It's the end of August and September is approaching, with a huge number of things to plan, organize and do in the next months.
Be it paying the bills, starting a new career, arranging everything for a smooth adjustment to school for your children or losing weight, just the thought of it makes you feel bad. You do not know where to start from, you feel confused and put off dealing with it until you find yourself overwhelmed, stressed and anxious.
So, how to address the Autumn/Winter tasks without a headache?
Try taking the following steps.
1. IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS. Be it buying new school clothes for your children, preparing a presentation for a conference or losing the weight you put on eating delicious food on a beautiful Mediterranean island, you have to outline precisely what you want to achieve and by when. If the goal is too ambitious, try dividing it into sub-goals and set a deadline for each of them. For example, if your goal is to lose four kilos in two months, your sub-goal can be getting rid of one kilo every two weeks. And so forth.
2. PRIORITISE. Use the 'Eisenhower box' (view image) to label your goals ‘Urgent and Important’, 'Important/not Urgent', 'Urgent/Not Important', 'Not Urgent/Not Important'.
Of course, start with the Urgent/Important goals. Then, address the Important/Not Urgent ones, because they will become urgent, sooner or later, and then you will be ready to address them efficiently.
3. STAY FOCUSED. If your goal implies spending many hours at your desk, try the “Pomodoro technique”. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. The name comes from the tomato-shaped (Pomodoro, in Italian) kitchen timer used by its inventor, the Italian Francesco Cirillo. I am fascinated by the simplicity of this technique and by the fact that, in the digital, fast-pacing era, a simple tool like a kitchen timer (although you can use the timer on your smartphone if you find it easier) can help us achieve great results (if you wish to learn more, check https://cirillocompany.de/pages/pomodoro-technique).
4. Even if you feel stuck… TAKE ACTION. The English Victorian poet, author and art critic John Ruskin said: “What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.” So, every day, do three things that will move you towards your goal. Even doing a small thing has the power to make you feel that you have accomplished something.
5. USE MINDFULNESS MEDITATION to detach yourself from your tasks, relax and live in the moment. Sit in a comfortable position, in a quiet place. Bring your mind to your breathing and focus on it. Continue for a few minutes. If you do this regularly during the day and before going to sleep, you will feel less stressed and your mind will gain clarity. Some great apps can guide you throughout mindfulness, even if you start from basics (a free app for Android or iPhone is “Headspace: guided meditation”).
With the right mindset and a few, simple tools every task can be addressed, every goal can be accomplished.
Just never give up!