might discover that tomorrow never comes” ~ LBJ
Let me start by admitting that I am a workaholic.
My husband affectionately calls me ''the taskmistress.'' If you are like me, you might unknowingly be driving yourself, loved ones and those around you crazy. The multiple to-do-lists, never-ending tasks and “we have to get this done’’ attitude make others want to run to the hills.
What is a Taskmaster?
Taskmasters are highly driven perfectionists with an abundance of energy to get things done. They use every resource at their disposal to stress the importance of the end result. They expect from others what they expect from themselves. Once they embark on a project; they are unstoppable. In fact, people may feel guilty and even afraid to take a break in their presence.
To be fair, taskmasters are simply trying to accomplish what they believe are critical goals. Their field of vision is vast. They believe that a goal cannot be reached unless there is an invested interest to bring it to fruition. They liken the undertaking the same way musician views music. Music is just a bunch a notes without the right instruments. Bring in the right instruments, the notes take on a different life and the beautiful music is created.
Time management is the taskmasters’ friend and companion.
Thank goodness, there are plenty of ways to reduce stress of the daily grind.
10 Ways to be a “Happy Taskmaster” - Manage Time and Enjoy Life
- Plan to stop – Designate a time you will stop and take a break! You instinctively know when burn out is waiting in the wings. Working until the wee hours of the morning can interfere with your eating and sleep cycles. In addition, unnecessary electronics such as cell phones are "sleep enemies" and should stay on the other side of the bedroom door. The work will be waiting for your return. Self-monitoring is critical. Know when it is time to STOP; you need better sleep to be effective.
- Postpone - If you do not control non-urgent matters you will be chasing chaos all day. Most emergencies can wait a few more minutes, hours and sometimes days. Here is a well-kept secret that many successful people know: 90% of non-emergencies are perceived incorrectly to be emergencies. Use this knowledge to avoid or minimize distractions caused by perceived emergencies. Choose specific times to address, text messages, emails, phone calls and other distractions.
- Persuade - Don't be too proud to ask for help. Let’s face it, sometimes it is impossible to complete your to-do list or chore chart by yourself. Consider outsourcing the work. Hiring a virtual assistant is the other viable option. Don't forget, the age-old practices of bartering and/or exchanging favors never goes out of style. Consider these options when you have too much to do and little time.
- Pace yourself -Take sanity breaks every 45 or 60 minutes. Working nonstop can zap your energy. Incorporate energy breaks in your schedule. Take walks, stretch or exercise at your workstation. Moving increases your circulation and is good for your heart. Keeping oxygen flowing to the brain is essential to maintain your stamina.
- Pop in the music - Plato once said that music gives “soul to the universe and wings to the mind.” If you feel yourself grumbling while you are working, then it's time to change your tune. Keep within reach a library of music that moves you! Motivational music can smooth stressful moments, help renew focus and increase productivity.
- Power up with food - Prepare healthy snack for a stressful day. Bear in mind, snacking will increase your energy level. Water, fruit, bite-size veggies, trail mixes and other snacks are good go-to choices in a pinch.
- Prepare for the pitfalls - Take a time management course if you are procrastinating or easily distracted. If all else fails, seek professional help. Please note, persistent and chronic lateness, forgetfulness, distractions, inattentiveness to details, and disorganization can be red flags for other disorders. These problems can plague both adults and children. But, there is hope and good news. Holistic and other conventional treatments are available. There is no shame in addressing issues that will help you be a better version of you.
- Play! - If you feel torn between work and play, choose to PLAY. Take a short break and do something fun. Too much work creates stress. Stress derails your road to completion. Take time to have fun and decrease your stress levels.
- Pinpoint the problem - How much time are you spending on each project? Track your time for each task. It is important to be sure you are not wasting time. Are you scheduling enough time for your tasks? Are you spending too much time on one task? Are you not allotting sufficient time for other tasks?
- Plan Properly - Who has time to search for forgotten passwords? Stretching your brain to remember password might be a great mental exercise but not always. Looking for misplaced information is a common time zapper. Put your passwords in a secret hiding place or get an app for your phone. Invest in time management tools to organize your projects.
You know as well as I do that life is a juggling act. Oh yes, life can throw fastballs and curve balls faster than you can catch them. Managing your time and yourself will help you juggle more than ever without feeling overwhelmed. Tailor these techniques to meet your lifestyle. In addition, remember that your time is valuable. The more you stay in control of your time, the less likely you are to burn out.
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