it accomplished.
2. External Barriers
External barriers include barriers such as money, time, other people's reactions, resources, and results. We are not in direct control of them, but they can affect how we work and we can still plan around them.
"What if the client turns down my proposal?"
Solution - Ask questions to find out why they turned it down, adjust if possible, and resubmit it if you still want to work with this client. Ensure that you're working within your niche.
"What if my friends don't think I can do this?"
Solution - Find supportive, like-minded people through social media or local meetups. Your friends will not always understand your biggest dreams and visions and that's okay.
"What if the materials don't arrive on time?"
Solution - Pad the timeline and notify the client of this possibility in advance. Realign the timeline to work on other projects until the materials arrive.
"I don't have the money to do this."
Solution - Find free alternatives. Make extra money through a part-time side gig like freelancing or working for a delivery service. Remember this isn't your end goal, but rather a means to an end. Use affordable services like Fiverr and Upwork.
Practice this technique with even your small, short-term goals.
It feels great to know that when a brick wall appears in your path, you have the perfect solution for getting around it and getting back on the road to achievement!
What comes to mind when you think of the phrase "life is an obstacle course?"
Did you conjure up something negative or positive?
One way to think about life as an obstacle course is by viewing it as a bunch of challenges of varying degrees that stand between your desired goal and you.
It's totally normal to encounter obstacles in the pursuit of your goals. In fact, the bigger the goal, the more challenges you'll likely encounter.
Whether your goal is "small" or "big," it's important to learn how to focus on goal-setting so you can see your dream into fruition.
Here are five simple ways to do that:
1. Think Positively
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer is known for saying, "Change your thoughts, change your life." In the same vein, Henry Ford is famously quotes is stating: "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right."
Your beliefs matter so when it comes to focusing on your goals, keep your thoughts positive.
2. Keep a clear, open mind
Always be ready to receive new ideas. Be open to thinking outside of the box. You want to consider a myriad of possibilities.
You also want to take some deep breath and stay in the moment. It's hard to achieve your goals if you're feeling intense pressure.
3. Persist and Persevere
When the going gets tough, there's one simple rule: do not quit.
You want to make sure that you exhaust every possibility by using trial and error. It is usually more costly to quit (due to the previous time, money, resources, etc., already 'spent') than it is to find a new solution to achieve your goal.
Remember: “The moment you’re about to quit is the moment right before the miracle happens. Don’t give up.”
Visualization is a powerful technique where you create a movie in your mind of an outcome you want to achieve. You want to picture yourself achieving your goal in as much detail as possible.
And, if you're experiencing setbacks, you can take a few minutes to create a picture inside of your head of what it would look like and feel like to discover a solution to overcome and solve the obstacle that's setting you back.
5. Ask for help
There's no shame in asking for help. In fact, seeking the assistance from others who have walked your path, have previous experience with what you're wanting to accomplish, and who are more knowledgeable than you on the particular topic, should be highly encouraged.
Even if their suggestions are not the exact ones you were hoping to hear, they may trigger some new ideas that help reveal a solution for you.
Next time you come up with a SMART goal in your life, be sure to use these five simple strategies to focus on your goal and bring your dream into fruition.
With each goal you work towards, you are on the impactful journey of creating a life you love.
I am sure we have all been there. Seemingly out of nowhere, your mood feels like it's shifted, but not in a good way. You might feel easily irritated, down, fed-up. Days and moments like this are a normal part of the flow of being a human.
But, what happens when you have a few days like this in a row? And, then you start feeling stuck. When we’re in a rut, feel stuck, fed-up, or bored, we don’t want things to feel that way, but oftentimes we don’t know what to do to change.
And, that’s the problem: when you’re in a rut, you usually don’t have the energy or motivation to change things for the better, and it’s tough to find the insight or resources you need to make that jump.
So here are two fun and simple strategies you can use to climb -- or better yet -- leap out of the rut and start creating a better day for yourself so you can get unstuck.
1. Do Something Differently
Life tends to run smoothly when we establish systems and routines for things, but the problem comes when things run too smoothly and we become blinded to any ideas or choices that sit outside of our routine. All of the stuff we do every day becomes the norm, running on auto-pilot.
So start with making one or two small, simple changes to your day - be it drinking out of a different type of mug at breakfast time, sitting somewhere different to eat your meal, choosing a different radio station or genre of music on your ride to work or the store, shaking up your gym routine, picking a new route to work, etc. Don’t get too wrapped up in worrying about what the changes are or whether they’re right or wrong.
Doing something differently or changing parts of your routine, instantly takes you out of the norm. By stepping out of your routine, you "trick" your brain into seeing things a little bit differently and you’ll find yourself in a position where you’re able to make different choices and get a different result.
One of my favorite ways to use this strategy is when I walk my dog. Luna and I walk around a small lake each day. When I feel myself get into a rut, we walk in the opposite direction and I break my subconscious programing.
2. Use your Intuition
Your intuition is a powerful ally, and we all have the power to work with it even though you might not recognize it. One of the best friends you'll ever have in life is your intuition, and tuning into it and learning to trust it is something that can have some truly remarkable, positive impacts on your life.
Accessing your intuition is a bit like working and developing a muscle, but it can be harder to tune into and develop in comparison to your bicep or your quadricep muscles. So here are two quick tips for learning to access and trust your intuition:
By doing something different in your routine and learning to tap into your intuition, you will notice your mood start to shift in a more positive direction and you will find yourself out of that rut in no time.
The great news is that the more you use these two strategies, the more effective you will find them to be in the future.