In today’s technology driven society, most of us seldom leave home without our gadgets, and most of us have email on our phone, in some form or another. We want to feel like we can be in constant connection with what is going on in our work or personal lives. We often are texting, emailing and updating social media all at the same time, on a multitude of platforms. All of which can leave us feeling very scattered, and disconnected from our real, and very tangible lives.
All that stimulation can drive our poor brains nuts too. It is no good, damaging even. I am a very driven, motivated person myself, and I can tell you firsthand that the world will not end, if you don’t answer that email at midnight, or call someone back immediately after hearing their message.
The key to being productive is not hinged upon how many times per day you check your email. Check your email a minimum number of times per day; let’s say 3 for arguments sake. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. If people need something from you immediately, there is a great likelihood that you will also receive a phone call or text from them. This leads me straight into tip number 2.
2. Phone Calls
Screen your calls. If you are super busy, and feeling overwhelmed, it probably has a lot to do with which phone calls you take and when. In my line of work, I get people calling me at all hours of the day and night. I will decide to take the call or not depending on what I know is going on at the time. If I have an issue that relates to a specific deal, or I am expecting a call from a particular person, I know that I will recognize the number. Often the person will leave me a detailed message, which helps me decide if I need to call them back right away or if it is something that can wait. I do not answer my phone if I am driving, period. I also have stopped answering my phone after 5pm for anyone other than family.
3. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites
I have established one very basic rule for all of the sites that I participate in, there are many. The rule is simple; I check or update these sites first thing in the morning before my workday actually begins. This one is extremely important. So many of us waste precious time updating these sites, and hoping people will give us the instant gratification we crave with a comment or a like of our status – engage us in some way. If you are checking these sites more than once per day, you are just wasting time. These are hours of your life that you can never regain and unless you are doing some focused networking (which you should have an allotted amount of time for per week) are unproductive.
Restrict the amount of time you spend on the Internet daily to no more than 8 hours. No one really needs to spend more than that online per day to be productive. This includes all of your online activities. More than that is excessive, and I have found that the more time I spend online, the less productive I am.
So there you have it. Adhering to these tips will help you slow down your mind, and put life balance back in focus. I implemented these rules in my life, simply because I needed to slow down a bit. Now, I can work when I need to, and stop when I don’t. I have more time to connect with and enjoy my family, do household chores, and I even have a little time to myself, to relax with hubby, and watch a movie or take a bath – if I so desire. I no longer feel over stimulated or stressed, I feel empowered and in control of my time. I share these tips with you, in hopes to help you accomplish the same.