As I drove to work this morning I thought about how I could be more efficient. Fit more into my day and cut out the time wasters. When I got home, I was annoyed to find my husband immersed in a computer game that was sure to take another hour to finish, and I really wanted to get on the computer. While I waited, I went to my bookshelf of library books, and lo and behold I spotted Dr. Edward M. Hallowell's book: Crazy Busy right on my book shelf. I had been so busy and efficient last week I hadn't even noticed what I had taken out of the library!
Hallowell would say my husband & I are both victims of GEMMELSMERCH. It's a made up word to "describe the force that distracts a person from what he or she wants or ought to be doing. It's as pervasive & powerful as gravity." Things like, magazines, TV, the computer, cell phones & phone calls, ideas that just pop into your head, the mess in your house/office/yard, email and on and on.
Hallowell is a favorite writer of mine & his book has so much to say, but I share with you his SIX KEY PRINCIPLES IN MANAGING LIFE IN THESE CRAZY BUSY TIMES:
1. CONNECT: By connecting with the people and projects that matter most to you, you create an emotional atmosphere at home, at work, and wherever else you go. Connecting with others is also the best way to reduce worry. It is fine to worry, just try never to worry alone.
2. CONTROL: Control your technology-cell phone, e-mail, and the like-don't let it control you. Develop a system that works for you-when you take calls, how you prioritize e-mails, and so on.
3. CANCEL: People--and organizations--add activities, but they rarely subtract. It may seem difficult at first, but if you get in the habit of canceling what doesn't really matter, you'll be amazed at how much better you feel and how much more energy you have. Try to think of at least one activity, meeting, or event you can cancel right now. Pare down your life to its best.
4. CREATE: Create structures and systems in your life that help you get organized. This might mean a new filing system, or a part of an evening you set aside solely for conversation with your spouse, or a time you book into your schedule for exercise.
5. CARE: Decide what you care most about. You do not have time for everything you care about, so you must prioritize. If you don't do this consciously, you will do it unconsciously simply because what you care about exceeds the time you have to devote to each item on your list.
6. CULTIVATE: Cultivate your lilies and discard your leeches. To do this you must take what the people in AA call a fearless inventory, but in this case it is not of yourself but of your life. What do you want to do more of? What do you want to do less of? Figure that out, then do it.