If you struggle to fit 3 things 'to do' a day into your life; you need to have a serious think about why. It's April already and it's time to hustle! But if you don't, don't despair; you can start from today. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the million things already on your plate, then you should know that there truly is an easy way to deal with it all.
Numerous studies have proven that happiness leads to increased productivity, but it's also strongly believed that conversely, increased personal productivity generates greater happiness in your life too. Happy people live healthier lifestyles; have more genuine relationships; fit more in; are more successful. And successful people in turn plan their lives, set goals and move towards them every day... It's like a perpetual circle of sweet, successful vibes. And the good news is that every single person is capable of this behaviour and can turn it into a habit just by following 5 simple steps.
Here's the 'Tough Love Top 5' steps to reach your goals:
1. Attitude: Suck it up.
We're all busy and time poor. You can fit in more than you'll ever realize even if you're getting home from work at 9:00 p.m. and feel exhausted. Change your attitude and be positive. Forego that weekend binge of Netflix and figure out what it is that you want to achieve. Spend an 'away day' somewhere (a café you've never been to, a gallery, the countryside - wherever you feel most inspired) and write down your goals and commit to them. Is it a fitness plan? Is it buying a property? List down EVERYTHING you want to make happen in your world.
2. Selective Research: Cut the bull.
The information we have access to is totally overwhelming, so think about what it is that you need to know and seek it out effectively. Any expecting mother will tell you that people are full of advice whether you like it or not. When I got pregnant the 'how to be pregnant' information that well-meaning friends and family recommended wasn't what I wanted to know at all. Aside from a few good websites that I set up alerts for, I actually wanted to know more about how to look after my twins after they arrived. So I spoke to new Mums and went to a friends place who had recently had a baby and I created my essential items list by going through her daily routine, step by step with her. It helped me ruthlessly cut out all the unnecessary stuff that I had been inundated with. Talk to people... they love to help and give their own experiences. Then take what is right for you from those conversations.
3. Lists - Break it Down:
You know that 'Notes' app on your iPhone? Use it and abuse it. I have at least 30 lists going at any one time. Create a separate list for each element of your life that you're working towards. Keep them clear and digestible. From the really big projects through to small stuff (my weekly grocery list is one of mine because seriously, who needs to take up brain space with 'loo roll' and 'lamb chops' when there's so much else to think about?). You are not superhuman. You can't remember it all. Write down any additions to your lists as you think of them - your phone is with you pretty much everywhere anyway; then determine your 3 top 'to do' tasks each day from your lists. Simple right?
4. People Management: That's for yourself AND others!
Businesses and people don't care about your project like you do. Simple as that. Set alarms to follow up on information that's due to come back to you. Its proactive and assertive behaviour and you should feel free to step it up if you need to. When buying a property, I called a Surveying Company about 2-3 times a day to stay on top of them as their service was really sloppy and delivery of their report could have affected the sale going through on the property I bought. And it very almost did! Don't leave it to chance. If you do, there is truly no one else to blame but yourself. Take responsibility. If you want to stay on track; keep your project team (be it lawyers, finance, shippers... whomever) activated with your project. As for you? Stick to your 3 'to do' tasks every day and stay committed.
5. See it through and don't give up: Things can go wrong.
They can go off course and there can be delays, unforeseen issues, disasters. Be as flexible as possible. There's more than one way to skin a cat and if you need to look for Plan B, C or D to get what you want, think laterally; it's out there! Again, keep talking to people and ask advice from those in the know.
Finally, be grateful for everything you have in your life. You'll feel amazing when you achieve whatever it is you're after. Then you can start working on your next goal.