How to Beat ‘Busy’: 6 Keys to More Productivity and Peace

There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing. ~ Brian Tracy

Is your schedule overwhelming?

Do you find yourself trying to do too many things at once?

Are you forgetting important appointments, phone calls or other ‘Must Do’s?

Would you like to stop the chaos and pressure?

All of us, it seems, are dealing with more than we’d like. Between work, family, friends, volunteering and our own playtime, we need about 50 hours in each day. And, four day weekends! Sound nice?

It isn’t going to happen, of course. But we can learn to be more effective and focused with the time we do have.

We’ve all heard of time management. Better time management is essential to better productivity, so they say. But time is the same for everyone – 24 hours each day, 1,440 minutes to use or abuse as you choose. Nobody manages ‘time’.

Instead, we must understand the necessity of managing ourselves. And there are some shortcuts – some keys we can use – to be more productive and less stressed. Here are my own tips to beat ‘busy’ and stay peaceful.

Stay in the moment …

It is so easy to become overwhelmed with the myriad responsibilities and commitments we make. The first key to calmness and peace is to focus on one thing at a time. Do it. Then move on to the next thing. Jesus told Martha, “One thing is needful.” What’s your one thing for this moment? Jesus said, “Take no thought for tomorrow”. Stressing about future tasks and problems will not help you get today done.

Use the power of a list …

Even Santa Claus makes a list and checks it twice! Habakkuk says to “write the vision, make it plain”. Lists accomplish three very important things. First, they free thought space so you can focus on the current task without mental pop-ups, like “Oh, I forgot …” or “Oops, I need to remember to …” Second, there is great satisfaction in crossing off DONE items. It just makes you feel good! Lists also help prevent forgetfulness. If you’ll get in the habit of writing things down, you’re less likely to panic because of a forgotten commitment. (Of course, you have to look at your list after you make it!)

Put first things first …

Use your list to advantage. What’s most important for you to do today? Do it first! Get the tough stuff and most important tasks out of the way early. The rest of your day will flow easier. Some people prefer to organize their lists at night before going to bed. Your subconscious will work on your projects and problems and you’ll often wake up with solutions you weren’t aware of the night before. Others prefer to plan their day first thing in the morning as a part of their prayer and meditation time. Either way works.

Take smaller bites …

Intersperse smaller jobs between bigger ones – or break your major projects into smaller tasks so your life seems more manageable. Remember the power of “DONE”. The more items you can cross of your list, the better you’ll feel! I know some people (me!) who put items on the list just so they can cross them off.

Ask for help …

We tend to think we should be able to do it all ourselves. Wrong! Get some help. Delegate. Find someone who is better at a specific task than you are and get them involved. There’s a reason why successful teams are just that – teams. If your job is time-consuming, hire a maid to take care of the household chores. Do what you’re good at – put the rest of it into other capable hands.

There is time for all things…

The Bible says we can “do all things through Christ”, so that means there is time for all things, as well. When I’m feeling pushed or stressed because of the demands on my time, I verbally remind myself, “There is time for all things.” Then I refocus on what needs done now, trusting God to unfold the rest of my schedule in His timing.

The old adage is ‘if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it’. That’s because busy people are organized. They are list-builders and task do-ers. Busy, productive people build connections and cooperative ventures in order to accomplish what needs done. And when the day is done, they are peaceful with their results, trusting that ‘tomorrow will take care of itself’.

I invite you to make a decision now to implement one or more of these keys on a consistent basis. I think you’ll find as you practice them, you will increase your productivity and feel more peaceful about your life. (And now I can cross off ‘write an article’ from my list.)

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