How to be productive, while mindful of self-care?
From getting ready in the morning, and navigating through the day, balancing family, work, people we care for with a mile long task list, to feeling blessed when we manage to get a full night's sleep, we all know, what being busy means.
Let's just stop for one sec (okay, 3 minutes, this article is a 3 minute read) and ask ourselves: is our busy week also productive? Do we get tangible results, that bring us closer to the life we want to live?
Where to start, when we would switch from being super-busy (often hand in hand with feeling overwhelmed, tired, stressed, exhausted) to productive (leading to contentment, confidence, success)?
I strongly believe in the power of habits, so in the below I detail one specific habit, developing which proved to be the most impactful for me so far:
Define the three most important task of the day each morning, and don't do anything else until these three are not completed.
Let me show it through an example.
Let's say you would like to have a truly wonderful year end. 2020 has not been an easy year (to say the least), so you want to make sure, at least the closure of it will leave a nice taste in your mouth.
This we will call Your Ultimate Goal. The one goal you would like every day get you closer to.
Now we set up subgoals you need to complete during the next 3 months, to accomplish the Ultimate One.
One subgoal may be to have a great Xmas family dinner, planned & prepared in a way that you don't get exhausted by the time you should actually sit down & celebrate; involving your loved ones, whether you can meet face to face or through a screen. The other might be a specific time set aside with your partner, to celebrate each others' contribution to getting through the year, the qualities you (re-)discovered in each other during lockdown, the appreciation & love you'd like for sure express towards each other, before opening the next chapter. In this example I will stop at these two, you might want to set three sub-goals, depending on the Ultimate Goal; but don't go overboard, and set more, because that again might lead to pressure & frustration.
The next step is to get a list of all the ongoing projects in your life. Parenting, work, romantic and other relationships, financial & legal responsibilities, self-care etc. Prioritize them in relation to your Ultimate Goal - some projects will directly support, some might even challenge it. Take a look at what's on your plate right now, through the lens of what you want to achieve by year end.
There are 14 weeks from today to the 24th of December. Plan these weeks strategically. While under today's circumstances each week might bring a new regulation, that overwrites plans, your progress towards what's important for you is still within your own control. Set milestones for each week, a clear point to pass, that makes you be aware of where you are in your process, and how do you get closer to your subgoals.
In our example, the first week's milestone could be that you decide what dinner you want to prepare, and select all the dishes; or plan one small gift for each loved one you cannot see face to face this year (sent via post or online).
Start each day with setting one key task, that are essential to your success. Make sure, that you complete your daily tasks. This will help you focus on your Ultimate Goal; and avoid getting derailed by your busy daily routine.
It might sound complex, but trust me, it is not. You set One Ultimate Goal, that makes a positive difference in your life in the next max.3 months. You define one weekly goal, accomplishing which makes you at the end complete Your Ultimate One. You set one task for each day, that helps you complete your weekly tasks. This way, there is one single action you have to complete a day, without multitasking, getting lost, stressed and exhausted. Starting the day with ticking that task off provides immediate success, which is a boost of confidence, positive energy, confidence (all under the big umbrella of self-care); and on a long run shapes your morning routine, helping you become more goal-oriented, strategic, productive & content.
How does it sound? I am happy to serve your success, whether it comes to goal setting and progress; as well as boosting your self-confidence and trust in the process. Contact me for a free of charge intro call on how it could best work for you in practice.