Our lives are getting busier! We have so much information at our finger-tips. We can be connected to many different people all of the time. We watch and listen on the go. Multi-tasking is becoming the norm! We find ways of becoming more productive, to fit more into our already over-flowing lives.

I don’t think this is just me! It’s good to have full lives, but it can get exhausting and when it comes down to it, we do still have just 24 hours and we can’t do everything! So we have to prioritise.

There are many systems and techniques out there to improve productivity, work out where to focus our attention and how to make the most of time. I have tried many of them!

I have always had plenty going on in my life, with two children, a dog, a large family and friendship groups, a relationship and a number of volunteering positions. On top of that I decide to embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal development and begin my own Coaching business. Life is busy and I know I am not alone.

We can’t do it all! It’s just not possible. Making peace with that and being realistic with what I can fit in each day has been massively helpful in me calming my stress levels.

Overwhelm used to be my usual go-to place. Experiencing that feeling of overwhelm, really does not help at all, in fact it all it helps me to do, is stay more ‘stuck’. Becoming aware of this feeling and recognising that it does not serve me at all, led me to look for ways of altering that state.

As it currently stands, I have found three very helpful things that I do each day to keep me moving forward and feeling calm.

1 – Architect the Next Day

What this means is take some time to plan. I had read about this concept and it always made perfect sense to me, but for some reason, it took me ages to actually do it! I had developed a habit of getting up in the morning with no real idea of what I wanted to achieve. I managed to attend most appointments I had scheduled, but, with several notebooks on the go at the same time, with to-do lists in all of them, what to focus my attention on, was a constant challenge. This led to procrastination, working on things that weren’t moving me towards my goals and my priorities were all over the place.

Tony Robbins says ‘if you do what you’ve always done, then you’ll get what you’ve always gotten’. And I didn’t seem to be getting very far. I was fed up of feeling overwhelmed and out of control.

I took some time to consider what I wanted to achieve over the next 6 months and why, then broke that down to 3-month goals, 1-month goals, then each week. It is now much easier to look at each day as it is coming up and work out how much time I actually have and what it is I would like to get done.

I would like to report that I have it totally nailed and my system works perfectly! Well it does, when I do it! I am doing it more, which is definitely leading to a greater feeling of calm and productiveness. I aim to taken 15-30 minutes towards the end of each day to take stock of what I have done, what the next day has in store and what I want to focus on next. I am more realistic with my timings and aim to ensure what is on my list for the next day is actually achievable.

2 – Celebrate

Give yourself a pat on the back for achieving anything that you said that you would.

It is all too easy to focus on all the things you didn’t do, what still needs finishing or what has been added to your list during the day. By celebrating what you have done, no matter how small, you begin to wire your brain into believing that you do get things done.

I used to tell myself I was a procrastinator, now I demonstrate how I get done what I said I would. I definitely feel like I am doing more and moving forwards.

3 – Make Time for Me

When we have so many demands on our time and attention, ensuring we put ourselves first now and again is imperative. If we are not running on full cylinders, how can we have the energy to do what we said we would and how do we give to others?

Everyone’s idea of ‘me’ time may be different – cooking, fishing, reading, running, meditating, etc – I would encourage everyone to find what works for you and incorporate some of that into your day.

For me, it has been to develop a bit of Mindfulness practice into each day. I look at doing a short meditation first thing in the morning, which starts the day well. If I reach a space during the day, when things seem to be running away with me, I take 5 minutes to meditate, focus on my breath and relax. This really helps me steer clear of that familiar overwhelm feeling and continue moving forward.

For me, Uncompromised Living is about negotiating priorities and making sure that I put myself towards the top of the list. Developing a mindfulness practice has really helped with that.

If you would like to learn some more Mindful hints and tips, join me at 6.40 on Monday mornings, live from my Facebook page – Gina Dallison Coaching – where I start the week with some Magical Mindful Moments.