I don’t know about you but I have come to the conclusion that life is bonkers (although I appreciate that this could just be mine!). It seems that, despite our best efforts, it doesn’t matter how much we plan or how much rest we get – living and trying to thrive in today’s busy world is a real challenge. So what can we do to ensure that not only can we reduce our stress levels, but also so we can get more done in less time and end up being much happier into the bargain? In this article I aim to share some of my own practical ideas on how you can achieve this.
It’s all too much
After a whopping two weeks off (mostly work free) over the Christmas period, for me it was great to get well and truly back in the saddle at work. However, as I write this we’re not very far into January yet I already feel like I need a bucket-load of sunshine and a recharge of my batteries. Given the responses I’ve had to a recent social media post which I put out on this very topic, it seems that I am not alone in feeling this way.
So, what about that moment when the penny drops? No matter how much time you have, you simply don’t stand a chance in completing everything on your to do list. It’s when you finally realise that you will never get on top of all your emails or that you will never fully clear the decks of your amazing project or high value tasks, despite of course your own best efforts.
Well, after some careful consideration and a good stern talking to myself, I think the answer is quite simple. I want to share those thoughts and ideas with you now.
My four tips are as follows:
- Get over it and stop worrying about it. At almost the very second that you have cleared your current tasks, a tonne more could be added in a blink of an eye. This is rather obvious if you are intending to achieve any sort of success in your business or personal life – or both.
- Control only the controllables. So much stuff gets thrown at us, most of which we have no possible way of controlling. The only thing we can actually control is how we react to these things and what we then do next.
- Ban other peoples ‘drama’ from your life. On this point I will stress the need for no excuses. Those people who love a drama clearly have way too much time on their hands. Keep your eyes out for such instances. Avoid other people’s drama like the plague. It will drain your energy and knock you off course from getting on with the more important tasks in your life.
- Focus so hard … it hurts. People may well think you are a crazy, obsessed workaholic (which we know is not true of course). But who really cares what people think? Instead, set your sights on what you want and go for it with all of your might. Don’t let other people’s opinions, doubts or personal limitations stop you. Get going and you’ll be on a roll to achieving what you set out to achieve much more effectively, and you’ll be having more fun too.
So, is that it? Is that all it will take to secure a successful 2017? Well, all I can tell you is that I certainly am going to give it a go myself.
Look after yourself
Whatever it is that you have set out to achieve for yourself over the year ahead, make sure you approach it with joyful effort. However, a few words of warning. It’s important to remember that you are no good to anyone if you are not taking amazing care of yourself; your health, your diet and general wellbeing. As they say when the plane is ready for take-off; make sure your oxygen mask is on securely before helping anyone else with theirs. These are wise words and ones that we should never forget.
In our profession, where we spend pretty much every working moment taking care and designing the lives of our clients, we often leave the design of our own lives to chance; at no point was this ever a good idea.
So, with the majority of 2017 still ahead, why not take time to design the future vision you want for yourself, and to work on becoming that person who is properly equipped to get the most out of life in both business and in your personal life? To help you on this path I recommend that you carry out this simple yet exciting and rewarding exercise, although I accept that for some it might prove rather daunting.
Of course, this will only work if you are honest with yourself. So be brave, go and grab a pen and paper and let’s get going.
Designing your future – the exercise
To start with, I want you to pick a date or an age in the future, a date or an age where you can honestly say to yourself: I am happy, and my life is perfect because I am living a life of total freedom with no restriction, no worry, I am totally free to be who and what I want.
This will be a date or an age where each morning you get out of bed feeling that you have been shot out of a rocket as opposed to being shot by a rocket!
Write down the date. Now let’s work this through.
- Looking ahead to the eve of your chosen date or age, write down how you want to be feeling in respect of the following areas of your life:
- professionally – your reputation
- Then, write down your goals and how you want to feel about the following areas:
- Identify and write down how you want to be spending your free time by then
- Finally, what do you want your contributions/feelings to be as regards:
How do you feel now you’ve identified these things, you’ve drawn up this new vision of yourself in future? Exhausted, excited? It doesn’t matter – the most important thing is that if you focus on the four commitments above and have intentionally designed the future version of yourself, you are well on your way to a killer 2017 and many more happy years too. So all I can say is make sure you have fun and enjoy the ride!
About Standards International
Michelle Hoskin is founder and director at Standards International. Standards International supports the development of financial adviser business owners, their business partners, practice and business managers, and support teams in all areas of personal and business development. Our straight-talking, no-nonsense approach promises to push the boundaries of your potential, both personally and professionally. We’re changing the world, one financial adviser at a time!
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