Life Upgrade: 8 day week?
I’m in the midst of a big business and life upgrade.
But what I’m noticing gets in the way is time and energy – i.e. the lack of.
Every morning, I feel like a hibernating bear who’s been woken up a month too soon. My greatest skill (after procrastination) is being able to nap any time, any place.
I feel like I never ever have enough time to do, well, anything .To be honest, sometimes it feels like a miracle that I get anything done at all.
Which is not true. The reality is I get loads done. I run a business, I am a great mum, a good mate and love the life I’m creating.
BUT my overwhelming sense is the former. I have these moments of complete overwhelm, general knackeredness (is that a word?), that creates horrible low teary splodges on my page every now and again, as it were.
Time to take my own advice (the definition of madness is doing the same thing but expecting different results). This week, I sat down to do a time and energy inventory. What gave me energy and time? What drained it?
I’m incredibly lucky to have amazing people in my life who superboost my batteries. So it’s not ‘people vampires’ who are sucking me dry.
What was? I went through my day and literally took an hour by hour snap shot of what I actually spend my time doing. And gave each task/thing a smiley or sad face according to boosting/draining time and energy ratio. Oh yes, I have very scientific methods.
Here’s what I discovered:
1. The lost things drainer. I can never find the phone/my house keys/the dog lead (in fact, only this morning, Oscar the dog went on the school run wearing a very jaunty scarf) My lost possessions hunt costs me on average of 34 minutes every day.
2. The sugar rollercoaster. I have a big spoonful of sugar in my coffee and have around 6 cups a day. I’ve just been reading a brilliant book on sugar addiction called Potatoes not Prozac - and it suggests that my energy dips have something to do with my rather prolific sugar and caffeine consumption. (Of course, I kind of knew this but up to this point, I couldn’t face doing anything about it). The naps, the energy slumps, the painfully slow, grumpy start in the morning has a massive impact on my life and costs me at least 2 hours a day of good old fashioned, present, grounded, energy.
3. The no-routine method. I work from home, I’m not an organised, routine kind of person, I tell myself. I go with the flow. This is great but without some kind of structure and routine my life, I simply end up dancing to someone else’s tune. I don’t prioritise what’s important to me, I just react to what’s happening next. This costs me approximately 2 (more like 10!) hours of productive time as I websurf, skype and tweet with the flow through my day…. (and I really need to get a grip on that. I accidentally proposed to someone last night without really meaning to. Sorry about that, I got carried away. You know who you are.)
TOTAL TIME: 4 HOURS 34 MINUTES. AND 10 AND HALF BUCKETS OF ENERGY.
That’s more than an extra day a week! And an Olympic swimming pool of energy.
I could do with an extra day a week and a Olympian size injection of energy.
So I’m making some small changes (read the lovely Leo from Zen Habits on why small changes are advisable).
This is the plan for May:
- Create a ‘I’ll never be lost again’ system. (hook for the dog lead and keys/basket for paperwork/bowl for the phone)
- Drink coffee without sugar (I will work on dropping caffeine next month)
- Before I clock off, prioritise three things to get done the next day and experiment with a different daily ‘routine’ until I’ve found a routine that works for me. (will report back at end of May)
Yes, yes, I know! I will be doing the inner work too. I’ll be asking the bigger questions – What do I have to believe to create balance in my life etc etc. But right now, I wanted to take some real, grounded action steps. My first babystep to buy a hook for the dog lead.
I would love to hear ways/systems/small babysteps you have taken to upgrade your life and boost the time and energy banks that work for you.
OK, I know I’m supposed to be the life coach. But, let’s be honest, I think you’ve known all along that you know better than me.