Are you burned out from doing too many things all of the time? Here are four things you can do on a daily basis to proactively feel energized and stress-free. There is one question you need to ask and remind yourself of daily to help you reprioritize what’s important to you. What is your strategic objective? The second thing you must do to feel and be on top of things is to prioritize what must be done and finished each day. And the third thing: work your to-do list. If you’re thinking, “yeah, but I already do this” or “right—that’s not gonna work.” The one thing you may have forgotten to include on your to-do list is: PLAY! And play is non-negotiable, it’s even more important than your dentist appointment or paying your bills.
Let me explain.
Tip #1: What is Your Strategic Objective?
Another way to ask this is what is your purpose in life? Or another way is to look at the patterns in your life of lessons learned…and ask yourself what are the themes that consistently run through your life? For some people it may be to help others, or to grow well-adjusted kids within an in-tact family, or to pursue your talents in a job that pays well and lets you find balance.
If you can identify what motivates you to accomplish things that make you feel complete and successful in life—you can then cross off anything on your calendar that is a TIME WASTER. If you’re doing something that doesn’t fit with your vision for yourself, then don’t do it. If you have to do it, then figure out a way to relate it to your strategic objective. Otherwise you will wind up grumpy and dissatisfied or like you’re always doing for other people. If you don’t know what your vision, strategic objective, or life purpose is—explore. Find it. And then make sure 80% of your day is taken up with doing activities that relates to this purpose.
Tip #2: Create a Weekly To-Do List AND Daily Plan of the Day
Items needed: Calendar/Planner, Weekly To-Do List, Daily To-Do List, Pen, 20 minutes 1x/week, Partner and/or Kids (if you’re in a relationship and/or raising a family)
On your calendar put down any appointments or things you have scheduled involving other people/work/exercise/meal preparation/bill paying/kids.
Then look at the next seven days. On your Weekly To-Do List write out all of your to-do’s that relate to your strategic objective first. Then write out the activities from you calendar.
Looking at this list highlight or circle those that are urgent—meaning they must be completed this week. Underline or highlight in a different color those things that are important.
If there are things that are neither urgent or important, then send regrets or reschedule to a more open week.
Tip #3: Create a Daily To-Do List, 7 days a week
Items needed: Weekly To-Do List, Daily To-Do List, Pen, Highlighter(s), 15 minutes each day
Block out 2-4 hours each day for YOU. This can be done in increments of 5 minutes or in 2 hour blocks. This time you are blocking out is for you to do stress-reducing activities aside from working out. These stress-reducing activities are for you to spend time EVERY day slowing down the pace, and doing activities that rejuvenate and refocus you. They are non-negotiable. And it doesn’t work if you save up for rainy days. Your body needs this TIME to slow down and replenish it’s stress-reducing hormones.
Each evening before you go to bed make a daily plan for the following day of what HAS to get done (i.e. your URGENT items). If you didn’t finish something from the day before, it goes to the top of your list for the following day.
In the morning re-visit the list you made from last night.
If you’re working with a coach, then your strategic objective would also incorporate visualizing the KPIs you’ve set for yourself and your identified goals.
Tip #4: Play
Take your lunch breaks, drop what you’re doing when you begin to feel overwhelmed or stressed out and do an oxytocin-producing activity if you’re a woman, or a testosterone-producing activity if you’re a man to flush the stress-producing hormone, cortisol, out of your system.
Seize the day.