Are you busy or fruitful? I heard this question recently, and it caused me to think about how the busyness of life can keep us from the important things, the goals we want to achieve in our families, relationships and professional lives. I’m not one to make resolutions each year, but I am one to evaluate what is working and what isn’t. Look back at your 2008—was it very productive? Or were you frequently overwhelmed by your to-do list?
Here are some strategies I’ve tried to use to make my life less busy and more fruitful. (I’m a work in progress.)
1. Set goals based on your talents and true calling. What is your passion? Write down some smaller steps to help you reach your goal.
2. Spend more time thinking (or in prayer/meditation) and reading good books and less time watching TV. These activities boost creativity and energy and help us focus.
3. Reduce your intake of negative news. As a Journalism major, this was tough for me, but I’ve gained more than an hour a day of time and reduced my anxiety level.
4. Consolidate errands, go online or do without. Do you really need a new outfit or another car wash, or can you spend the time/money elsewhere?
5. Delegate, ask for help or just say no to things you do not want on your to-do list.
6. Stop complaining to those who cannot correct a situation. Address problems with the appropriate sources, but don’t waste everyone else’s time over it.
7. Make peace. Resolve conflicts with people in your life; you’ll spend too much time and energy stewing over unresolved conflicts.
8. Encourage and help others, especially the less fortunate.
9. At the beginning of each day, think about what you’d like to accomplish (write it down) and the attitude you would like to project to others.
10. At the end of each day, evaluate how you did on #9, and consider what changes you may need to make.
So, what are your goals for ‘09? Please share the time-saving tips that have worked for you. And best wishes for a happy and most productive new year!