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How to Rebalance When You Get Off Track

Time management is about reducing unnecessary tension, fear and anxiety.

One of the biggest misconceptions about time management is that if you just get the right systems in place, all of your time management stress will be solved forever. But that way of thinking is simply not accurate.

Your systems and routines are extremely important, but they are not everything. These strategies are more or less the equivalent of building yourself a boat so that you’re not clinging to drift wood as you go through life. But even in a boat, you still need to captain your ship to maneuver through the various weather changes and obstacles that cross your path.

“Captaining your ship” relates to adjusting to changing circumstances and also to managing your emotions. Chapter 2 of my book The 3 Secrets of Effective Time Management is on overcoming crippling emotions and Chapter 3 is on empowering mental patterns because I know these are foundational for lasting behavioral change.

To get you started and help you to stay calm in what can be a spring season, here are a few tips on how to achieve peace now:

Lean the Other Way

When you notice that you get off track, a temptation can be to just give up. Instead of saying to yourself, “I got off track to the right so now I’ll veer to the left to get back on track,” you keep putting more energy in the direction you’re going until you get more and more off balance. A better way to handle things is to put your focus and attention to re-centering. For example: My e-mail inbox has gotten completely out of control. I’m going to set aside one day to get it cleared out so then I can focus on maintaining it.

Forget the Negative

Whatever we focus on increases in size. When we talk or think again and again and again and again about what didn’t go right or what we wish we had done better, we increase its power over us. It’s good to reflect upon and learn from situations, but dwelling on them can lead to unnecessary tension, fear and anxiety. Develop a short memory for mistakes and failures by reflecting on what you want to do differently next time and then letting them go. When you ignore the negative, it gets bored and goes away.

Repeat the Positive

Another way to push out the negative is to immerse ourselves in the positive:

  • I find that it’s incredibly helpful to listen to music that puts me in a positive mind-set.
  • Fun YouTube videos like this one can also help: Jessica’s Daily Affirmations
  • Quotes also have incredible power: “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”—Jerry Rice

Meditation and prayer can also help us to regain perspective. As one of my clients so eloquently stated: The sun is always there but through the course of our days, clouds can cover it. Meditation is a way of clearing the clouds so we can see the sun again.

May these strategies help you to achieve peace as you approach the rest of 2015.

(Image via Dragon Images/Shutterstock.com)