We all live crazy-busy lives, hopping around from one thing to the next.
And it’s great. It keep us busy and we get a lot done.
Throughout the course of the day, we could be doing 100 completely different things. How do we keep it all straight?
What helps me keep my sanity are seamless transitions between tasks.
It’s all about knowing what makes ourselves tick and having a smart way to hit the reset button. My key for not stressing during transitions is to not hurry through them. And to be graceful while doing it.
“Not too fast, not too slow.” ~ Waylon Lewis
How to make seamless transitions:
1. Planning ahead:
If I know ahead of time what my day holds, I can come to a clear stopping point with the project I’m doing before moving on to the next thing. It usually takes me about 15 minutes. One tool I utilize is setting a timer for myself 15-20 minutes before it’s time to leave and start cleaning up when the timer goes off. Keeping a schedule is also a terrific way to stay focused.
2. Staying organized.
If my home and work environments are tidy and organized, I spend less time getting caught up with distractions. I set aside a few hours during the week getting rid of old stuff, cleaning and organizing my area. I find my mind works better if it’s not cluttered with messy surroundings. One of my best tricks is to always put things away where they belong, right after I use them.
3. Link trips.
This is perfect when running errands. Whenever I have lots of places to go, I visit the ones that are close to each other, during the same outing. The technique I use to keep this straight: every morning I make a little list of all of the things I’m planning to accomplish that day. Having it written down helps me see which tasks are related, geographically or topically.
“If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
4. Being fashionably late.
Because I’m perfectly human, sometimes I screw up my schedule. Instead of freaking out and trying to hurry to the next thing, sometimes I just have to accept that I am going to be a little tardy. If someone is expecting me, I send a text letting them know how late I’ll be, just to be polite. If I’m driving, I take special care not to speed. Putting on a coat of lipgloss always helps me relax.
5. Transitional shower:
Yesterday a clever colleague was telling me about her best transitional tool. She lets go of the work she’s been doing by washing it away with a quick shower. A few minutes later she is all refreshed and ready to hit the ground running for the next task at hand. And she looks great doing it.
6. Commuting by bike.
It’s always worth it for me to get from one job to the next by biking or walking. It’s a perfect way to clear my mind and it’s a great way to get energized for the next thing. Also it’s a fun way to practice radical self-care by keeping my body and endorphins in shape.
Author: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: flickr/Sven Hoffmann