Last week I talked about the need to simplify our lives. We all know it is easier said than done. Here is the process that I go through, and one that might be helpful to you (If you are married, try to work through it together):
- Take some time to write down your current activities—everything you are presently doing. Everything. I usually just do this with a pen and yellow pad. I will fill several pages. It will take awhile but it is a necessary process. You need to face what is going on with your life.
- Go through each item on the list and ask yourself, “why am I doing this?” or “what is my motive?” While this may be painful, it will help you to get to the heart of things.
- Prioritize your list of activities in order of importance and mark each one:
- Those things that are indispensable to your life.
- Those things that are important to you.
- Those things that someone else could probably be doing.
- Those things that are a just a waste of time.
- Drop the things that are a waste of time, delegate the things that others could be doing, and postpone some of the ones that are important.
- Rework your schedule and activities and calendarize them. Start with the indispensable, then schedule in margin. After you have done this you can put in a few other things. Remember, margin is what you didn’t have and the indispensable was getting crowded out.
- Plan your transition to the “new normal” and give yourself deadlines.
- Put it all in writing.
- Make yourself accountable to a trusted friend who will follow up with you.
These are tools I use. I am sure you can find many others. I wish I could say that I did this once and have been cruising along ever since. The truth is I already have my yellow pad out for 2014 and am ready to go back to work.