Very often at the various business and other events I am asked: «How can you manage everything?». For a long time this question was unexpected for me as it seemed to me that a lot of interesting things are missed out. However couple of years ago upon "revision" of my lifestyle I accepted that I can do a bit more than many people around me.
I have 3 main business activities: El-Group, Ecomade and my favourite nutrition projects. и мои любимые проекты по питанию. On top of it social activity, big network of professional and personal connections that need to be maintained, almost daily gym and yoga, and I am also constantly in professional and personal development which means I need time for learning and homework. And definitely my loved family and friends are in the list: role of mother and wife is not yet suspended.
So how can one manage all this diverse activities and feel energised, enjoy the life and not "deflate" ahead of time?
I am sharing the life hacks which are already part of my life or are actively becoming its part. And the main this is that they help me to be where it is interesting for me.
Rule 1: Focus on main things or prioritise
After many years of experiments my ideal to do list for the day contains no more than 3 important tasks. First and foremost here is to focus your attention on the top priority objectives for you, your business and family at this particular point in time.
"If the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you". This principle by Mark Twain is also used by motivational speaker and trainer Brian Tracy in his trainings. So "eat your frog" in the morning and all the rest will be mere nothing.
What helps me to focus when I work on important task?
- start straight away and do as much as possible
- turn off all notifications, set "Flight Mode" or "Do Not Disturb" on my phone
- promise myself not to get distracted for at least 45-60 minutes. If my motivation is lost I switch to something that does not require much efforts for 5-10 minutes, or better take a walk.
Rule 2: Plan
Frankly, daily to do lists do not help me much but I compose them to "remember".
Empirically I found what is effective for me. I plan my activities based on time of the day or day of the week.
- Friday is for meetings with colleagues, briefings and planning of the next week
- Thursday is for work on the documents and correspondence that requires detailed and thorough attitude, new projects, articles and preparations for the speeches and presentations
- Wednesday is to go out for offline meetings with partners
- early morning is for meditation, sports and let the world stand by...
And I always mark all activities in my calendar, and if necessary set the alarm and reminders: it is important to "anchor" it as long as it is planned.
Rule 3: Delegate
As much as possible. If any of the family members can cook dinner and after that put dishes in the dishwasher - it will be magical. I can use the released time to do preparations for breakfast. If my housekeeper can take on part of the chores I will be more useful for other "big" things. And as a director I can internally "outsource" everything that my colleagues know and do better than me: accounting, maintenance of social networks, etc.
Rule 4: Be honest and learn to say "NO"
Learn to say "no" to everything that does not carry positive emotions, content or use. It was and it is still difficult but I develop my skill to say "NO" to:
- empty meetings and long and unrelated talks, gossiping over other people and their lives
- big events (I don't stay long at the weddings, anniversaries and other events). I understand it is not in line with our culture but many people accepted our family pattern over the last years
- business and social projects, speeches and presentations that are not interesting for me.
Rule 5: Do not watch TV and do not surf social networks without purpose
For many years our family is not watching TV. Even our family Friday movie nights moved to computer or cinema theatres.
Social networks are something I still need to work on. There is a professional interest but then I cannot keep myself from surfing, and then I "emerge" and get surprised on how much time is spent for nothing. Still I am working on scheduling couple of days a week for my posts and few minutes a day for surfing - timer would be of a great help!
Rule 6: Self care or how to stay energised?
Self care is primarily about energy which is so important for all my interesting and important projects. It contains few compulsory components:
- obligatory and quality sleep for 7-8 hours, this is about my health, my efficiency, and my mood
- sports - this is my energy and vigour for the whole day
- food that is right for me - this is about optimal health and energy
- meditation and breathing practices - my zen and positive attitude
- do something interesting and developing - it also nourishes me
- and, of course, quality communication with my family and friends.
Rule 7: Focus on main, multitask in between
I am good at multitasking, but I understood with time that main and important tasks require my full focus and attention.
Meetings with people, writing the articles, work on projects, learning, communication with family and friends - this is what I prioritise in terms of time and focus. To do the things like listening developing podcasts, audiobooks I can while in the gym, cooking or walking; check my emails, go through the documents or social networks I can at the back seat of the car on the way. And if there is something important and needs my full attention - I can always come back to it during scheduled time.
Rule 8: Actually I am not able to do all I want to do
It is unexpected but sincere. I think you agree with me: one cannot manage everything. I am interested in many things, I want to coach more, travel more, write articles on subjects interesting for me, be present at the interesting platforms, take part in culinary experiments. But now it is time for priorities, and the priority is to build a new, interesting and successful business together with my Partner, to share all I know, and most important, to find time to enjoy every moment of my "managing all or almost all".