Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine Issue 02 | June 2016 - Page 11

with minutiae days that allow us to actually be able to focus when it’s a focus day instead of being fragmented by too many things to do at once. And, again, this system emphasizes including “personal days” in your planning.

The commonality of these systems – whether business focused, home focused or personally focused – is assigning tasks to allotted times, leaving you free to just get it done instead of wasting time figuring out what to prioritize, and they all force you to look at the big picture AND the small steps you need to take to get there.

They also all advocate for scheduling free time, me time, down time.

I love batching and the Pomodoro Technique, too. I’m not a fan of multitasking, as I don’t believe we do anything particularly well when we ask our minds to do too many things at once, and it’s exhausting. It just doesn’t make sense to be to do several things.

in a mediocre way, wear yourself out and do nothing excellently. Batching is a better alternative: scheduling similar tasks in blocks so you’re only asking your mind to switch minor gears from task to task.

The Pomodoro way of doing this is to set a timer for 25 minutes and stay completely focused on the task at hand.

There’s an 80/20 rule in business – it’s the idea that 80% of your achievement is accomplished through 20% of what you do. In other words, we waste a lot of time on unnecessary things and in utilizing organization and planning systems, we spend our “focus time” on the 20% that matters (and when we cut out the time-wasters, we actually get to the free time).

It might seem like all of this doesn’t allow for creativity: it’s counterintuitive because using habits like batching and other structural systems increases creative productivity when the strategic stuff is easily crossed off the list and you can focus on creating.

It’s important to know your high- and low-energy times, your best and worst focus times. There are lots of daily habits, and some batching tasks, that plug nicely into low-energy times. Then, you can save your high-energy, best-focus times for important primary goals – Big Rocks – and for creativity.

So many things happen that interrupt our plans – illness, relocation, death in the family, maternity leave, divorce, business mergers and restructuring and all the other unexpected things that throw us a curveball – and it’s a lot easier to regroup if you’ve got a guideline in place.

Even when facing a challenge, you can often keep some momentum with automatic daily habits and simple batching tasks that help you stay grounded and feel productive – and make getting back into the groove afterwards a little less daunting.

Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

I’m a big fan of that advice…whether you’re starting out or starting over.

When we have a plan, we so easily beat ourselves up for not getting it all done. And if life throws us a curveball and we

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