DISCOVER YOUR ZEN
Time Management – Day 7
1. Don’t get caught up in an “active laziness” routine.
When we’re not living life to the fullest and are basically sleepwalking through life, we’re missing out on having happy and fulfilling lives. Have you ever caught yourself mindlessly performing tasks as if you were a robot and not really thinking about what you’re doing because it’s so mundane – or you’re bored?
Sogyal Rinpoche, author of “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” coined the term “active laziness” to describe how we attempt to live life to the fullest by filling the hours with too many unimportant activities. Getting caught up in FaceBook and Pinterest provide sus with quick looks and sometimes, solutions, to our problems and desires, but time is wasted because we’re not fully in the moment of focusing on what we need or want to learn.
Rinpoche felt that it’s important to spend time to rejuvenate our spirits – whatever that means to you. After all, if we’re not enjoying life, what use are all the time-management tools?
2. Limiting your negative thoughts will save time.
Negative thoughts that creep into our minds waste the time we could have been spending thinking about something creative or productive. Negative thoughts rob us during the day as many times as we let them – and sometimes interfere with our rest and sleep at night. These thoughts are bound to assault us sometimes, but there are ways to combat them and even prevent them from taking over our valuable time.
One proven method of limiting negative thoughts is to allow yourself only three minutes, three times per day to think negative thoughts or complain about something in your life you’re disappointed about. When you receive negative thoughts during the remainder of the day, banish them from your mind immediately and know you’re going to have time later to address the thoughts.
Wasted time spent on negative thoughts cause you to waste your energy too – on worry and fear. Your time can be much better spent by finding solutions to any problems causing the negative thoughts.
3. Be sure your personal and professional calendars are in sync.
It’s a horrible feeling to suddenly learn your son has a big game on a night when you’re scheduled for a big meeting. If your personal and business calendars aren’t synced, those are the type of scenarios that can happen.
Time is well spent syncing your calendars at the beginning of the week (or month) so these problems don’t arise. Don’t just sync your own calendars, check in with your family to make sure you are ALL in sync. Miscommunications can be common when each person in a family has his or her own calendar to abide by. There is also time-syncing software where you can get alerts if there’s a problem in scheduling or if you’ve already scheduled something else for that time. Your life will be much calmer and free of stress when you take the time to compare calendars with each family member and make date changes as needed.
4. Don’t deal with items that cross your desk or computer more than once.
You can shave 15 to 20 minutes off your “wasted time” by making sure each email, voicemail, snail mail, or any paperwork crossing your path is dealt with immediately. When you’re ready to devote some time to it, you read, file, delete or answer every piece of correspondence so you don’t see it again. On a monthly basis, you can save about 10 hours for your efforts. Just think about what you could do with 10 extra hours per month.
If you must consult with someone or prepare an answer before getting rid of the correspondence, have a “pending” file. But, don’t let the pending file become too cluttered. It’s easy to forget what needs to be done, so address and get rid of everything in the pending file each day before you shut down your office.
5. Make a decision and immediately move on to something else.
Decisive people are admired. It may be because they seem to have more self-confidence than others. Once they make a decision, it’s done and they move onward to the next project or problem. Decisive people are thought of as having high level positions such as President of the United States or CEOs of top companies in the world. Indecisive people tend to be seen as weak and unreliable.
The time most people waste on being indecisive can add up to a whopping 60 minutes per day. For example, if you search for hours trying to find the best deal on a flight, you may only save a miniscule amount of money, but have robbed yourself of up to 60 minutes in productive time. Set a certain amount of time you want to spend on the task, make a decision about it and then forget about it and move on.
6. Persevere through the boring and difficult tasks.
“When things get tough, the tough get going,” is a phrase you’re likely familiar with. Persevering through tough times, projects, and life’s difficulties is the mark of a true survivor and strong will power. Giving up when things get tough wastes time and can lead to frustration and a sense of failure.
There are some effective strategies you can use for the times you want to give up. Taking a break to exercise is one way to get the endorphins flowing and get you back on track. Think of the difficult or boring task as the means to an end. Once you finish it, it’s going to be over and you can go on to something you enjoy. Also, reward yourself for persevering through tough times. If you can see a light at the end of the tunnel, you suddenly think you can make it and you will survive.
Learn from the mistakes you make. Learning lessons is a part of every successful person’s path and you can only achieve if you get past those lessons and persevere to the end.
7. Before you accept or agree to a task or project, analyze whether it’s worth the time you’ll invest.
Before investing your valuable time (and possibly, money) in a project or task, you should analyze it carefully to see if it’s worth the time and effort you’ll be spending. You may find yourself overextending yourself with investments you make in projects that aren’t feasible for your ultimate success.
If you work for a company and the project is mandatory, it’s not always possible to turn it down, but if you run your own business it’s much more important that you look at the time vs. money issues of any project you might take on. No one wants to waste money – or time, but the choices you make may be a waste of both. One way to know if a project is worth the time and money you’ll be spending is to calculate the time you’ll be spending on the project and comparing it with how much your time is worth. Will the project help bring in more money or lead to a more important and higher paying project in the future? If the answer is “No,” say “No” to the project.
Keep this in mind for tasks at home as well. If preparing all of your meals is simply not working for you and your schedule just doesn’t accommodate it (even after applying all of the time-saving tips I’ve reviewed this past week), then perhaps it’s time to consider a meal preparation/delivery service.
TODAY’S ACTION STEPS:
1) If you have been following the workout plans I’ve been providing, the Week 5 Workout Plan will start tomorrow. Log in to the Fitness App on your COMPUTER – https://doctorvenus.com/app-login/ – to access the Week 5 Workout Plan (it will be uploaded to your app by this evening).
2) You should be exercising according to your planned routine. (You can use the workout plan I provided, if it works for you.) If you’re not ready to go FULL OUT with the workout plan yet…that’s OK. If you’ve been trying out my suggestion of creating a habit, then you may want to add on another step if you haven’t done so yet. Read through the Week 4 – Day 2 module if you’re not sure how to create this “habit chain.”
So…every time you wake up, or finish washing your dishes after dinner, or whatever that regular activity is that you choose as the one to trigger your workouts…put on your workout shoes. (That’s the first link in the chain.)
Then do the next step you’ve been practicing. If your chosen workout is taking a walk after dinner each night, maybe you are heading to the front door and grabbing a jacket. If you want to do a home workout from the exercise plan I’m giving you, then maybe you’re putting on some workout clothes – a top and a bottom. (That’s the second link in the chain.)
NOW, do the next step. (That’s the third link in the chain.) If you plan to go for a walk, just step outside your front door and stand on your porch…and celebrate! If you’ll be doing a home workout, then grab your mobile phone (to access the Fitness App) and stand in your home exercise area…then celebrate! Whatever that next step is just do that. Every day. Every time you put on your workout shoes…AFTER every time you do that trigger activity (washing dishes, waking up in the morning, etc). Remember to celebrate every time you get to the end of this “habit chain.”
If you need a little more time to reinforce those first 2 links in the “habit chain” (e.g. putting on your workout shoes, then putting on some workout clothes), that’s fine. Just keep doing that and don’t worry about adding on right now.
3) If you’ve been receiving the meal plans, the Week 5 (and 6) Meal Plan has been uploaded to your Fitness App. The Week 6 Meal Plan is the same as Week 5; so you will start the Week 6 Meal plan tomorrow.)
4) Continue to meditate for at least 5 minutes each day. As I suggested in Module 6, you can now have a goal for your meditation; for example, you can aim to make this goal a better awareness of yourself (by using mindfulness) or you can aim to quiet your mind and learn to block out stressful thoughts (by using transcendental meditation).
5) Make sure your personal and professional calendars are in sync for this coming week.
6) If you have any questions about anything…let me know in the Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/discoveryourzen/
Previous ACTION STEPS:
(Not a complete list, but some important highlights.)
1) Log in to the Fitness App on your COMPUTER – https://doctorvenus.com/app-login/ – and go to the FORMS tab. If you haven’t completed the Client Agreement form and the PAR-Q form from Day 1’s ACTION STEPS, do that today and sign them. Be sure to click SAVE when you’re done. (You can not receive the meal plan and workout plan when they are released until we have those completed forms on file.)
2) If you haven’t done so yet, send an email to team@DoctorVenus.com and state whether you want a vegetarian or non-vegetarian meal plan. It will be sent to your Fitness App by the next day.
3) If you haven’t done so yet, send an email to team@DoctorVenus.com and let me know whether you want an exercise plan for weight loss (focused on burning calories) or for building/maintaining your mass. So you just need to indicate whether you want a BURN or BUILD program. It will be sent to your Fitness App by the next day.
4) Download the Set Your Goals Checklist and complete it. CLICK HERE to download.
5) Download the Program Planner that you can start using, if you wish. CLICK HERE to download.
6) Download the Kitchen Clean Out handout and use it to guide the clean out of your kitchen BEFORE you start your meal plan. CLICK HERE to download.