Posted by Tim Stobbs on May 28, 2010
If you are like me you have likely mastered the art of trying to be everywhere and often end up failing at it. It’s hard to keep up with the job, family, friends, and having something that resembles a hobby. Then still get in the basics like cooking, cleaning and errands.
So how does a person actually do it well? They plan ahead and stop trying to be everywhere. You may wish you had clones, but it doesn’t happen so live with just the one of you. So stop trying for the impossible and set your sights on the reasonable.
I’m not an expert on this, but so far this is what I’ve learned about how not to be everywhere:
- Say ‘No’ a Lot. Say it to yourself and then say it to the next request that doesn’t absolutely need you to do it. Then keep saying it a lot.
- Always start with the Important. We often get busy with the urgent, not important items in your life. Stop doing that and ask yourself every day “What’s the most important thing I have to do today?” Then do that first. Wait on the email and check that later, it is really important they will phone.
- Delegate. Learn to get others to do things for you or instead of you. It’s a great management skill that everyone should learn. It may not get done just the way you like, but as long as it is done, you are further ahead.
- Cut. Take a red pen to your calendar and to do list and cut out the crap you don’t need. Do you really need to make cupcakes for your kids class ? Do you really need to read that somewhat interesting book a friend told you about? Likely not. The idea here is to give you some breathing room for now and then add in carefully later.
- Sit Down and Shut Up. Stop volunteering for new things that come up and instead spend some time to just relax. Yes I know it is weird but you don’t have to have a vacation to relax.
So far I’ve been on this kick of cutting back for a while and I’m starting to feel just a little bit better myself. I’m not everywhere and it’s ok. The world didn’t stop and no one I know of has died. So even when you don’t think you can do it you can. How good are you at not being everywhere? What do you do that you feel works?