1. Know your time of day.
Knowing your time of day and utilizing it to your advantage is crucial. Maybe you work best early in the morning or maybe it is late at night. Map out how you are going to use that time to cross off what is most important to you. Everyone operates at peak efficiency at some point in the day. If you need that mid afternoon hour to yourself, take it. If you need to start your day at seven so you can end it at 3, do it. If you aren’t a morning person, let yourself sleep late so you can work your best into the afternoon and early evening. I am certainly a morning person, I operate at my best early in the day and by the afternoon, I am craving that break.
2. Find one method of keeping track.
Whether it is a nifty mobile app like Start the Countdown, your pen and paper, or your calendar, pick one method of organization and stick to it. Having your priorities in multiple spots can be just as hard on your head as all those priorities to begin with. Rather than trying to keep track of everything you have to do in multiple places, pick one place and break it down into categories like work, home and errands. Less variables is more. I go for the pen and paper time after time. I like having something tangible that I can hold and alter at any moment
3. Pick one thing at a time.
Being able to multi-task is great, until it isn’t so great. Try picking one project, finishing it all the way through and then moving to the next. You may find yourself being much more efficient than you ever realized. Working on several things at once can leave your attention scattered and you may miss little details that you wouldn’t have, if the project had all your attention.
4. Don’t spend more time on something than it is worth.
Weigh the importance; is it big picture or little detail? Set limits for yourself and when you reach the limit, let go. Going with your first thought or impression is usually the right one, and being able to let something go and move on is very freeing.
5. Give yourself a break.
A break doesn’t always have to be long to be effective. Even ten or 15 minutes can improve your efficiency by leaps and bounds. Go for a walk outside, eat a snack, or watch a clip from your favorite television show. The key is stimulating your mind with something other than what has been in front of you for the past few hours. You will regain focus, energy and motivation.
While the task of developing mental peace of mind can be a daunting one, small gradual changes can ultimately make a huge difference. Reward yourself for all the hard work you do by swapping stress and chaos, for meditation and reflection.