10 Tasks to Free Up Your Time

When you care about something so deeply, sometimes it consumes you. This ‘thing’ takes up your time, your headspace, your energy, your opportunity. Sometimes, working 70 hours+ per week may not be enough to change the world. In reality, constantly pushing the “GO” button and insisting that you need to pull in more hours to complete a project may be causing you more harm than good.

In 1995, the United Nations published a “Stress Management” booklet for its staff around the world to provide advice and techniques on managing stress at various levels of mental health. The burnout phase is normal for many industries, but this doesn’t make it right. Stress management training has become an increasingly important factor in the adequate preparation and training for practitioners in international relations, but there are some solutions that you can start to implement straight away in your day-to-day life that can help release time for more important things, and help alleviate undue pressure from you.

1. You are accountable to someone

Grassroot Diplomat published a podcast called “Am I Born to REALLY Change the World” that tackled the issue of being accountable to someone. There is always someone watching you and we don’t just mean the government. Our actions, decisions and what we say, even to ourselves, may have a major impact on others and how you behave, particularly when it comes to self-care. If you are constantly criticising yourself, you start to believe it and this will impact your self-worth, attracting others to treat you in a similar and non-respectful way. You are accountable to someone and while it might be tempting to bend the rules, take shortcuts or stretch your ethical boundaries in the pursuit of your end goals, remember that someone is watching and decide if your actions are justifiable or not.

2. Look after yourself before it is too late

We push ourselves hard and we are constantly connected, but this comes at the cost of your health in the long-run. Your health should be a very high priority. Many use the excuse of time to never finding space to exercise or eat well. Everything requires planning but that doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult. The best thing to remember is to: MOVE MORE, EAT LESS! Be mindful of what you put in your mouth at the office and take every chance to stretch your legs away from your desk and get moving. Moving isn’t difficult, just don’t overthink it. If you need further information on how to implement 5-10 minutes high intensity workouts into your daily routine, contact us.

3. You can’t please everyone

Seriously, just stop. Trying to make everyone happy can become a thankless job that leaves you drained and looking for a life elsewhere. There is a famous saying that goes around in the United Nations – if you can’t make friends, make enemies instead because you’ll need to keep enemies closer than friends.

4. Live moderately, not extravagantly

There were two Canadian-women, Jyoti and Kiran Matharoo, who chased Nigerian princes and billionaires to feed their extravagant lifestyle, only to be gossiped about in Nigerian forums and branded as ‘prostitutes’. Their extravagance came at the expense of their dignity, reputation and credibility as legitimate entrepreneurs. Living modestly like Professor Muhammad Yunus or the Dalai Lama is a show of universal respect and may yield more than just money and power.

5. You can’t control what someone else thinks

Mind control may be a super power some may wish for but unless you have an impeccable knack for persuasion, learn to accept that you can’t always change someone else’s mind. Accept their point of view and try to understand why they think this way. You may not be able to win their respect but at least you are not wasting time and effort pursuing the wrong thing.

6. Yesterday is over, so don’t dwell on it

One of our biggest time wasters is thinking about the ‘what if’, wishing for more time, and dwelling on the past. If you did something you weren’t happy about the day before, learn from it, don’t do it again and move on. There are no redos. Just keep moving forward.

7. Sometimes, you can’t change the world

It may be hard to accept but sometimes, terrible things happen around the world and we are simply powerless to do anything. Sometimes, we just need to accept things and let it pass because sometimes, some things are just bigger than us all. You can make a difference in small pockets of areas if you formulate a plan and have the right networks and skills to back it up. Other times, we need to temper our expectation and understand that we need to let things go.

8. Where are you from?

Understanding yourself and where you came from can really help put your problems into perspective. Privilege is a real thing and you can’t change where you come from and the circumstances you are born into. What you can do is control where you are going and putting in the pieces to make it all happen. It is up to you to understand how your circumstance has helped you become the person you are and what direction you would like to go. Make it work for you.

9. Nothing is private anymore

Over the last decade, our privacy has eroded with the incumbent of big businesses that survive off personal data. In spite of campaigns to regulate how data is used, our privacy will continue to erode away. Your emails, mobile use, photos and any sort of digital footprint tells a detailed story about you that can be used to target and even manipulate. Be aware of this and be cautious that pressing the ‘delete’ button does not necessarily mean this information cannot be seen elsewhere. Be mindful of what you share online, even if it is to yourself, and keep safe.

10. You can’t get back what you’ve lost

Replacing anything can be heart breaking, be it a lost key, a friend, or someone close who has passed away. Instead of focusing on things you have lost, focus on how to make things better for yourself. Develop skills and traits that can make a tangible difference in your everyday life and focus on the positives.