After many months of juggling and struggling to do everything I wanted to in a day or even a week, I realised I was making limited success. Then I started making rules like, no emails after 7pm or on the weekends. That is my time to do all the things I wanted and also find some time to relax. We all know – of all rules we make, this one does not last too long. Whilst I am not a slave of my emails I realised quickly enough that this was not very sustainable. The other trouble with such rules is that you might be inspired with an idea about something in the time chunk that you have set aside for something else. Inspiration does not give you a heads up and tells you i will strike at 4pm today. So that was another downside to these rules. They were becoming barriers than enablers as i had originally imagined them to be. And Monday morning are not exactly the “inspiration-abundant” mornings either. So cutting off time between things was not working. I was not any closer to my goals and i told myself.. here we go again…hahaha ! (have a laugh at yourself..its okay – it). But most importantly what I noticed was that i wasn’t getting the best return on the time i invested in something as not always were best ideas coming to me for the time set aside for doing something. so my Return on Invested time was sub par – not what I wanted.
So week on week, i realised what appeared as a magical formula a while ago, was actually a self created booby-trap. So I decided to re-configure. I said lets build a an Ecosystem or a Continuum. Why don’t i harmonise my daily activities in a way that they jive with each other rather than struggle to find time for them. So this was an interesting (read as smart :-)) move..
I started to do things when an idea occurred. if i was in the middle of something else which needed finishing before i could get to this great next thing, lets say if your thought-bulb lit up in the middle of a jog- then i would just make a mental note of it or even write on the note-pad in my phone and get to it after my jog is over. This allowed for creativity to flow (i feel very cool saying that, as i don’t think i am a particularly creative person, but i like it so will just say it :-). If an email needed answering or if I found a better (calmer..non pointed) way of answering an email then i would do it when that idea occurred, instead of doing the 10-breath inhale-exhale trick, as whilst that does pump more oxygen to your brain, it does not promise a good idea as a payback. So instead of finding that hour to listen to your favourite podcasts, or reading a book – hard copy or kindle, or calling a friend – you decide what is going to give the best return on your time invested, when it is invested & in what or who is it invested. This ROIT (Return on Invested Time) will be your biggest enabler in helping you create your ecosystem.
If you have kids and lets say they need to be taken to a study or a sports class it is perfectly okay to ask for (reliable) help of friends or family who could do this for you if you believe you have other things you could do in that hour.
Going for a bike ride or a swim needn’t wait till a Saturday morning. It is okay
to sleep in on certain days and ask for help. It’s okay on certain days to leave the dishes sit in the sink and go for a nice after-work massage. Whatever ticks you. The only key thing is – Your Eco-system needs to work for you. It is a powerful weapon to enable energy flow through areas of our life that seem to not have worked in the past. And as that energy starts to flow you start to glide through things, situations and days…feeling happier & more accomplished!