There are plenty of people who give the illusion that they have everything under control and they get astounding amounts of work and activities done and completed on time. How do they do it?
The truth is, they don’t. They’ve figured out what they need to do to get what is important done and then limit their involvement in other things. They learn to say yes to the things that matter and no to the things that don’t. And when you can do that, you can relax in your down time and still look like you’re in total control of your life.
Here are some tips on how you can accomplish that illusion for yourself:
1. Accept yourself as a human being. You’re not a machine and neither are the people around you. We have been battling the illusion that people can be treated like machines ever since the Industrial Revolution. But even machines suffer from wear and tear and need repair and eventually replacement. By forcing yourself to continue going on and on as if there were no end in sight, you’re at risk of total burnout.
2. Identify your top values and remained focused on them. Once you know what is important in your life, it becomes easier to make decisions based on whether they support your values or or they don’t. Things that don’t support your values can easily be turned down. Things either hurt or help you on your journey. If it helps, do it. If it doesn’t help, turn it down.
3. Focus on one task at a time. There is no truth in the theory that multitasking makes us more productive. In fact, it’s been proven to be a fallacy. In order to be productive and efficient, choose the most important task facing you and put your best effort toward it. If you are most productive in the morning, then do it first thing in the morning. If you’re a night owl and you hit your stride sometime between 10 pm and 2 am, then focus on your important task at that time.
4. Be flexible and accept your best effort as the best. Life has a tendency to throw a monkey wrench into all your best efforts and being flexible gives you other options. Being inflexible is not a lot different than simply being stubborn. The last time you met someone really stubborn, how well did your efforts at collaboration work? People usually prefer to work with those who are more flexible in their attitude and the way they approach things.
5. Celebrate all wins. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the win, celebrate it. Take the time to savor the feeling that you did something and you finished it. Teach this to your co-workers, your employees, your children. Celebrating all wins just feels good and when something feels good, we want more of it. That means we’re willing to go that extra mile the next time in order to get that good feeling again.