Why are you in such a Hurry?

 

 

Do you push yourself to meet every deadline?

Do you consider every task a top priority?

Do you multi-task every thing?

Do you feel guilty when you have free time?

You quality for a new group  of behaviors called excessive- time- urgency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why are you in such a hurry? Because you excessively worry about schedules and rush as a habit even when it is not necessary to hurry.

 Why hurry up no matter what?

I realized that my father was rushed and rushing us when going places because he was worried about the appearance of being late. He was stuck on the idea that if you cannot get there on time, don’t bother showing up. That created a lot of stress in the getting ready to go anywhere for all of us.

You might have a friend that is constantly in motion. If there is not enough activity, this friend will make a new project and attempt to pull you into the activity. If you want help cleaning out your closets, invite this friend over. However being around constant high levels of energy can be exhausting when you just want to sit quietly with a cup of tea. So consider your needs and activity levels when you plan your down time. Do you allow yourself down time? Time with nothing in particular planned for you to do?

What are the consequences of getting stuck in this pattern of hurry up no matter what?

You will have high stress levels based on your constant whirlwind of activity. Part of your rush is based on getting everything just right. This perfectionism creates unrealistic expectations and more stress. When you hurry you are more likely to make mistakes which leads to rework. Rework adds to an already busy schedule.

You will miss out on the everyday joy around you.

There is no time for self-care and playtime when you life is in hurry up mode.

Why are you in such a hurry? What are you missing out on?

Check yourself  Take why are you in a hurry assessment

How do you break this pattern of hurry up no matter what?

  1. Focus on one thing at a time. Give your full attention to one thing; see how that feels for a change.
  2. Rethink, reflect and prioritize your tasks. Not everything is high priority.
  3. Separate work from play. Allow time to be flexible with your recreational activity
  4. Plan ahead. Planning avoids the rush because you did not think ahead. Set up planning time so you can think ahead without the pressure of instant decisions on what is up next.
  5. Get realistic about your expectations of time. Are you trying to do too many things in too short of a time?
  6. Slow down. Pay attention to life and people around you. Listen first before you jump into action. That alone can save you time by having all the information first.
  7. Allow down time everyday just for you. Start with 10 minutes. Take that time for doing nothing. It might be uncomfortable. Try it and see what happens.

Hurry up no matter what is a pattern of activity that leads to burnout and overwhelm. When you slow down to recognize that you have choices, time can be a gift instead of another stress factor.

Work Life Balance made Simple

How to make work life balance simple:

  • Everything is not equally important. Do fewer things and do them well.
  • Decide what your values are — and which ones take precedence.
  • Do the things that get results.
  • Focus on the things only you can do.
  • Do the important things, which must be done now.

Work life balance can be simple over time. It won’t be resolved tomorrow but you can get much, much better at this with practice.

Five Key concepts that make work life balance simple:

  1. Learn to say no.

Say no to requests that are not your highest-level priority. Ask your self: am I being helpful or I am doing someone else’s work for them? Is this the best use of my time right now?

You can do anything once you stop trying to do everything.

When you say yes to one request, stop to think what you are saying no to at the same time. You can only spend your time on one thing at a time.

  1. Plan ahead.

Planning out your schedule makes sure the important things get done. Setting up a list for each day, helps you stay on track.

Schedule the important things on your calendar. If getting to your daughters soccer game is important, put that on the schedule.

Schedule some time for yourself as if it was an important meeting.

When you plan ahead for your high value activities, they happen. If you neglect to plan you end up dealing with what ever comes at you in a random fashion.

That feels like a lack of control and is exhausting to react rather than take action.

 

  1. Bundle chores or errands.

Check your patterns; be mindful of how you spend your time and the choices you make on a daily/ weekly basis. How many trips to you make to the grocery store?

When you have a plan for meals you can reduce time spent at the store and preparing meals. Plan ahead for errands and take once a week to do them.

Return phone calls in a batch at work. Save low priority tasks for when you need a mental break.

 

  1. Manage work time

Start each day with the high priority list. Plan ahead on what time you will leave work each day. Cut back on distractions by closing your door or asking questions when you are interrupted. Asking questions can save everyone time. Ask about time, priority and who else is involved before you take on another project.

What is the deadline for this? What do you need from me right now? If someone brings you a problem or needs help: ask first: What solutions do you have in mind? Or ask what have you tried first? Refer back to # 1. Learn to say no.

 

  1. Enjoy weekends and vacation time.

When you are home, really be home. Keep work out of your personal time.

Unplug from work emails, phone calls or texts. Don’t feel like you have to spend every spare moment on chores or tasks. Set up personal rest time doing something fun and enjoyable, even if it seems wasteful. It is not. Time for self-care is critical to enjoying your life and reducing stress.

My final few thoughts are about letting go of expectations and being perfect.

Give up on perfection. Good enough is good enough for many tasks. Other people can do things instead of you doing everything. You just have to let them.

Gaining a work life balance is a process. Reflecting on what is important to you is the first step to making changes that last. Feeling unbalanced? Contact Gwen for a grounding coaching session.

Click here to get a 30 min coaching time

Responsibility- Is this Mine?

When did I first learn that I was responsible?  Some where in the lesson of responsibility – I twisted up what I was responsible for. I took on the belief that I was responsible for all others first, that I was responsible for other people. That I was responsible for happiness, feelings, outcomes, being perfect, doing it all.

That other people’s feelings and needs came before mine. I used to think that doing things for others was important and I was not important.  Now I reject that belief and have let go of my idea of being responsible for the entire universe.  Are you really in charge of the universe today? Only when I ask myself that out loud does it sound silly.

Responsibility is a habit that is difficult to sort out at times. I am at heart a responsible person. It is the order of my belief that has changed. I cannot be helpful, compassionate or caring when I am overwhelmed or carrying the weight of all responsibility around with me. What happens if you pick up every task or problem that you see? How many of these problems or rocks can you carry and still keep moving without impacting your own health?

thumb_img_0406_1024

On good days, I will gently hand you back the responsibility you attempt to pass over to me. On bad days, I will say yes to anything asked of me, and then get angry or upset when I realize I have taken on too much responsibility again. When I carry around things for other people, there is no space in my life for me. I am important. I need to be responsible to me before you.  Another lesson to be learned.

When I do forget and slip back into that outdated idea of what is mine, I am able to remind myself by asking better questions.  Is this really mine? Pause. Say no before yes. Who does this belong to? Why would you ask me that? Is this mine?

I am responsible.

I am responsible for my own happiness.

I am responsible for self -care, honoring my feelings, being kind to myself.

I believe that self- care is critical to self- development and growth.

I am responsible for me.

How to Save Time

take your seat

 

Would you like to have an extra hour in every day? How would it feel to have plenty of time every day? We all have the same amount of time. We all get to decide how we spend it every day. In reading articles about time management: I found two main areas of focus. One was how to create systems and shortcuts to be more efficient with your time on daily tasks. The second idea was to make deliberate choices on how you spend your time in a way that reflects on what is important to you.

I think the easy logical path is to plan ahead, creates systems, get rid of clutter and make specific to do lists to manage your time. This is frequently the first choice for traditional time management. Best ideas for this area include:

Plan your weekly menus. You will save time and money at the grocery store. This helps you avoid extra trips to the store and you have healthy snacks and lunch stuff ready to go every day.

Cook in batches. Make enough food for leftovers and to freeze for another week.

This gives you an easy healthy option for a busy day.

Get rid of clutter. It is easier to focus when your physical area is clear. No clutter makes it easy to find things, you spend less time searching, moving piles around or repeatedly sorting through things.

 

 

The other time management choice is to stop and examine how you are spending your time.

Here are some questions to help you clarify where you want to spend your time.

  • Are you spending your time on high value activity?
  • Do you find joy in your daily routine?
  • Are there things you want to stop doing or get rid of?
  • Are there areas that that you want to spend more time in?

Annie Dillard wrote, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” The choice is yours. You can learn to catch yourself before things catch and entangle you. Try to apply mindfulness — intentional and nonjudgmental consideration — to everything you do, say, and think, before you blindly react.

Instead of keeping an ongoing list of things we should do or need to do. Stop and reflect on what things you want to do that enrich your life and nourish you. Turn your to do list into a “what matters most list”.

Need more ideas on your specific needs around time?

Schedule a call with Coach Gwen

Just Hang on

Have you ever had a week or a series of weeks where your schedule was so packed full that you had to keep moving between events without thinking or pausing to wonder how it got this way?

I am in the second week of such a schedule with 4 days left of jam packed commitments.  I have stopped long enough to figure out who did this to me?  Me. Why did I think it was a good idea to have only one day off a week for two weeks in a row and then schedule that day with activities that had to be done. How did this happen? You might understand, another clinic was shorthanded so I offered to pick up a few extra days.  Who hasn’t offered to fill in when needed to help out another person who needed to be off? So how do you survive a schedule that gives little or no time for rest or recovery? How do you get through it? I had time to prepare. I cooked ahead and froze healthy meals. I still make time for exercise even if it is a 15 minute walk. I hold myself to shutting down by brain and computer by a set time at night. I find I need some decompression time before going to sleep, so my brain can wind down from a busy schedule. The good things that come from a busy schedule:

  • I get absolutely clear on what is important or critical to get done
  • It becomes easy to say no to anything extra
  • I have asked for help more often
  • I hold my sleep time as essential
  • I resolve to not allow this packed schedule to happen again

What have you done to hang on when your schedule gets crazy? Do you recognize when you have too much going? How much time to you have to just to nothing? If you have something scheduled for every minute of the day- it might be time to step back and readjust. Just hang on- is a good motto for survival weeks. I prefer to have a daily motto reflects a healthy balance of work, fun and play. What can you do to hold your schedule to reflect what you need in life?

Try blocking out times for you. Amazing things happen when you hold open space for your own life to unfold.

Just Hang On

Have you ever had a week or a series of weeks where your schedule was so packed full that you had to keep moving between events without thinking or pausing to wonder how it got this way?
I am in the second week of such a schedule with 4 days left of jam packed commitments. I have stopped long enough to figure out who did this to me? Me. Why did I think it was a good idea to have only one day off a week for two weeks in a row and then schedule that day with activities that had to be done. How did this happen? You might understand, another clinic was shorthanded so I offered to pick up a few extra days. Who hasn’t offered to fill in when needed to help out another person who needed to be off? So how do you survive a schedule that gives little or no time for rest or recovery? How do you get through it? I had time to prepare. I cooked ahead and froze healthy meals. I still make time for exercise even if it is a 15 minute walk. I hold myself to shutting down by brain and computer by a set time at night. I find I need some decompression time before going to sleep, so my brain can wind down from a busy schedule. The good things that come from a busy schedule:
• I get absolutely clear on what is important or critical to get done
• It becomes easy to say no to anything extra
• I have asked for help more often
• I hold my sleep time as essential
• I resolve to not allow this packed schedule to happen again
What have you done to hang on when your schedule gets crazy? Do you recognize when you have too much going? How much time to you have to just to nothing? If you have something scheduled for every minute of the day- it might be time to step back and readjust. Just hang on- is a good motto for survival weeks. I prefer to have a daily motto reflects a healthy balance of work, fun and play. What can you do to hold your schedule to reflect what you need in life?
Try blocking out times for you. Amazing things happen when you hold open space for your own life to unfold.

De-clutter your brain

De-Clutter your Brain
Do you ever wonder how you will know when your brain is too full to store any more information? For me, it happens when I get stuck with so many small tasks and details swirling around that I cannot decide what to work on where to even begin. We have so much information coming at us on a daily or hourly basis-too much to gather up and keep. If your brain was great at tracking and storing information- you would always remember things when you needed to and not an hour or a day later. Have you ever come home from doing errands and then remembered the one item you forgot to pick up? Of course you have.
Your brain is not a good storage unit; too many good ideas get lost or come up as a distraction when you are in the middle of something else. Your brain is being wasted as a storage unit. It is much better at problem solving and generating ideas than just holding all your thoughts in place until you need them. So here is an idea to de-clutter your brain. Get all that information out of your brain and into the next steps of doing something with it. You can call this a mind dump, a brain clearing activity or just a way to get clarity on all the stuff you think you need to do.
Take the time to sit down and write down every single thing or task that is taking up space in your mind. Keep writing out any idea, thought or action that comes to mind without trying to sort or go into details. The best practice I have found is to write each thing on a separate piece of paper. This allows me to sort them into categories easily as the next step.
Now I sort the list into areas that make sense to me. All time related items go on my schedule as an action or a reminder of an upcoming time related deadline. I have a great idea folder or pile- things that are interesting that I don’t have time to dive into right now. I have a someday maybe pile of things that would be nice to do but are not really important or a priority. Once they go into that pile, I don’t have to keep thinking about them anymore.
My biggest value from this exercise is pulling out projects- any collection of things I am working on which require more than one step- are considered projects. They each get a page or note on my computer- so I can track them and move them along with actions one step at a time.
Once I have a good list of all the projects I have going- it is much easier for me to manage them and I get much better at saying no to new things. This alone saves me from getting overwhelmed.
I give credit to the mind dump idea and many of my organizational systems to David Allen, author of Getting Things Done Fast. I think you need to make any system one that works for you and that you use on a regular basis. I do a mind clearing exercise at least once a week to keep me on track.

How do you spend your time?

Here are a few ideas to help you manage your “stuff” and find a sense of satisfaction from taking actions that move you in a direction of your choice instead of being stuck in overwhelm.

What is your Highest Value Activity?
What are the things that you do better than anyone else? Make a list of all the things you really enjoy doing and where you are really good at getting results. Consider the activities or areas that other people ask you for help in. Focus in on the things that you get the most satisfaction from doing.
I know that you have heard that common saying that 20% of your time produces 80% of your results. The key is stopping long enough to really define and understand what actions contribute to your best results, professional development and personal satisfaction.
Determine the key things that you do that contribute the most to your desired outcomes.
When you spent more time in this area you would see an increase in results. When you focus in on one thing each day- you are less likely to get stuck in overwhelm at the end of the day. So many small things add up that they can grab your attention and you are busy all day- yet end the day feeling like you did not accomplish anything. If that sounds familiar: try asking yourself these two questions everyday: What one thing do I need to accomplish today? What is the best use of my time right now?

Pay Attention

I work with some people, who have memory loss. What I have learned is that activity has to have a function to make sense to my clients. Doing something without a reason or not being able to connect that activity to what they want to do is a flop. So walking outside is enjoyable, tossing a ball is a natural reaction, while lifting leg weights does not have a strong connection to daily needs. What if I took that lesson into my own life? How much time do I spend doing things that make sense and bring purpose to my life? How much of my time is busy time, filling up the space with activity without understanding what it does for me? Do I stop to ask – how does this activity fit into my life’s purpose? A curious exercise would be to start paying attention to the value of how I spend my time. I challenge you to do the same. If you placed a higher value on your time: what things would you do more of and what things would you stop doing? Try making a list- it is amazing the difference when you take ideas out of your head and put them in front of you on paper. Then pay attention to where your time goes and how you spend it. Why am I more careful with my money and so careless with my time?

Faster and Faster-can you find your turn?

How do you know that you are stuck in over whelm? I know when it happens to me. I shut down. I cannot make a decision, no matter how small. Every project seems to be too big to start and I don’t know how to decide which project needs my attention first.
Overwhelm feels like a NJ roundabout where you keep missing your turn so you just drive faster because none of the choices seem like the right one.
The big question is how to you get out of overwhelm and stop driving in circles? Step One- recognize your early warning signals that you are headed towards overwhelm. Define what that means and feels like for you. Step Two- stop everything and step back to look at the big picture. It is easy to get caught up in busy and moving fast without stopping to plan first. The stop and plan part will help you make decisions ahead of time on where to best spend your time. What if you only had time to get one thing done today? Would you know what thing was the most important? Or would you fill that time with busy work, instead of high priority work. Step Three- Be realistic about what you really can accomplish every day. Keep your do to lists short and prioritize.
When I am at my best, I spend two hours of the week planning. Just thinking and organizing my time for the week ahead. I like to say I only think hard once a week. Then I can just follow the action steps and work through the list as time allows. My other best process is breaking down projects into smaller steps. I can see progress when I can accomplish one step at a time. Moving forward happens one step and one day at a time. It feels good to pay attention to that progress and be grateful for what I did accomplish everyday instead of what I did not.

1 2