Establish daily priorities
Each day, establish a list of the things you have to do and then decide which are most important to you. Then do the most important things first. Also, ask yourself if everything on your list really needs doing and if it’s going to concern you too much if it doesn’t get done. Eliminate the unimportant things by being ruthless about it — which will be easier to do if you recognize that there are many activities which will only waste time and won’t add much value to your life!
Streamline your life
Take a look at how you spend your time over a typical week. You may find that you spend too much of your life in the office, or spend too many hours doing the housework, or even do a combination of both. If this is the case, determine what areas can be streamlined. For example, do you really need to put in an extra hour every day at work? (Remember that once you start doing extra at work, it almost becomes expected of you!). Consider what you really want to do with your time, and be a bit more selfish about it.
Minimize and make use of your commuting time
Too much time can be spent fighting your way to work — especially if you always end up sitting in traffic in your car or squeezing onto packed public transport services. Try minimizing the time it takes to get to work by leaving earlier in the morning and doing the same in the evening so that you avoid the rush hour. Also, make use of your journey time by listening to some motivational music or that instructional CD you’ve always wanted to get into. If you are using public transport, your journey could even be a good opportunity to catch up a few matters or compile a ‘to do’ list for that day.
Share the load at home
If you’re constantly being pulled in different directions by family members, then it might be time to establish some firmer rules for how you spend your time. For example, if you’re always the person who does the driving around for everyone — such as dropping off one of your children and their friends at an after-school activity, and then taking another of your children to a completely different place — then why not let someone else take the strain for a change? You could consider sharing the duties with your partner, a relative, a friend or a neighbor, so that it’s not always you on call.
Consider different work options
Depending on your job, you may be able to reduce a lot of wasted travel time by working from home. It may be that you spend a lot of time at home anyway doing work-related tasks — and this could be a good reason to use when persuading your boss to let you operate in such a way. You may even be able to lighten your load by delegating work more frequently instead of trying to be some kind of superman or superwoman! If possible, you could even think about switching to part-time work to give you more time for other things.
Declutter your surroundings to help you operate in the home and workplace in a more organised manner. Getting rid of the clutter in your home and your office will save time — and when your surroundings are decluttered, your mind will have more chance to relax and focus. It’s certainly a great idea to get rid of the majority of things that you never use or don’t need — and everything that you do need should be given a permanent location so you know where to find it.
Cook more food and save it
One thing we are guaranteed to have to do each day is sort out some food for ourselves. Obviously the simple solution would be to get a takeaway every night, but a more affordable and healthier option would be to use your time in the kitchen more wisely. For example, if you cook something one night, consider making more than you need so that you can freeze some of it and use the extra amount on another occasion. It doesn’t generally take you much more time to make the extra, but it will save you plenty of time in the long run.
Know your limitations
All too frequently we expect too much of ourselves and try to take too much on board. Remember that no one can do everything, and be realistic in your expectations of yourself. Also, avoid comparing your abilities with those of others, as some people will be just naturally better at doing certain things than you. Once you accept that it’s not possible to do everything that you are trying to do, then you’ll realize the only way round it is to get your family and friends to help with or take on tasks in the home, or your work colleagues to help with or take on tasks in the workplace.
Consider running your own business
If you feel the demands on you at work are far too much and you’re not getting the job satisfaction you’re seeking, it might be a good idea to consider working for yourself. It takes a brave person to set up their own business, and while initially it might involve you having to put in long hours, it may ultimately pay off and help you to get more control over your life. How much you put in and how much you get out of your business will largely be your choice — which means that working for yourself is a great way of taking control of your life.
Be more decisive
When there is an option, it pays to be decisive. For example, at work there may be a task that needs to be allocated — and if it is something that you want to or don’t want to take on, then say so! All too often people end up saddled with something they don’t want to do — or alternatively not doing something they did want to do — because they didn’t speak up at the time. And you can be decisive in your personal life too. If you don’t make decisions then someone else will make them for you — and so you end up having to go along with something that you don’t want to do.
Taking control …
Gaining and maintaining control over what happens in your life is never straightforward, but by following our top 10 tips you will be well on your way to improving the amount of control that you have — which will ultimately make you far happier!
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