Tips for 'Busy-ness'
Phil Cooke (writer, television producer, and media consultant who’s worked with Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Salvation Army, Mercy Ships, The American Bible Society, and many more) addresses us who are tempted to think, “I’m so busy, but don’t seem to be accomplishing anything. There never seems to be enough time to relax, read a book, reflect, or think.” If you find yourself complaining about how busy you are, try his tips, especially regarding your digital life.
Tip #1: Turn off your computer and mobile device notifications. Do you really need to know the moment a person responds to your tweet or Facebook post? Do you really need to be alerted the exact second every email arrives? You talk about over kill. Let it rest.
Tip #2: Schedule two times (no more than three times) a day to check your email. Can you go a whole day without rapid-fire reading and responding or filing of emails?
Tip #3: Clean up your workspace. This doesn’t mean at work only, but also at home. The key is knowing where everything is. I spend too much time everyday trying to find my keys, that important item, the tool needed for a repair, etc. Half your daily stress comes from searching under piles of papers for that thing you desperately need. Take a few hours and tidy up. Sure it’s a pain, but once it’s done, your stress levels will lower immensely.
Tip #4: Keep an updated to-do list. Get tasks out of your email onto a list that you can prioritize. You can’t see the big picture until you see everything on a list. How many projects do you have at home that never get done because you forget about them? Write them on a list and post it on the refrigerator. While you’re at work too; get projects and tasks on a list- you can even use an app for this- and look at them at the end of every day. Check off the ones you accomplished and add new ones as needed.
Tip #5: Learn to say no. Too many people double up on their schedule. You can’t be at every activity all at the same time. Simply decline meetings which are adding to a schedule that’s already full.
Tip #6: Schedule time off. If you don’t intentionally put it on the calendar it will never happen. I’m not talking about vacation but an afternoon at the museum, shopping, taking a nap, reading a book, anything that will get your mind off work and help you clean out the mental pipes. Walking is one of the cheapest de-stressors you can do to enhance your mood.