A while back, I experienced some pain in my neck. Not the figurative sort of pain, but the real pain at the bottom of your skull that makes it hard to concentrate and causes a bit of dizziness sometimes. As seems logical, I focused my efforts directly on the area of pain, which sort of worked but didn't completely fix the problem.
Then I started to do some research and discovered that what I was experiencing was probably referral pain, meaning that the muscle knot causing the pain was at a different point than I was experiencing the discomfort. I began to focus on the trigger point, instead of the pain point and the problem melted away...
The same principle applies when you're looking to overcome your time investment challenges, particularly when it comes to energy and focus. If you're perpetually exhausted, the answer isn't to be more disciplined and think more positively. The real answer is to take care of yourself.
I know that the idea of taking better care of yourself may seem ludicrous when you feel like you can't keep up already. But it truly is the only way to be more effective, make better decisions about what you will and won't do, and to not constantly feel like you're suffering from battle fatigue.
If you're feeling "off" right now, ask yourself how you're investing in these areas and make adjustments as necessary:
- Sleep: The vast majority of the population needs at least six hours of sleep a night. If you're undergoing any sort of stress, such as an intense time at work, heavy physical training, a new baby, or an illness, you'll need to give yourself even more. For some tips on developing your sleep habits, check out this article.
- Alone Time: If you're feeling frazzled, it may mean that you need to take some time for yourself. It could involve going on a walk or reading or meditating or driving or doing whatever else you find relaxing and refreshing. If you have a big decision to make and/or have something on your mind that's bothering you, time to reconnect with yourself is incredibly important. Finding this time could be as simple as not turning on the radio when you're driving or heading to a park at lunch instead of the cafeteria.
Experiment with your time investment in one or more of the above areas.
About Real Life E
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also encourages Christians to align themselves with God's heart through Divine Time Management.
McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Harvard Business Review published her second book How to Invest Your Time Like Money. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fast Company and the 99U blog on productivity for creative professionals and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.
Find more at ScheduleMakeover.com.