We are in control of where we spend our time. Stress comes from feeling like we have no choice. We pressure ourselves into thinking we must complete everything that comes our way and fail to remember every situation has options.
As a result we get stressed out, overwhelmed and forget to prioritize what is truly important.
Decide Where to Spend Your Time.
It's easy to become seduced by a false sense of urgency.
We make things seem more important than they really are and we fool ourselves into believing everything must be completed immediately. The problem is, we are often trying to complete things that don't really matter.
So many things compete and demand our focus. If we don't make a conscious effort to control where we spend our time, we'll find ourselves reacting instead of focusing on the plan we design for ourselves.
Here is how we can anticipate and avoid the things that prohibit us from focusing on what's truly important:
Fear. Fear is one of the biggest impediments to productivity. As humans our survival instinct is to avoid anything we believe has the potential to cause us discomfort. But when we focus on the things that could possibly cause us pain, we avoid doing the things that actually get us closer to our goal.
Pleasure. Yes, pleasure can be an impediment to achieving goals. When we live in a state of constant stress (and fear) we long for a sense of relief. Unfortunately, we often find relief in the very things that prohibit us from progress - eating, drinking, smoking, binge watching. Whatever gives us an immediate sense of accomplishment, like focusing on the easiest things on our to-do list rather than working on the most important task on the list.
Other people's demands and expectations. Nobody likes to disappoint people. We often fall into the notion that in order to preserve relationships we must meet their needs before ours. But if we consistently focus our time and energy taking care of others needs we'll never prioritize the outcomes we want to achieve.
Cynicism. Skepticism is code for "I'm afraid" or "I don't want to be disappointed again." If we don't allow ourselves to envision what it is we want, and put our focus and energy in that, we are going to miss out on the life we desire.
Sharing your goals and habits with friends, peers and colleagues will keep you accountable and give you a different perspective when tackling issues that often get in the way.
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