I woke up this morning with a very clear idea of what I was going to do – pass through the kitchen, pick up my proverbial cup of coffee, and settle into my office over looking the garden and write my blog …
I get as far as the kitchen, start the coffee… I survey the kitchen and see the things left undone from last night when I was feeling tired and eager to flop into bed – do I ignore the mess and continue on my mission to my office, or do I clear the decks in the kitchen?
I managed to overcome the kitchen – reminding myself that our helper will be in later this morning, so I am now settled into my office, hot coffee in hand, sitting in comfort while my computer boots up, so glad this one only seems to take 30 seconds.
I have the joy of looking out into the garden on two sides of the room and am quite over come by the beauty of the garden after the first rains this weekend. All signs of the seasonal change, summer is on its way!
Having one of those “fruit’ branded computers I have all sorts of icons bouncing around my screen silently calling “pick me, pick me”. The temptation is too strong, before I know it I am hooked into emails, and linkedin and facebook – and then my alarm goes off, it is 6h30! A stark reminder that I have just lost the time I had gained by spontaneously waking up half an hour earlier than planned.
There are only 24 hours in the day and there is only me who can do what I am required to do as my core responsibilities. How do we prioritise those core things when there are all these other distractions which seem ‘SO IMPORTANT’ in the moment?
Stephen Covey’s book “the seven habits of highly effective people” has a useful teaching about prioritizing things
If you stop for a moment – ask yourself two questions:
“How important is this?”
“Does this help me achieve my immediate or long term goals?”
When you have the answer to these questions you know whether you need to continue with it or put it aside for now, for later or forever.
The old adage “A moment in time saves nine” – has never been more true than now! Taking a moment to check in with self when we feel overwhelmed with all that has to be done…
Asking yourself the two questions and placing them in one of the four quadrants will allow you to see what is urgent and important i.e what must be done immediately and what can follow.
Once you have this matrix in your minds eye – it becomes easier to be able to quickly prioritise activities, whether it be for yourself, family, or work. By placing the activity into the matrix, it does not get forgotten because it has its place.
Of course if we live in a world of “urgent and important “ all the time (quadrant 1) we are in high stress. This is not healthy for us as our body is pumping stress hormones all through our body!
So with a little planning we could be choosing to live in “important and not urgent” (Quadrant 2) where we are achieving and progressing without intense stress and enjoying some of the “not urgent, not important” fun things in life (Quadrant 4).
If you would like to be experiencing more of ‘Quadrant 2’ living but feel overwhelmed, stuck and over-stressed then make an appointment with yourself and start prioritising how you spend your time.
Still stuck? Then drop me a note and we can set up a coaching session and I can support you in learning these processes that can de-stress your life!