by Janet M. Shlaes, Ph.D.
Busy is a choice. It’s highly likely that the various aspects of life regularly compete for your attention. When countless demands on you time and energy seem immediate and critical, how do you navigate your “busy” world? You only have 24 hours each day to work with and you need to factor sleeping and eating into the mix. How can you consistently make optimal choices when your world is packed with never ending distractions and demands?
State of Mind:
How do you feel at the end of your day? Do you typically feel energized or depleted? How you choose to spend your allotted time each day determines your physical and mental state at the end of the day. The difference that makes the difference in how you feel ultimately is determined by your mindset and motivation as you move through each day. When you construct and advance through your daily “to do” list in order to check items off of a extensive list of items, it’s highly likely that you will end your day feeling harried, distracted and depleted. There is, however an alternative approach, one that serves to increase your focus, quality of your actions and efficacy of your results.
Clarity, Commitment and Alignment:
Individuals who regularly achieve results with seemingly less effort and fatigue have learned a simple strategy that optimally utilizes their limited time and energy. This strategy incorporates three main recurring action steps:
· Clarity: They consistently visualize and clearly articulate their outcome goal, putting themselves into the positive emotion of having accomplished their envisioned result. Clarity also consists of adjusting your vision when critical internal and/or external factors change.
· Commitment: They fully commit to their envisioned goal and are willing to do the requisite work to accomplish their goal. When they feel stuck in relationship to their original goal, they reevaluate and recommit or choose to engage in a different goal.
· Alignment: They regularly evaluate the items on their “to do” list to ensure that the majority of their day is spent on engaging in actions that directly align with their outcome goals; this approach serves to eliminate the “hamster wheel” type of “busy” where much energy is expended without authentic forward motion.
You can optimize your results via your decisions, no matter how busy your life is. Through engaging in the strategy outlined above, you can develop the habits of clarity, commitment and alignment. As you generate a “to do” list each day, ask yourself: “Is this action item aligned with my major goals? Which item or items will provide the most leverage in the long-term? I invite you to choose the strategic form of busy and notice the positive shift in the quality of your focus, actions and results.