- Pick a theme for each month. A lot of people like to set goals. Well, I don’t. I find that goals give me too much anxiety because I’m always measuring myself up against what I could have done better. So instead, I like to set a theme for each month and focus my energy on that. This month, my theme is improving my ability to focus. Less email checking, distractions, and more highly focused, deep concentration work.
- Work by the week. This has made a huge difference for me in getting the most important tasks done. Instead of setting my most important tasks for the day, I set them weekly. I’ve found this helps me better focus on the bigger picture. You may have heard the saying “We overestimate what we can do in a day, and underestimate what we can do in a year.” I was always overestimating what I could do in a day, and beating myself up for not getting everything done. By focusing on the week, I’ve eliminated this issue.
- Follow your rhythms. This may seem like a vague concept, but it’s about following the rhythms of your energy and listening to your body. When you need to take a break, take one. When you feel like plunging in, plunge in. Pay attention to what you’re drawn to working on and what you’re attracted to.
- Schedule when you need to. We obviously can’t remove all scheduling commitments. There is a benefit to having a specific time and date setup for a meeting. This would be difficult otherwise. What you can do, though, is give yourself enough time to prepare beforehand and to transition afterward. That way you won’t always feel in a rush; the prime cause of time-based anxiety.
- Flow. I personally love structuring my work around big, amazing and exciting projects. When I do this, I lay out the action steps and milestones necessary. Then I get to work. But the most awesome thing about working on big, amazing projects is that you are inviting the flow state. When you’re deeply passionate about a project, it’s easy to get absorbed in the work and lose track of time.
- Stand still. We spend so much time trying to “go places” and “arrive.” And we spend a lot of time preparing for things in the future. While this is sometimes a necessary part of life, it’s also important to play, to let go, forget the future, and forget the past. What is so important that it cannot wait? It will be there tomorrow. And there will always be more. So relax, and let the world pass you by.
From Zen Habits
Leave a Reply