Brainfood: Your Route to the Top - Coping with overload

Focus. Successful people are rarely frantic, and frantic people are rarely successful. Take a close look at your schedule and clear out the clutter.

by
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Make your time your own. Is your diary driving you? Take control and be as careful with commitments as you are considerate of other people's time.

Let go. Trying to achieve everything is admirable, but impossible. Realise that an active imagination will generate more proposals than there is time to get done.

Have a single point of reference. A master to-do list will triumph over an abundance of sticky notes, text reminders and diary scribbles.

Prioritise. What's critical in the next hours, days or weeks? Choose your priorities and fix a later time for less urgent things.

Ditch your dependants. Are there people in your team who rely on your time? Support them in solving their problems alone. They will feel more confident; you'll find more room to breathe.

Lighten the load. Are there areas where others can help? Match interests to tasks - could someone else write the first draft or attend a new client meeting?

Break down big tasks. Split a job into its components and tackle each part as needed, rather than struggle to do it all now.

Bring clarity through sharing. Engaging others at the start can reassure you that you're on the right track. It also ensures their support and cuts the risk of having to invest time later.

Use others to estimate your time. Research has shown that other people give more accurate estimates of how long something takes than the person doing the task.

Get on with it. Once you have worked out where your focus is, stop organising and start doing.

The Mind Gym: Wake Your Mind Up is published by Time Warner (£12.99), www.themindgym.com.

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