Keeping Busyness In Check

I like being busy.  Not busy just for the sake of being busy, but busy doing things that are meaningful and fulfilling.  To me, life is more fun when our days are full of activities that give us purpose.  However, it’s crucial that we remember to make time for those important things that can easily get lost or overlooked in the midst of our day-to-day busyness.

Some important things are extremely easy to put off because of how busy we are.  Consider how easy it is to tell ourselves, “When I’m not so busy I need to:”

  • Make time to connect with my friend…
  • Schedule that annual checkup or routine medical screening
  • Start exercising daily
  • Begin saving for the future
  • Make some healthy changes to my diet
  • Pursue that goal or dream of mine

Our intentions are to do these important things, but the reality is that they often get forgotten or pushed out because we are busy.  The reality is also that putting off these things could have significant negative consequences if they are neglected too long.  Those consequences could be things like:

  • The drifting a part of a once great friendship
  • A once easily preventable/treatable condition has turned into a full blown medical emergency
  • Our health has deteriorated
  • Our lifestyle will drastically change, because we don’t have the resources we need for the future
  • Our goals and dream go unrealized

All because we are too busy to address them today.

Let’s make sure we’re not being so busy today that we neglect the things that will lead to a fulfilling and healthy future.

Great Idea! Now What?

In a previous post I wrote how your head was a great place for having ideas, but a lousy place for keeping them.  This is because it’s so easy to lose ideas in the constant clutter of thoughts going on in our heads.  This week, I’d like share some actions we can take when we come up with a good idea, to ensure they are not forgotten.

First, create a system for capturing ideas.  With the digital revolution in full swing, there are several electronic options to quickly capture the idea written down.  These can include:

  • An audio recording
  • An email or text to yourself
  • An electronic list
  • A smartphone app designed for taking notes
  • Pictures taken with smartphone

Since most folks have a smartphone on or near them at all times, it makes sense that this would be a good tool to use to capture ideas.  However, we shouldn’t discount “old-school” mediums such:

  • Notebooks
  • Whiteboards
  • Sticky notes
  • Journals

What I have found is that I usually rely on a couple different methods for capturing ideas.  I think it’s important to settle on 2-3 preferred methods that work for you, because having too many ways of capturing ideas can lead to clutter and cause ideas that get lost.

Next, after you’ve developed a system for capturing your ideas, create a system to consolidate all your ideas.  By this, I mean taking all the ideas you had and placing them in a consistent location so they are easy to locate in the future.  Again, this collection could be a digital or an old-school method.  Just pick a one that works for you and make sure consolidating the ideas you’ve captured becomes part of your daily routine.

Finally, the most important step you can take after capturing and consolidating your ideas is to develop a plan to take action on your highest priority ideas.  If you’re like me, most of your ideas won’t be any good.  However, when you do have an idea that is good and you want to implement, do something that reminds you to put your idea into action.  For me, that often looks like setting a reminder in my smart phone to alert me at a certain date and time when I will be in a position to take action on my idea.

There are several methods that can be used to capture, consolidate, and act on your ideas.  The important point is to have specific methods at each step so you’ll be able to put your ideas into actions.  Actions that could potentially change your life.

Without a plan to do something with the ideas we have, they are often relegated to being just ghosts of ideas that disappear soon after we have them.  It’s time to start collecting and acting on the treasure of ideas our minds so often provide