Time flies. At least, that’s what we like to say when we’re busy.
It’s hard to make sense of your surroundings when you’re caught in the motion of an urban lifestyle. We repeatedly hear the same things, “I don’t have enough time,” or “where did the week go?” and in worse cases, “how did I lose sight of what I want?”
Before you know it, life gets crowded and starts making all the decisions for us. It happens to the best of us – we get too comfortable, too busy, too willing to please the people around us until we’ve passed the baton to the next person. Our lives need balance if we want to continue on a healthy path and avoid the all-too-scary b-word: BURNOUT!
Here, we propose a 5-step guide to taking back control of your precious time. It will equip you with the right strategies to keep you on track and avoid it from going rogue on you ever again.
Can you relate? Keep on reading and try out this guide for yourself.
Step #1: Use your day off as an opportunity for self-reflection to pinpoint your strengths & weaknesses
The best way to make a difference in your life is to clearly make sense of what you want to change. Self-reflection is key to tuning into yourself, understanding your circumstances, and ultimately figuring out what exactly it is in your life that’s been making you feel off-balance. You can try going for a run to clear your mind, try different types of meditation, or even just sitting with yourself in silence. Once you’re tuned in, write down a list of things you are good at versus the things that you need to work on. There are many different list sorters you can use online, such as Text Compare and Sort My List. You’ll be able to compensate for the negatives, by redeeming yourself with positives.
Step #2: Start using an organizer – analog or electronic – and jot everything down daily or weekly
Yes, I know. It’s redundant to say that scheduling is necessary to lead a healthier lifestyle. However, only few will take it seriously. Once you have determined what you have to change to take control of your life, remind yourself of these tasks or activities in order to make permanent change. The point is to make sure that no one else can distract or steer you away from them. Sites like Canva, Plan, and Doodle will give you the creativity to cultivate your personal online planner. Living your life on your own terms also means that you have to set boundaries, plan in advance, and establish a solid schedule that will inevitably switch over the control back to you.
Step #3: Target the areas where you lack control, start changing them now / Don’t put them off!
Once you’ve established your week schedule, it is tempting to put everything down and decide to start tomorrow. Instead, try working on some of the tasks that you had planned and keep brainstorming. That could be cleaning your home, going to the gym, or running important errands; anything to take control. You can start researching your role models and take examples from them – to apply their best practices in your life. The point is to start being productive and sticking to your decisions, not working around them. Apps like Google Task, Asana, and Habster will give you daily stamps of reminders and motivational quotes that you can check off as you read and complete them throughout the day. Believe it or not, the visual gratification is effective.
Step #4: Be strict with your routine AND the standards you’ve set for yourself by learning to say no – and practice what you preach!
The concept of self-discipline is a vital factor in keeping control of your life. Remember the Jim Carrey film, Yes Man? His character lost control of his life the moment he decided to let everyone start making decisions for him. A study from Neuron states that habits are formed in the brain by the endocannabinoid, and the main way to keep them as habits is to be consistent. Practice saying no in your everyday life: it could be saying no to working overtime if it impedes on your sleep schedule, or cancel a social gathering if it means you’re skipping out on your yoga class. It’s important to keep in mind that there will be circumstances that require you to adapt your routine – but there’s a difference between compromising and always having to give in.
Step #5: Seek guidance, excel in your practice, and book a session with a mentor on Mentorly
After you’ve decided how you’re going to take back control of your life, it’s essential to figure out how to sustain it. You might have lost touch with a passion of yours along the way – whether it be related to work or a hobby. Mentorship is the best way to find the inspiration and reassurance you need to get back on track. Mentorly offers on-demand mentorship with brilliant mentors from around the world in a variety of disciplines. You’ll learn how to navigate your career and set future goals, gain insight on how to manage your resources or even make a friend. We all need someone to bounce our ideas off of and this is a great place to start. Once you’ve completed this last step in your journey of taking back control of your life, you’ll find that its found its way right back into your hands.
Article written by Mentorly Associate, Mila Costa-Gizli