4 Secret Strategies for Taking Control of Your Day
Are you feeling swamped? Overwhelmed? Exhausted? Juggling the responsibilities of your business, your family and everything else that’s been thrown on top of you? You’re not alone. These are weird times for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs alike, particularly because the lines between work and home are distorted. Don’t despair though. Here are four secret strategies that you can use to help take control of your day:
- Tackle the “meh” first. Yup. I said it. Go for the “meh” before anything else. As a first step when embarking on your day, get the mundane out of the way early. You know, those things that you put off doing because you don’t like them or they’re tedious. If you do them first, however, you will eliminate some of that nagging stress hanging over your head and get those projects off the ground. The idea here is to remove them from your mental checklist (you’ll feel lighter when you do) and to put your day into motion.
- Learn to say no! Overcommitting can be a big part of the problem. You can’t possibly do it all, and that’s OK. Teach yourself to get more comfortable with saying no to things that you don’t have time for or simply don’t want to do. If you’re not feeling it, it doesn’t mean anything to you personally or doesn’t align with your professional goals, ditch it by declining politely (and don’t feel bad about it either).
- Drop guilt. Why are we always feeling guilty about something? There is both social guilt — guilt placed upon us by society and the people in our circle — and individual guilt, which is self-imposed. Did we do enough? Not enough? Are we having too much fun? Not enough fun? Spending the right amount of time with our friends, families or partners? Stop beating yourself up. You are not a superhero. There is no such thing as perfect and no one has enough time to do everything that they want to (no one!), so let yourself off the hook.
- Maintain perspective and treat yourself. Train yourself to look at the big picture as well as the day-to-day. Did you do everything that you had planned? Good. Reward yourself for your efforts. Go for a walk, treat yourself to a spa visit or a chocolate cupcake, or just give yourself a pat on the back. Celebrating your productivity will help you to become even more productive. Work smarter (not harder) to get what you want out of life.
The bottom line with taking control of your day is that it starts with you. That's right, you're in the driver's seat here. No one (and I do mean no one) else is going to worry about it for you. It’s your job to find that balance, manage your schedule and focus on productivity and time management techniques to make the most of your hours. If you learn to implement these four secret strategies, you’ll put yourself on the path to a happier and more productive day!