Have you ever heard the old saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat”?!
Well, this saying may seem ridiculous, but it makes total sense. There is always more than one way to do something, whether it pertains to relationships, cooking or even just different ways of doing business. Below are some ways to help you be more successful in your endeavors, whether it be at work or otherwise –
- Take Strategic Short-Cuts
Many people respond to stress by taking shortcuts. Unfortunately, the shortcuts we frequently take are with those who are closest to us or our own bodily needs. So instead of unconsciously choosing to skip sleep or give up your exercise time, try consciously assessing what activities in your day can be eliminated or reduced with minimal consequences. For example, when I skimp on sleep, the consequence is physical exhaustion (which makes me look a little shabby too). That’s not really a good idea. However, if I stop checking Facebook for a week, turn my phone off, or re-schedule all of my social events for a while, the consequences are minimal and I open up time and space in my day for the things that really matter.
- Move Your Butt
Even if you don’t normally exercise, stressful times require movement! If you can combine movement and relaxation (pilates, dancing, whatever…) that’s great! If all you can manage is to take the stairs instead of the elevator up to your office, that’s fine too! If that seems like too much, how about just playing some basic cleaning around the house (that which needs to get done anyhow)? Whatever you can do to get your body in motion is worth the time and effort.
- Rethink Your Regular Coping Strategies
Smoking, heavy drinking, overeating, procrastinating, withdrawing and/or glazing out in front of the TV are all too common coping strategies. Drinking a bottle of wine while binge-watching TV probably isn’t going to leave you feeling truly relaxed and rejuvenated. Instead, take a look at your regular stress-relieving behaviors and consider trying some healthier alternatives for next month. For example, calling a good friend, taking a hot bath, pausing for a cup of tea, playing with your dog/cat, getting a massage, journaling, reading for pleasure, or listening to some good music are all great options!
- Hold Your Sunday Meeting Sacred
I believe the key to aligning your time with your priorities is to take 30 minutes to plan your week. But during crunch time, that becomes even more important! Your schedule changes, demands on your time increase, and it would be oh-so-easy to just hope everything will get done. The truth is that we still only have a finite amount of time, we have more tasks to do than time to do them in, and our human tendency is to focus on the seemingly urgent while neglecting the truly important. Unless we take the time before the week begins to make sure our priorities are appropriately placed in our schedule, they are very likely to get pushed out entirely or we are likely to end up working far more hours.
- Keep The End In Mind
If all you can do during the next two weeks is regularly ask yourself: “What MUST get done between now and the end of the month?” and let the answer drive your daily behavior, you will be in good shape. Keep your tasks manageable, ask for help when you need it, and be willing to let some things go by developing the habit of consistently asking: does this matter? Just know that during those crunch times, there are many small details that can be released from your life.
This week stay focused on the most important priorities and give yourself permission to let the small stuff go. Let me know how it goes in the comments section below –