EmpowermentOverwhelm Prevention

Simplify and Focus

By December 13, 2016 No Comments

We talk about busyness as if it’s a good thing. “Oh I’m so busy, I don’t have time for that.” Or “I’m constantly running from one thing to another, there’s no time for rest.”

I am guilty of this.

Just this past weekend I went to a concert Friday night, my kids had 2 soccer games Saturday and then a festival at the kids’ school where my daughter performed, then I stayed till 8pm cleaning up afterwards. On Sunday, 2 more soccer games and my dad’s 70th Birthday party, which I organized. Whew! I’m tired even writing this!

Sometimes life is just like that… busier than “normal”. But if your life looks somewhat like this on the regular, then it’s time to look at what you’re doing and how it’s serving you or not. Another thing I commonly hear is, “I have so many ideas and so much going on that I get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, so I don’t do anything.” This is another form of sabotage.

If you are currently or ever feel like you are too busy, overwhelmed, scattered and ineffective, then let’s address that, shall we?

I am going to give you some steps to take right now, or when you have “time” (haha!) to give you clarity so that you can simplify and focus, ok?

  1. Write down all the ways you are currently spending your time. Take a snapshot of a week in your current life, and list all the things you spend time doing from morning until night.
  2. How do you want to be spending your time? Make a separate list of what you would like to be doing in any given day or week.
  3. Make a list of your top 10 values. What is most important to you? Values are intangible. Some examples are connection, contribution, adventure, personal development, peace, fairness, beauty, acknowledgment, partnership, etc. When you are clear on your most meaningful values, you can make choices in alignment with your highest good. Now you can compare your two lists you created of how your spending your time and how you would like to be spending your time and see where your values fit in. Which values are being honored and which are being stepped on in how you’re actually spending your time vs. how you want to be?
  4. Take your current list of how you’re spending your time and cross off anything that is not serving you that can be eliminated or revised. Don’t worry, if this makes you feel uneasy. You can add some version of it to your new list, if you want to. For instance, if you are spending 3 hours a day on Facebook, you can cross it off your current list and revise it to meet the needs of your new list you are creating. For example, if Facebook is used for marketing your business or connecting with people and you want to be doing it, then set yourself a daily time limit that serves your other needs as well. This will free up time for other high pay off activities (like self-care, connecting with your children or partner, etc.) Then put this on your new list of how you want to be spending your time.
  5. Once you have cut out the things that are not serving you in a meaningful way, look at what is left. Circle the things that must be done. For instance, take your kids to school or make dinner, or work, etc. Once you have circled your “must do’s”, then the next step is to see how much of it you can delegate. For instance, can you hire someone to do laundry or cook? Can you hire a Virtual Assistant a few hours a month to help with certain aspects of your business? Can you get a carpool going to get your kids to school? How many things can you get help with so that you are not feeling like you have to do everything?
  6. Now look at what is left after you have eliminated and delegated. Take the circled items that remain (your must do’s) and see how you feel about doing them. Do you enjoy doing these things? If so, great! If not, how can you reframe them so that you can actually enjoy them? For instance, I am a paper clutter queen. I accumulate paper piles and have a hard time dealing with them. I know I need to, but I procrastinate and dread going through them and getting organized. Some of my top values are connection and fun. So, when I have to deal with the inevitable paper nightmare, I enlist the help of friends and include wine and music. Then, rather than dread it, I actually look forward to spending quality girl time and having some fun with music and libations, while getting decluttered. What dreaded items that remain on your list can you take and turn into something you can actually look forward to?
  7. Go back to your “want to do” list and create a new integrated list from your remaining items that feels good and also feels realistic. The point here is not to create some fantasy list that feels unattainable. The idea is to take out time wasters and focus on your values and the things that are most important to you and will move you closer to where you want to be.
  8. Now the point of this is to SIMPLIFY. So, where can you make things be easy? So many of us tend to overcomplicate things. It can be easy. Where are you wanting to experience more ease in your life? Look there to see what you can simplify. Do you really have to make homemade dinners 5 nights a week? Does that project or business idea really have to take so long and involve so much? How can you simplify it so it feels good and is easy?
  9. It’s time to choose one area to FOCUS on. Rather than thinking about all the things you have to do or want to do, choose ONE thing that has the highest potential payoff right now. Perhaps it is your relationship, or creating income or your health? Choose ONE thing right now. I’ll wait 😉
  10. Take your goal for the ONE thing you have chosen and write it down. What are some steps you need to take to reach your goal? What support do you need? What do you need to let go of (emotionally, physically, mentally)? Write all of this down so you can clearly see it in front of you. Believe me, it is much more likely to happen when it’s written down. Now set yourself a schedule with actionable steps and deadlines. Make sure your goal is not too far out. I like goals that can be reached in 30 days or less because it helps with momentum. However, if you have a 90-day goal, that is reasonable too as long as you keep taking action.

To wrap this up, I want to emphasize that it’s one thing to read and think about something intellectually, and an entirely different and way more effective thing to actually do the work. Please, if you want to see results go through the steps I’ve outlined and do them.

Reach out to me if you need help with any of this. I offer private and group programs that help you get clear about your values, your vision, your best next steps, getting clarity about what you want and how to get it, self-care, goal setting and tons more.

For now, I leave you with this. There’s no need to continue running yourself ragged and paying the price in your relationships, with your health and with your personal happiness. You can regain control and enjoy simplicity and ease and be effective in the areas of your life that matter to you most. It’s totally doable and you are definitely not alone.

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JUSTINE ARIAN, CPCC Certified Professional Co-Active Coach