Do you ever feel like you’ve just got too much going on in your life?
The message that you can (and should) ‘have it all’ – great career, home life, relationship, social life, healthy habits – can be pretty damaging sometimes. The truth is that it’s very hard to balance all your priorities. And those people who look like they’re doing it effortlessly have probably got a bit of help behind the scenes, like cleaners, nannies, trainers and chefs. But when you’re not rich or a celeb, you’ve got to take on those roles yourself.
The good news is that there are ways to simplify your life and get more done in the long run, without feeling like you’re missing out or letting down your loved ones. Here are five simple steps you can take, one at a time.
Cut your screen time in half
It’s pretty hard to go cold turkey on social media and TV time. But if you start by cutting out just some of your screen time, you could notice a big difference in your productivity and stress levels. To help you stick to the plan, try scheduling in your screen time for a particular time of day. You may feel less anxious about being disconnected if you know when you’re going to be back online.
Reorganise your goals
Everyone’s got things they want to achieve in life, whether it’s finishing a qualification, getting a great job, establishing an exercise routine, or anything else. Having goals is great, especially when they’re well defined and you have a plan to work towards them. The problem comes when you’ve got too many goals competing for your time and attention. You chip away at all of them here and there, but nothing seems to get finished.
If this sounds like you, try reorganising your goals. Write down your current goals (and the steps you need to take to achieve them) on separate post-it notes and place your most important goal up high on your wall/window/whiteboard. Then put your other goals in descending priority order. Focus on the one at the top of the list, and when it’s done, take it down and move on to the next goal.
Say no to something
Every day there are multiple demands on your time. People (colleagues, friends, kids) ask for help, you get invited to social events, there are chores to do around the house. But not all of these demands are compulsory. A lot of the time, if you say no, you won’t have any negative consequences at all.
Try saying no to just one thing today. It could be something as simple as clicking ‘not attending’ on a Facebook invitation.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you look at your diary and see what you have to do for the week ahead. In fact, thinking about work that’s yet to come can cause stress even in your down time. To help combat this stress and feel a sense of productivity, try picking one thing that you can prepare ahead of time when you’ve got a few hours free, say, on a Sunday evening.
For example, you could try some meal prep. Choose a healthy delicious meal that’s easy to freeze, and make a large batch. This way you don’t have to eat it every night, but you’ll at least save yourself some precious time once or twice later in the week.
Make it a combo
Multi-tasking isn’t always the answer to everything, but when it comes to socialising and running errands, it could help. If you need to catch up with mates while trying to get all that boring house stuff done, why not make a practical date? Shopping, exercising, even DIY projects – they’re all things that can be done together. Today, try thinking of one errand you’ve got to run and one person you’ve been meaning to catch up with, and see if you can’t work out a way to bring the two together.
This article is general information only. Readers should consider getting financial advice before making financial decisions.
The trustee of Tasplan Super (ABN 14 602 032 302) is Tasplan Pty Ltd (ABN 13 009 563 062). AFSL 235391.