It’s been a while since I’ve been to my local coffee shop. The seat where I sit in the window looking out at the sea, I believe has missed me as much as I have missed it. I love coming here, calming music sets the scene looking out at a calm Irish Sea. My husband who is from South Africa still calls it a lake, it never ceases to amaze him how a sea can be so calm, without waves. I love coming here. It grounds me. It gives me time to catch up with my article writing.
Ah here it comes I can smell the cinnamon coming up the stairs, my chai latte. No other drink has the same impact on me, a healing drink for the soul.
Why has it been so long since I sat here? I started a new contract. A few weeks ago I started to leave the house at the same time every morning, long hours, long days. The time comes to stress test my systems, but what I have found is that I seem to be getting more done.
Here are my lessons learnt (once again !)
Since I started the new contract I’ve reduced my interaction on social media in fact I’m doing it more effectively and achieving more with the time I invest. I am using small gaps in my day to comment, post or tweet. Previously I would allocate an hour to do this and may end up spending a whole lot more time than intended. As a blogger it is part of the job to market yourself online, I am much more careful about making sure I am benefiting from the time invested.
Take control of your social media usage. Fit social media in around you day, tweet while waiting on the bus, post on Facebook at break time, whatever sites you use, whatever strategy you need to employ make sure it is not all that you do in the day.
Lots of people ask me how I found the time to write Chaos to Control. The year I wrote it I was working full time, lecturing one night a week and also seeing private clients. That year I was very focused, I didn’t waste time on anything else, the book was my priority. Now that I am busy again, the same thing applies I have started to focus on what matters as I wrote this week in my lifehack article, “You can do anything but not everything”. Now that my time has become more limited again I am finishing up on projects that have been hanging around for a long time. (Not that I have ever been guilty of procrastination!)
Focus on the things that matter, don’t waste precious time on things that won’t help you achieve your goals and dreams
When I get busy I can also get stressed, stress for me leads to forgetfulness and disorganization. Not having enough time to keep things in order. The house gets messy, the paperwork piles up. The little chores and tasks sit on the To Do list for far too long. Completing a weekly review prevents this from continuing. I collect everything I need to do in one place and process it, entering what needs to get done into my calendar or Evernote. The mind dump helps clear the mind, and prevent the amnesia from affecting my everyday life. The other thing that helps me to manage my stress is meditation, I haven’t been meditating. I have signed up for Deepak Chopras 21 day meditation challenge where you receive an email everyday with a beautiful guided meditation, well worth doing and a fantastic way to create a new habit. The meditations are available to buy after the challenge is complete
Stick to the systems that work, I use GTD, Evernote, a weekly review, a weekly mind dump and I get my inbox to zero as often as possible. Meditation is also my way to manage stress.
In all the hustle bustle of daily work it’s easy to get caught up with all work and no play, too much planning, organisation and routine. All of that will help reduce your stress but it is also necessary to create space in your schedule for nature, for being mindful and for spending time with the people you love. These are the things that will rejuvenate you and help you to keep going in this world that spins faster every day. The trick is to walk slowly in the same direction and no longer run to try and catch up.
Have a great day