3 Tips to Get Your Time, Energy and Creative Mojo Back When You Feel Time-Starved
These three tips will help you get back more of your time, energy, and creative mojo, especially if you feel time-starved, overworked, or like you are spinning your wheels.
#1 Ditch the To-Do Lists for To-Time Lists:
To-do lists are never-ending. The minute you remove one task, three more get added on. To be more efficient, instead of to-do lists, I’ve learned to create to-time lists. I brain dump all my to-dos and then I assign the most important tasks time in my calendar to complete. My brain doesn’t worry about all the tasks I haven’t gotten to because they are on my list ready to be scheduled. With this method, I’m forced to prioritize the important tasks, and not get sucked into the little ones. Let’ face it, we fill the time we have. So, if I only have 30-minutes to respond to emails, I’ll take 30-minute. But, if I don’t have an end time, those same emails can take me all morning.
A to-time list allows you to do more of what matters in less time.
#2 Break Between Tasks:
Research shows that the brain takes five-seven minutes to complete and close out a task. When you move from task to task, or meeting to meeting, your brain is still carrying around mental residue from the tasks, conversations, and meetings prior. That can really weigh you down and keep you from being present. That lack of presence hurts your productivity, your ability to connect with others, and minimizes innovative thinking. Between tasks or meetings take a break that clears the mind. I find meditation or movement works best. Sit in silence for 10-minutes, do a breathing exercise, walk around the office, do push-ups. Don’t stream something or scroll on social media. That just adds more mental residue.
Movement and meditation breaks decrease stress while increasing presence and creativity.
#3 Put All Ideas in the Bucket:
On my desk, you’ll find a big popcorn bucket filled with sticky notes. On those sticky notes, you’ll find ideas for my podcast, the magazine, my car in the winter, a new app for goal setting, a TV show, and more. No, I will not be moving forward on most of these ideas. But, what I’ve come to realize is that the brain likes to practice and receive validation. Basically the more ideas you come up with, the more skilled your brain becomes in creative problem solving and critical thinking. The brain also loves validation. Writing all my ideas down, even the most outlandish ones, gives my brain the validation it needs to keep churning out ideas. Then, when I need my innovative mind the most it’s strong and ready. This is why keeping your head down and only being innovative in certain moments doesn’t work. It feels hard and exhausting because you spent hours prior telling your brain, “don’t be innovative.” So, get a bowl, bucket, hat, or cup and put every idea you have in it, the moment you have it. In just a few days you feel the innovation flowing.
Putting ideas in the bucket unlocks an incredible flow of innovative thinking so you can work smarter, not harder.
Let me know which one works for you. — Tamara
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