It is becoming more and more common to hear people say they’re so busy and they don’t have the time to do things they know they should.
Being busy is like a badge of honour. We’ve programmed ourselves to say we’re busy just so we can justify to others and ourselves as to why we’re not doing some of the things we know we should.
Oftentimes, some of the most important things in life do not require a lot of time but because we’re in a busy mindset, we fail to give them the attention they deserve. Not surprisingly, the most important things in life are often the smallest or simplest things we do everyday.
If we can adopt the mindset that some of our highest priorities does not require a lot of time, we’ll quickly start noticing a big difference to:
- Our attitude — we won’t feel overwhelmed and under pressure all the time.
- Our mood — we will be a lot more pleasant to be around.
- Our effectiveness — we will be able to focus better because we’ve addressed things that are important to us.
Knowing we are making progress by taking care of important tasks can generate more optimism and lead to positive expectations.
We all want to become better at what we do and how we do them. Sometimes we just need some simple reminders to help us reconnect to what is important to us, and also make us realise that the things important to us does not require a lot of time.
Here are 10 things we can do in under a minute every day. Just think about this — if we choose to do these 10 things, they will require less than 10 minutes of our time every day, yet the benefits we will gain can be enormous. From a simple cost-benefit perspective, the benefits certainly outweigh any costs.
- Be grateful for at least three things. As soon as we get out of bed, we can start mentally acknowledging things we are grateful for. It could be for getting a good night’s sleep, for having a bed to sleep, for being able to experience a new day, having running water in our homes, having the clothes to wear and so on. Gratitude forces us to focus on what is going well in our lives.
- Make your bed. No one is that busy that they cannot make their bed in the mornings. There is a psychological benefit for making our bed as soon as we get up and that is we are experiencing the feeling of getting something completed. Although it may be a small thing, we are programming our minds to be productive and in a state of accomplishment. Success starts with baby steps.
- Review your goals list. We can quickly review our goals and visualise them as being complete. If we have between three to five goals, we can easily review them in under a minute. As it shouldn’t take a lot of time, we can even review them two or three times daily.
- Review your appointments for the day. At the start of the day, going through our calendar to see all the appointments we have can be a very quick process. Best practice is to be clear on what is our highest priority for the day and focus on that until it is complete. Then we can review our calendar again to see what has to be done next.
- Make a list of three things you want to get done today. Similar to reviewing our appointments, we can even write down three things we must complete that day. This is why knowing what our priorities are is so important because the things we do everyday should to aligned to our highest priorities.
- Give someone a compliment. Saying “thank you” or “good job” or “you look nice today” takes so little time. Our challenge is to remember to do it. We can schedule them as reminders on our phones. One simple compliment can really make someone’s day.
- Remove one item from your work space. Having clutter around our place of work can lead to distraction and a lack of focus. Whether that is at home or at our work environment, just removing or rearranging one thing takes very little time. Over the course of a working week, we will have removed five items, which can make a huge difference to our level of productivity and how much we get done.
- Respond to an email or message. Responses to emails or messages do not always have to be long. All that matters is what we want to say is communicated to the person receiving the email or message. In today’s world, using abbreviation in emails and messages has become an accepted way of communicating.
- Do some deep breathing. Sometimes we can get so caught up in what we are doing that we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to refocus and reconnect to what we are trying to accomplish. If we’re at our work desk, simply closing our eyes and taking in some deep breaths can do wonders to our energy level and also our ability to stay focused.
- Have a short break. Taking regular breaks will re-energise us and help us concentrate for longer periods of time. Taking a break can be as simple as standing up and just walking away from our computer or work space, or it can be getting ourselves a glass of water. We can schedule longer breaks throughout our day to maximise our effectiveness.
Feeling a sense of accomplishment can come from doing small things consistently. If we start paying more attention to what we are doing and what we would like to do more of, we will find that the things important to us does not require a great of time each day. If we do the things suggested above, we will feel a lot better about ourselves and what we are doing in life.
Question: What is another important task we can do in under a minute every day?
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