No one today would argue with me that most Americans are overly stressed. Technology, feeling the need to immediately return text and emails, and the pace at which we live today has created an epidemic of chronic stress and mental fatigue. In fact, between 60 percent and 80 percent of doctor visits today are a result of this chronic stress. And of course, when we are stressed we make poor lifestyle choices. Which means we eat on the run, make unhealthy food choices, and take too little, if any, time to exercise, rest and do the things that bring us joy. The cumulative effect of all this stress? Burnout and chronic disease.
If you run a successful business, you know that time is precious. You’ve learned to use it wisely. If you work for someone else, you need to prioritize your responsibilities to be the most efficient at your job.
Much of my time is dedicated to my health-coaching business. Of course, my family and friends are important and day-to-day responsibilities are critical too. So I try to rank things according to the time involved and the day of the week. It’s called planning ahead, which is a very good thing. A good plan also allows you to be flexible, especially when an emergency arises.
Of all full-time employed adults in the United States, the overwhelming majority work 40 hours or more per week. Each has responsibilities, and of those who really care, most have little dispensable time. So it’s important for each of them to set priorities. Here’s how:
— Start with “must do” obligations. List what they are and note the amount of time it takes to get them done. Be specific. Break down the parts. This gives you more flexibility.
— Now list your “want to do” projects, which are generally more exciting. These include things that involve friends and family. Give each “want to do” activity more time.
One of the simplest, but not always the easiest, way to make the most of your time is to know when to say “No.” Which, naturally, is much easier when you already have a list of you day-to-day priorities. So, get yourself organized. Life is so much better when you do.