It’s worth the read.
1. Create a list.
Putting everything on paper can help reduce your stress. You don’t have to depend on keeping everything in your head. Having tasks written down keeps the pressure off. You eliminate the extra task of having to memorize your list. If you have important things to do or attend, putting all your trust on a foundation as vague as memory is not a good idea. No wonder you’ve been stressed. Just keep calm, relax and write it down. Let your note pad do the heavy lifting. It frees your mind to do other things. Besides, once you have your list on paper, you can focus on prioritizing your tasks from most important to least important. Prioritizing your list and putting your agenda items in the most proper sequence also eliminate you from having to do double or triple work and even redo items multiple times. Often times you may find you did things out of order the first couple of times. Investing the think time it takes to create, prioritize and sequence your list is definitely worth it. It may seem slow at the beginning but it will increase your level of efficiency, which actually saves you time, effort and energy in the long run. This helps get rid of that sense of panic and guilt that's been nagging at you. You can also get rid of this idea that “there are so many things to do but not enough time.” You may feel overwhelmed but there is hope. The sooner you start, the more time you have. Start moving towards your goals now that you are younger. Don’t just run in circles. Motion isn’t necessarily progress. If you are the type of person who is always in a hurry but feel ineffective, creating a list is for you. It helps break the cycle of procrastination. Once you see the effect, you will join the great number of list makers in the world who swear by it. So just to review. Create the list. Prioritize it. Check it’s in the most proper sequence. Act on each item on the list in order and complete it. One of the added benefits of having a list is seeing the items on your list being crossed off. It’s motivating and energizing and gives you a sense of pride because you did what you said you would do. Knowing you can rely on yourself does help improve your self-confidence. Boost yourself! This is a much better ending to the day than having your mind pounding from exhaustion because it was stricken with fear trying to remember if you got everything done on time. Don’t live life like that. A list is a plan of action. A plan of action brings comfort and purpose. Be intentional.
2. Redefine your boundaries
Notice! I didn’t say create your boundaries or draw your boundaries. I said redefine them. You already have boundaries probably in your head. No one even knows they are there. So why would they care? Here is the reason. Give yourself more control over your life starting now. This moment. How? Redefine your boundaries and make them public. Let people know verbally about this change then stick to your guns. You absolutely deserve to be in charge of your life. If you don’t have a plan for your life, someone else will use you, your talent, your time, money and resources for their plans in their life. When you make your boundaries clear to everyone, you have more of a say so in what goes on in and around your life and those you love. Wouldn’t that be nice? What if you created boundaries and people actually followed them? You will find the greatest offenders may be relatives or people who have gotten comfortable making you uncomfortable. You may have to be aggressive with reminding them about the boundaries you set in place. Defend the new boundary. Fight for it. Sometimes you will have to “educate” people on how you want things to run in your life, in your house, and sphere of influence. You may not have a say in what goes on in their life unless they give you that permission but you ARE in charge of your life. So be in charge of it in all the ways you can be. What do I mean by boundaries? Easy. Think of something that needlessly consumes most of your time. Get rid of it. That’s it. Is it a game? Is it a lover who likes to play games? Is it a family member who thinks everything in your life is available 24/7 like your money, time and attention? Get rid of that behavior. Teach them your boundaries. Here are some good responses “That’s not the way we do things in my family.” “I wasn’t raised to do that.” Can it seem offensive? Yes, but really it is defensive. You’re getting control of your life back. Tell them not to call after hours or after work. Tell them not to text for every little “emergency.” No, they don’t need the money. If you allow them to cross those boundaries (believe me they will be tested), you will only be sabotaging yourself. Then it really is your fault. Be aware that with these new boundaries you will gain a new reputation to the people that are most affected by them. It’s okay. Embrace it. Own it. You will learn to appreciate it once you see people automatically respect the boundaries you put. You will find you have more room in your life to do things you want to do. Beautiful things blossom in a well-protected garden.
3. Eliminate distractions.
You know what they are. You know who they are. You just got to do it. You already know this is good for you and your future. I am just reminding you of something you know to be true. Get rid of the baggage. Get rid of the clutter. You will feel better. Focus on the main goal. What can be a distraction? Small talk. Small talk keeps us off task. What about binge watching? Wasted time. Go look at your list and work on it if you need to do something with your time. Sometimes people are the ones you may adjust your life for. This could cause you to change the trajectory of your life. Don’t do that. Your life’s purpose is bigger than just one person’s attention and admiration. Clarity is power. Once you begin to remove the clutter, your vision becomes much more obvious. Then when another distraction comes along your discernment kicks you in the shin and says, “stay away you dummy!” If you stay on track and not deviate from your plan, you will move forward in ways you didn’t realize you could progress. So grab a pencil and a notepad and begin. Remember to create the list, redefine your boundaries and eliminate distractions. Now go for it! - Fabian