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Health, Lifestyle

Optimise your time and your life

Dec 9, 2016, Author: Hello Joburg

Great article for busy woman who need to function at their optimum every day – courtesy of Nadia Bilchik and Lori Milner.

“One of the biggest complaints we hear from women in our workshops around the world is that they don’t have enough time to be everything they need to be. Every New Year starts with lofty aspirations and the best of intentions, only to careen into another year end, leaving a tattered trail of unfinished goals and unfulfilled desires. In this three-part series, we’re going to work with you to help you truly own your time and make 2017 a year of smashing success.

Your talent and abilities may be unlimited resources, but your time is finite. Part one of our Smashing Success series was all about busting time traps and laying the foundations for putting more valuable, time-boosting practices into play.

December is that time of year when we start getting ready to put the old behind us and start preparing for the new. It’s a time of shifting away from old and unhealthy patterns and creating space for newer, healthier practices.

Use this month to start embracing these time boosting habits as part of your new life, because when you intend to be successful, you need to start by protecting the time it takes for you to recharge and reward yourself.

Be in the moment. Believe that what you’re doing right now is what you need to be doing and that it’s ok not to be doing what you’re not doing. This will facilitate the condition of being present. Being in the now and really focusing on what you’re doing or who you’re with is always the optimal state from which to operate.

Prioritise. The work/ life balance ideal is a myth. The question of balance is really a question of priority, and when you change your language from balancing to prioritising, you’ll see your choices more clearly. Extraordinary results demand that you set a priority and act on it. When you act on that priority, you’ll automatically go out of balance, giving more time to one thing over another. The challenge then doesn’t become one of not going out of balance, for in fact you must. The challenge becomes how long you stay focused on your chosen priority.

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Evaluate your relationships. If you have a friendship or an intimate relationship that is so unhealthy or one-sided that it drains you of time and emotional energy, while returning little or nothing of value to you, consider ending that relationship. You’ll free up valuable time and energy to invest in healthier, more fulfilling bonds. Surround yourself with people who build you up and encourage you rather than damage your confidence.

Build energy. By eating right and engaging in a long-term programme to improve your physical fitness, you can increase your stamina to get you through those particularly demanding days. These deeper reserves of energy can help you attack goals with greater vitality and speed, freeing up time for additional important activities.

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Understand your body clock. We all have an internal rhythm that influences our cycles of sleep and activity within a 24-hour period. Listen to that internal clock and get into the habit of scheduling your day according to your body’s natural rhythms. Schedule activities that require creativity and energy during the time of day when you tend to be most alert and energetic. Schedule routine tasks during low-energy periods. It will help you get the best results and make the most of your time.

Get enough sleep. Unfortunately, we continue to celebrate people who sacrifice sleep for work when sleep deprivation is known to undermine high performance. In a Harvard Business Review article, Charles A. Czeisler (the Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School) likens sleep deficit to drinking too much alcohol, explaining that pulling an all-nighter (i.e. going twenty-four hours without sleep) or having a week of sleeping just four or five hours a night actually “induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.1%. Think about this: we would never say, ‘This person is a great worker! He’s drunk all the time!’ yet we continue to celebrate people who sacrifice sleep for work.” Treat your sleep like a meeting in your diary – don’t miss it!

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Me time. Take a look at your schedule and assess how much of ‘you’ is included in it. When we neglect ourselves, we start feeling out of balance, and that’s when we start to feel out of control Put time in your calendar for yourself – be it exercise, meditation, family time, or coffee with a friend. You need to make time to reconnect with your thoughts and your goals to keep you on track. Never get so caught up in all the various roles you have to play that you forget your identity and your passions.

Watch this space for the final part of our Smashing Success series… we’re going to show you how to create a success list, help you unearth your true purpose, and put it all into action.”

  • Nadia Bilchik and Lori Milner are female professional presence educators and the authors of Own Your Space: The Toolkit for the Working Woman – a chapter-for-chapter guide to help women become the best version of themselves.
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