If you’ve been following this series you’ll know about my experience of losing control and the benefits I saw from doing so (part 1 & 2). Today I’ll be giving you 5 practical tips that I’ve used to help me live a more productive and free life. Why 5? Well because 5 is the number of harmony, balance and divine grace. Some say it symbolises the force and limits of man in our control of the universe…Basically, 5 is a cool number so let’s get into it!
- Strategic forward thinking
Forward thinking is an art in itself. It helps you to be more productive and conscious of your decisions. If you’re having at least 20 thoughts a minute, heart rate is increasing and your gaze is beginning to widen. Stop. It’s becoming manic and obsessive and continuing to do this will leave you mentally drained. Instead try out these 3 steps.
Step 1: Have an idea of what you want to think about. For example, how to progress to the next step of your business.
Step 2: Begin to mentally explore the areas relating to your business. For example, ask yourself what you aim to achieve, how you want to do it and your time frame.
Step 3: Write down your answers from those three questions and close the book
This process shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes anything beyond that is entering into the obsessive zone. Think with purpose and keep it moving.
- Flexible plans
Organised people like to plan. We know the saying “if you fail to plan…blah blah”. But can I just add a variation to this? “if you fail to be flexible in a world of uncertainty the uncertainties of life will make you fail” (not as punchy as the original but you get my point!). Crucially you have to allow space for the unknown. You cannot accurately predict the future and to be honest you shouldn’t want to! You would lose the excitement of life if you knew everything.
I would offer a 3 step approach but the whole point of having a flexible plan is that you don’t follow rigid plans!
You have to be willing to shift your plan whenever necessary. By having a flexible plan you’ve already accepted that not everything in this life is within your control!
- Learn the art of delegation
Delegation, delegation, delegation. Simply defined as “to send a representative”. It is sending someone on your behalf to do tasks that you may or may not be capable of completing. Why is this such a great tool when you’re trying to lose control? Because you hand over physical work to someone else and also the mental space that comes with it. You devolve all control and pass it on to someone else.
Be aware of your limitations and delegate wherever necessary. For example, I’m an academic tutor and I had a client that studied a module which I knew nothing about…instead of trying to control the situation and stress myself out with a topic I didn’t know, I delegated it to one of my other tutors. I knew they were more experienced in the area. This allowed me to focus more on my business and not waste time trying to blag my way through the session.
So delegate, and delegate wisely! Don’t become a serial delegator. Make sure you take responsibility when it’s needed.
Instead of jumping into a stressful situation try observing before making any decisions. To observe simply means that you acknowledge the situation and register it as being significant. It’s similar to taking notes in a business seminar. You identify key points note it down and come back to it later. The benefit of applying the act of observation in your life is that you’re able to build a mental database for previous and current situations. If the matter is not urgent you can simply observe and come back at a later date when it is more convenient for you to address.
By doing this you’ll allow unimportant stressful situations to pass you by leaving you more free and relaxed to focus on the important things.
- Reflect, Reflect, Reflect!
You can’t develop or change as a person if you don’t reflect! Reflecting is a great tool that allows you to weigh up and analyse your actions. This can be done retrospectively or in the moment. It helps you better establish areas for improvement and it is usually done in a controlled and organised manner. I find keeping a journal and writing down my thoughts helps me clarify what’s going on in my mind.
How does this help you lose control? It puts you in a better position for the next unknown situation that may pop up.
Apply these 5 areas to your life and soon you’ll be living a more free and fulfilled life. Let me know what you thought of this series? Did it help?
Thank me later