January has ended and I am pretty sure, all of our New Year’s Resolutions have slowly fall off the tracks and become an item in the next year’s list. I spent the month researching on ways on how to remain focus and most importantly – how to make the process easier.
The first thing, I asked myself was how to stay on tack for 365 days, when I am literally “running on green tea and dry shampoo”. That was when I stumbled with this post ‘How to Manage It All: Work, Side Hustles, Eating Healthy, Staying Fit, Relationships, Etc’ that I would like to share with you. The writer list some guidelines on how to be productive. It was a great read that I recommend if you have 10min to spare. I often get asked a similar question. “How do I manage to get so many things done?” My answer is what the article, so well explains: time management and self-discipline. Keeping in mind that if you are spending time in one area of your life, it is likely another one will receive less attention.
But can I really manage it all? No one, can successfully manage “ALL” at all times. BUT, if all means what you choose to have on your plate on a certain given moment, then the answer is yes. The trick is to pick and choose activities for a given moment. Now, how to stay focus? How to not get distracted with the “side hustles”?
- Establish a few goals for your year – this can be big abstract things, or something simple like work hard to get 6-pack abs, or read 5 books. I often think that a small to-do list is less overwhelming and easy than a big list that increases anxiety and therefore failure.
- Plan/Partition your goals – some goals can be achieve in a few months or less, like learning something new. Others will take some time, like changing habits. Breaking bad habits or creating good ones take 30 days. Which now takes me to the next point…
- Commit – there is no change without commitment and perseverance. So you need to ask yourself “How much do I really want this to happen?” Refusing to give up, being passionate about a goal will eventually lead in success.
There are many tools on the web, that can help you stay organized. You need to find the one that works for you, but recognize when a tool is just not working Experiment, try it out.
Executing the 3 items above, this is what works for me:
- Visual Board – I have a visual board in my office with my year goals and life goals. That is a great visual reminder of what I want to do or be.
- iCal on all my apple devices – I have a few calendars set up on iCal. Each calendar has a color and a purpose so I can recognize the activity type easily. My family subscribes to “Family Calendar” so we are all in the same page – that saves me time, reminding them what will happen in the day. What do I do with extra time? MORE things!
- A simple paper notebook and a pen. I got this tip from a friend that did therapy for a while. In each page, add a date and a small to-do list for that day. The trick is, if you get pulled in many directions during your day and end up doing 10 things that are not on your list. Write them down and immediately cross them as complete. Why? At the end of the day, if you did only one thing of your determined to-do list, but did 10 other things, you will realize how much you have accomplished on that day, and why you were not able to do some of your set to-do’s. You create a feeling of accomplishment, AND you start to realized how and where you are loosing focus. I have been using this method at work so I don’t feel bad if I am late one or two days on a task. I can show my boss all the other things I was doing instead. This year, I will do the same in my personal life with one caveat – I will add a one weekly goal. Each Monday I will think of a goal, I want to complete by the end of the week that leads me toward my big abstract goals like loosing weight, 6-pack abs, learn UX Design, whatever I want to accomplish. And no matter what I will make that happen!