Ask ten people you know what’s going on in their lives and at least 9 of them will tell you how busy they are. In fact, according to the Washington Post, being “too busy” was the #1 reason that Americans didn’t vote. That sounds a bit crazy to me but there’s no doubt most of us have so much going on that life often feels like a juggling routine. Every new task we get is a shiny red ball thrown into the air to join our juggling act.
I don’t have time is the grown-up version of the dog ate my homework. -Howdoigetfit.com
For years I’ve been reminding myself and others that we all have the same 24 hours to get things done. We have the same number of hours in our days that Einstein, Gates, and Bell (among others) had. It all comes down to how we use the time that we have.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? –Mary Oliver
Proof of the busy epidemic can easily be found with a quick search on the internet. There are thousands of books, sites, blogs, and posts designed to help us be more productive, stay organized, and make better use of our time and I have tried – and discarded – hundreds of them. While I still have to work every day to keep all the balls in the air without dropping one, tripping over it, and sending them all crashing to the ground, I have come up with a system that (mostly) works for me. And, while we are all different, you might find some that work for you, too.
You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. -John C. Maxwell
- Years ago I found a version of this “morning brain dump” and thought the concept was exactly what I needed. And it was – sort of. The problem for me is that my brain is void in the morning and there is nothing to dump. It’s at night, when I should be sleeping, that my mind runs on a continuous loop of all the things I need to do. I needed a bedtime brain dump like this one. Of course, taking the time to print it eventually became an issue for me and I wound up with a notebook and pen that I leave on the side of my bed for the nightly brain dump and all the genius ideas that come to me in the middle of the night.
- Recorder apps. When it comes to saving time and being organized technology can be our best friend and biggest enemy but recorders are definitely in the friend category. Ideas and grocery lists inevitably fill my head when I’m driving and I love being able to record it and know I won’t forget it. There are tons of these available but I love Instarecorder because every time you record something it automatically sends you an email of the recording.
- To Do Apps. Another must have for me is the “to do” list on my phone. My top picks are Wunderlist (because it syncs with iCal) and DOOO (because you add to your list with your voice while in the car).
- Last but not least – if you can’t take your phone in the shower with you, a whiteboard in the shower is a wonderful thing. Seriously, who doesn’t have their best ideas in the shower???
Reframe your thinking: Don’t try for “balance” – it is a JUGGLE. – Aliza Sherman
If we can help you build better relationships, grow your business, or take some stress off your hands, we’d love to help! We’re professional jugglers.
Marie Mallory, Ph.D.
Communication and PR Specialist, Irons Media Group