Do you feel you have enough control over your life? Here are 10 great tips to help you streamline your life and gain control once again
1 Establish daily priorities
Each day, establish a list of the things you have to do and then decide which are most important. Then do the most important things first.
Also, ask yourself if everything on your list really needs doing and if it's going to concern you too much if it doesn't get done. Be ruthless about eliminating the unimportant things - which will be easier to do if you recognise there are many activities which will only waste time and won't add much value to your life.
2 Streamline your life
Look at how you spend your time over a typical week. You may find you spend too much of your life in the office, or doing the housework or a combination of both.
If this is the case, determine what areas can be streamlined. Do you really need to put in an extra hour every day at work? (Remember, once you start doing extra at work it becomes the norm.) Consider what you want to do with your time and be a bit more selfish about it.
3 Minimise and make use of your commuting time
Too much time can be spent fighting your way to work - especially in traffic or with public transport services.
Minimise the time it takes to get to work by leaving home and work earlier, thus avoiding rush-hour traffic. Make use of your journey time by listening to music or other CDs. If you are using public transport, use your journey as "catching up" time.
4 Share the load at home
If you're constantly being pulled in different directions by family members, then establish some firmer rules for how you spend your time.
If you're always the person who does the driving around for everyone - such as dropping off children and their friends - then let someone else take the strain for a change. Share the duties with your partner, a relative, a friend or a neighbour, so it's not always you on call.
5 Consider different work options
Depending on your job, you may be able to reduce a lot of wasted travel time by working from home. You may already spend a lot of time at home doing work-related tasks - and this could be a good reason to use when persuading your boss to let you operate in such a way. You may even be able to lighten your load by delegating work. If possible, you could even think about switching to part-time work to give you more time for other things.
Declutter your surroundings to help you operate in the home and workplace in a more organised manner. Getting rid of clutter will save time - and when your surroundings are decluttered, your mind will have more chance to relax and focus. It's certainly a great idea to get rid of things you never use or don't need - and everything you do need should be given a permanent location so you know where to find it.
7 Cook more food and save it
One thing we are guaranteed to have to do each day is eat. Takeaways may be the simple solution, but a more affordable and healthier option would be to use your time in the kitchen more wisely.
If you cook something one night, consider making more than you need so you can freeze some of it for use on another occasion. It doesn't generally take you much more time to make the extra, but it will save you plenty of time in the long run.
8 Know your limitations
All too frequently we expect too much of ourselves and try to take too much on board.
Remember, no one can do everything - be realistic in your expectations of yourself. Also, avoid comparing your abilities with those of others, as some people will be just naturally better at doing certain things than you. Once you accept it's not possible to do everything, then you'll realise the only way round it is to get your family, friends and colleagues to help with tasks.
9 Consider running your own business
If you feel the demands on you at work are far too much and you're not getting the job satisfaction you're seeking, consider working for yourself.
It takes a brave person to set up their own business and, though initially it may involve you having to put in long hours, it may ultimately pay off and help you to get more control over your life. How much you put in and how much you get out of your business will largely be your choice - which means working for yourself is a great way of taking control of your life.
10 Be more decisive
When there is an option, it pays to be decisive. At work there may be a task that needs to be allocated - and if it is something you want to or don't want to take on, then say so.
All too often people end up saddled with something they don't want to do - or alternatively not doing something they did want to do - because they didn't speak up at the time. Be decisive in your personal life, too. If you don't make decisions, someone else will make them for you - and so you end up having to go along with something that you don't want to do.
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