If only I could get back an hour in every day!
The real question is, as a retiree, why would you want an hour back? To get things done, right?
Here are 3 things that get in the road and ways to overcome them so that you get back that hour, everyday.
Overwhelmed by Email
‘Ping’. You’ve got mail it used to say.
But now it’s either a distraction from the important task at hand or more work.
Email can get out of hand and it seems like a mountain of a task to get it back under control.
I have a client who, when we first met, had 6000 emails in his email inbox.
Enter Inbox Zero – a rigorous approach to email management aimed at keeping the inbox empty — or almost empty — at all times. Inbox Zero was developed by Merlin Mann.
Why do you want to have your inbox empty or almost empty?
It eliminates distractions, those emails that shout at you when you are attempting to concentrate on the important tasks at hand.
Some tips to become an email ninja:
Only check your email 3 or 4 times a day, or once an hour, on the hour.
Add a line under your email signature that says something like “I only check my emails 3 or 4 times a day. If it’s urgent, please call me.
Close your email client down when you want to focus on other tasks.
Down tools at the end of the day. Choose a time to finish and set an alarm so that you do finish.
And if you can’t close your email client down, at least turn your notifications off. There’s an hour back just from eliminating the distractions.
Taking on Too Much
One of the main reason people don’t have enough time is because there have filled their schedule so full that there isn’t any peace. No down time. No gaps.
And why, sometimes, do we as retirees take on too much? Sometimes it’s FOMO – Fear of Missing Out.
In the bigger scheme, you are always missing out on something. You can’t be at every meeting, every presentation, every gathering in town. Reduce your focus to what’s important.
One way to do that…Boundaries – say NO. Boundaries are put in place to keep us safe. People interrupt with the best intentions but it isn’t always the right time. You may be in the middle of something important. Put up a boundary. Say no but be polite/diplomatic. An example could be “That doesn’t work for me right now. It could work in two to three hours time, check back then”.
Systems give us structure. Without them, life can feel chaotic or a mess. Use some of these to overcome the feeling of helplessness.
Don’t trust your memory – write everything down. You may say ‘Yeh, but I’ve got a great memory. It doesn’t matter. The shortest pencil is longer that the longest memory.
Create a trusted system – somewhere to write stuff so it will get done and not be forgotten. It doesn’t matter if it’s a paper planner (Filofax/notebook) or an app on your phone (OneNote/Evernote/ Notes).
A system beats using scraps of paper (back of an envelope/napkin/notepad/post-it note) that can be misplaced. And I’m sure, if it’s not you, we have all heard someone say ‘It’s around here somewhere’.
Set achievable to do lists, not 100 tasks to be done today. Because with 100 tasks, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment. 10 to 15 tasks and then prioritise them.
Article by Les Watson, Australia’s Time Lord.
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