Time, energy and attention are not only our most valuable resources, but they're also the only ones over which we have control.
"When you have all three of these working for you, it's easy to be productive. If you're struggling, you need to figure out where the disconnect is, and take steps to address the problem."
"Working too much or too hard completely shatters your productivity because doing so robs you of two of your most valuable resources - your time and your energy."
What could we do differently to ensure that we thrive? What is the secret to avoiding overwhelm, exhaustion and distractions? There are 3 irrefutable ways in which to strengthen our resilience. The first, is to get 7 - 9 hours of good quality sleep. The second is to eat healthily and the third is to exercise regularly.
"When you throw more energy at your work without nurturing your energy levels along the way, with exercise, regular breaks, eating well and having fun, you're going to burn out."
"Every day you invest your time, energy and attention into seven hotspots : mind, body, emotions, career, finances, relationships and fun. See your hotspots as a portfolio to make sure you don't overinvest in some areas and underinvest in others."
What if we were to begin with a calculation? Calculate how much available time you have during your waking hours. Your sum might look something like this:
A.T. = TOTAL WAKING HOURS - PERSONAL COMMITMENTS - WORK COMMITMENTS - A.R.
Where A.T. = Available Time and A.R. = Attention Residue (the amount of time it takes to re-establish your focus after an interruption. (The TEAM Framework.)
Once we know how much time we have available to us and what our goal, task or intention is, we can then create a schedule. A wise decision thereafter, is to use a techinique called, Time Blocking, by blocking out at least one block daily of 30 - 90 minutes for Focus Work, work that requires uninterrupted time. Make sure that you have identified which part of the day is best suited to that uninterrupted block of time. Find an effective way of informing those around you that you do not want to be disturbed.
Create a clean and tidy environment by clearing any clutter. " Your environment is the invisible hand that guides your attention ."
Allocate specific times during which to respond to calls and emails. Choose when to make yourself available. These two habits will GUARANTEE you more time in your day for important and productive work.
Eliminate all distractions from your electronic devices and other people.Resist the temptation to waste your time on things that offer you no future value. Prioritize your tasks. Allocate high value tasks for high energy periods. Focus on one task at a time and track your progress. Take regular breaks by stepping outside, breathing deeply and looking up at the sky.
While researching this topic, Time, Energy and Attention, I came across a technique of which I had never heard. It's called the Pomodoro Technique, a technique of working in short intervals. The idea is to work for 25 minutes and then to take a 5 minute break. After 4 Pomodoros, you treat yourself to a 15 - 30 minutes break. I tried it and found it to be very effective.
" Many people worry that saying, 'No,' will make them look selfish, but it's one of the best ways to take care of yourself and your time. When you take care of this, you'll have more energy to devote to the important things."
" The most motivated and productive people are the ones who constantly question why they're doing what they doing." They are certain of their values. " The key is to determine what you value and what motivates you the most, and then to take on tasks and responsibilities that fit in with your values."
" Without motivation, you will find yourself procrastinating, focusing on the wrong work, frustrated and on the fast track to burnout."
" Always work with a specific purpose in mind. Intention behind your actions is like wood behind an arrow, and when you continually question the purpose of what you're doing, you can make sure your actions are aligned with a purpose that is meaningful to you. "
Making progress with meaningful work enhances our happiness and well-being and builds our resilience. We thrive!
So, the next time you're tempted to say, " I have so much to do and not enough time in which to do it, " or " If only there were more hours in the day," ask yourself, " How could I invest my time, energy and attention more effectively?"
Anyone for T - E - A?
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