We all know how being completely overwhelmed feels like. It can really jam us in our tracks, and for some, it introduces to them the idea of giving up.
The fact is that we sometimes become so busy being busy that we lose sight of why we are so busy in the first place. Have you ever felt that way before? Feeling completely lost and not knowing where to begin in order to clear the burgeoning to-do list?
At times like that, we really need to pause and go through all our activities to find out how we can make things simpler. There is no point letting life and work overpower us so much that we do not have space to breathe and we end up compromising our peace of mind, relationships and health.
Here are my explanations of the 7 steps to simplify your life and work as taught by Brian Tracy in his book ‘Focal Point’. Even if you go through just a couple of these steps, it will help you to simplify your life by a few notches.
When work or tasks seem to be getting out of hand, you have to take a step back and think about what you are currently doing.
Maybe there is a better way to do things? You have to be open to look at things from a different perspective.
Sometimes, we can get so entrenched in our daily activities that we fail to see the big picture of how every part is fitting into the puzzle. We need to take a step back, or a few steps back to think about what we are doing.
Spend some time looking at what you are doing based on today, not based on how it was or how it might be in the future.
Are you doing the right thing for the present circumstances?
If you are working for someone and feeling overwhelmed, you may want to ask yourself questions like, “Is this what I want to do?”, “Is this the only thing I can do?”, “Are there any other jobs that I can do?” etc.
If you are a burnt out freelancer or business owner, you can ask questions like, “Am I reaching out to the right people?”, “Is this what I really want to do?” etc.
There are countless ways to accomplish certain tasks. You must be open to constant reorganization.
Take a look at your processes and change the sequence of the steps in order to improve your output.
See if your daily schedule can be made better by prioritizing different tasks at different times of the day.
You may even want to reorganize your office to maximize productivity and cut down unnecessary time wastage.
According to the Pareto Principle, 20% of the work accounts for 80% of the results.
Do you know what this 20% is? Find out what accounts for most of your results and do more of that. As for the remaining activities, you may want to consider delegating them to others.
Simply doing this one thing will take loads of work off your back and you will be able to better focus on the stuff that truly matter.
There may be some tasks you are currently doing that have a lot of steps. Take a look at those tasks and aim to reduce the number of steps by 30%.
Doing something the same way for too long can create unnecessary steps added in without proper thought. These can be eliminated.
Also avoid making several people handle a single task. Instead, assign it to one person and hold him/her responsible for it. This way, you can not only minimize possible errors or miscommunication, you will also save a lot of time that might otherwise be wasted sending the task back and forth and clarifying on this and that.
Your knowledge base should be constantly increasing. As your knowledge grows, ask yourself this question, “If I were to start all over again, how would I do things differently based on what I now know?” This question will give you fresh perspectives on how you can completely revamp yourself, your life and your work.
After that, you should be clearer on what is the next journey that you want to embark on and how exactly you want it to be.
7) Regain Control
Now that you have relooked everything you have been doing and made the necessary amendments, you are free to set new goals and directions.
List out the action steps necessary, roll up your sleeves, get to work, and achieve your goals!