Finding time

We're well into summer. Year's more than half over. The long list of want-to-get-done things in 2006 is longer than it was in January, despite having crossed off scores of accomplishments and a few more now out of reach. At day's end, it's far easier to feel heat for a dozen things left undone rather than satisfaction for the few completed.

By Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief July 1, 2006

We’re well into summer. Year’s more than half over. The long list of want-to-get-done things in 2006 is longer than it was in January, despite having crossed off scores of accomplishments and a few more now out of reach. At day’s end, it’s far easier to feel heat for a dozen things left undone rather than satisfaction for the few completed. Can you relate? Here are 12 ways to relieve mid-year anxiousness.

1. Breathe, deeply. Breathing can be conscious or automatic. Make deep breathing a choice for a few minutes. Smiling while doing this reinforces the mental benefits and the physical rejuvenation.

2. Plan. Looking ahead removes vague anxieties about something that might be missed. Today leads to tomorrow. Before next week, there’s a weekend. Be sure to have one.

3. Allocate time. Today work a bit on what’s due today or tomorrow, and this week begin something due next week, next month, and two months from now. Concurrent workflows compound savings down the road.

4. Focus. Certain interruptions are needed; others may be an excuse to avoid what really needs doing. Small concentration avoids large procrastination.

5. Look back. Gain perspective, confidence, and balance for the future based on what’s been achieved previously.

6. Clean. If it hasn’t been touched in six months, toss (or delete), unless it’s filed in a specific project folder or required for document retention.

7. Simplify. Examine what’s pending and pare it down. Personally and professionally, what was needed once may not be anymore.

8. Learn a new tool. Pick one tool that could make life easier and try it. Then try it again. Or revisit or optimize something now in use but used inefficiently.

9. Habit exchange. Identify one habit to jettison and exchange it for one that could provide greater good. The boost provided to the spirit offers deeper advantages to overall outlook.

10. Exercise. Long-term productivity is lost every time exercise is set aside to do more on the “should do” list. Even careful stretching rejuvenates mental sharpness.

11. Get help. Identify something with a well-defined beginning and end then ask someone to lend a hand—perhaps someone not previously involved. (Reciprocation feels good, too.)

12. Just because. Do a random good thing for someone. The world needs more of that. If it involves forgiveness, personal gain even may exceed outward benefits. At the end of the day, we all sleep better.

MHoske@cfemedia.com