6 Smart Strategies for a Busy Life
1. Rank your tasks
After preparing his daughter for school, architect Amit has adapted a unique strategy for his morning workload each day. “After dropping Raena to the school bus, mornings are a good time for me to get a handle on my to-do list,” he notes. “Depending on the efforts needed and the time required, I sort out tasks into rocks, pebbles and sand.” This specific mental exercise helps him to break the tasks into achievable groups. “Rocks take up the meatier part of the daily schedule, while pebbles and sand start filling up the gaps and interludes. It helps me to not squander away the longer parts of my day on smaller tasks.”
2. Rise early
For travel magazine editor Jyoti, a fast-paced life means an early start to the day is an absolute necessity. "I wake up really early as I feel that the morning hours are great for aligning my thoughts and planning the day ahead," she says. Don’t forget the other side of the coin, and embrace the value of an early night’s sleep too.
3. Hit the page
Mapping out her plan of attack helps keep Jyoti focused and motivated. "I make lists every day,” she notes. “I know it's very old school but it gives me great pleasure to strike out things done. It’s that sense of achievement."
4. Don’t stop
For marketing and communications manager Maneka, keeping a fast pace to the day ensures she attacks each task at speed. “I am someone who cannot sit still, which means that between work, running my house and all the various errands that go with it, plus social schedules, I am always doing something,” she says.
5. Stretch and breathe
Jyoti says that her morning routine would not be complete without releasing tension from her body and calming her mind. "I do yoga with my trainer, who has blended the principles of the yin and the yang with traditional asanas and breathing techniques."
6. Use tools and calendars
“I believe you need to plan and learn how to multitask well,” says Maneka. “So my life is between my reminders and the Apple calendar. I make note of everything and that is my way of ensuring I get it all done.” She’s on to something: according to Forbes in one study, people who wrote down their goals and tasks (and, even better, also sent their friends regular progress reports), achieved their tasks nearly 75% of the time. Those who left goals unwritten? They succeeded less than 50% of the time.