If you are overcommitted, your first line of defense is to learn to use the word “no.” Practice saying it the next time someone asks you to cat-sit, or help them move on short notice. Be polite, of course, but realize you are not obligated to do something just because a friend (or significant other) has asked you to. A recent article in Good Housekeeping talks about major time traps to look out for: procrastinating, committing to too many things, failing to prioritize, and being late are all bad habits that can create more stress for you, as well as the people around you who are depending on you.
When you are trying constantly to please everyone, you may end up pleasing no one. You may even notice people responding to you with anger, resentment, or (most unpleasant of all) pity. Changing your ways isn’t easy, but it can surely be done. Make a commitment to trying at least one or two of these ideas this month, and continue 2018 with confidence, and calmness.
Try delegating some of your responsibilities to save time and/or money. Some people think it’s smart to multitask, but scientists have determined that what we think of as doing several things at once is really just switching back and forth between activities rapidly—and that this primarily leads to doing several things poorly.
Take Care With Multitasking
With that said, some activities are so compatible that they can, in fact, be performed simultaneously—such as getting some exercise and walking your dog. But once you add pushing a baby in a stroller, and answering e-mails on your smart phone, you could end up in an accident. Doing one thing (or two very similar things) at a time will lead to less overall stress, and more thorough completion of each task.
Having Clarity of Goals and Life Purpose
You can save a tremendous amount of time by crossing off the unimportant issues on your to-do list, and focusing on the high priority items. Before you decide what’s important and what isn’t, clarify for yourself what you are trying to accomplish—not just today, but this week, this month, and this year. When setting goals, use the SMARTER system: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely, ethical, and reasonable.
Organize Your Space to Organize Your Mind
You know the stressful feeling when you walk into a messy room? Now picture a serene space: an indoor garden, perhaps, or a spa. The physical environments we live in affect our emotional states; even thinking about a room can change how we feel. So in the name of greater productivity in 2018, consider decluttering: getting rid of old, outdated, and obsolete items in your home, office, and car. Some people like to use Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese art of placement, to decorate their office or home. Through this practice, they can better concentrate, relax, and draw in positive energy, wealth, and opportunities. Finally, let go of anger, expectations, and resentment, so that you have more energy to move forward and do well in life.