When life gets in the way, what steps can you take to have some control?
I recently embarked on a project to complete 50 days of healthy habits, run by Smilin Aislinn. I managed 50 days of consistent meditation, reading as well as eating and exercising the best that I can. I didn’t manage 100% of all my tasks each day, but I hit 75% of the tasks every day and embedded some useful habits into my life. Her method worked really well for me and I would definitely recommend it to others.
In a bid to take this level of discipline forward for another 50 days, I have set myself some new tasks which includes writing 3 times a week. The tasks I set in the first 50 days were achievable because I had already started to try and put them in my life. What I did by taking on the challenge was stay consistent to support my health (hello daily green smoothies) and making sure I did morning pages (hello waking up to write.) The reason it worked so well was I was not strict or judgmental with myself. I enjoyed ticking off the tasks each day in my journal and getting that little hit of achievement. It also gave me a little bit of control over things I can do to help myself.
In the background of these next 50 days we have started another battle (always a battle) to get the right support for my Special Needs son. So, as we prepare documents and attend meetings and generally try not to worry about the future, it’s even more important to feel in control.
For me there are three things that help me manage my life: timers, lists and focusing.
These ideas are not revolutionary but if you knew how hard it was for my busy brain to knuckle down to tasks in this way, you would understand why I have to rely on them to function well. In reality this means I set a timer to write or read – essential tasks which take a lot of energy. I need a list of what I am working on next. And, and this is the hard one, I need time without interruption. Often I use the Binaural playlists in my ear buds but I also turn on “focus mode” on my phone.
Taking back control over our focus is a real skill in the distracted world. I previously took the “Bored but Brilliant” challenge to help me get into a more creative space. I have been reading a number of productivity books and will publish my essential list soon but for now I will say that being less attached to a device and more in control of my time is currently one of my main goals for part two of this challenge.
What are your essential tools to get your work done?