Have you ever found yourself wishing you had more hours in the day? It seems crazy to think twenty-four isn’t enough but between work, travel, exercise, keeping up a decent level of hygiene and still getting the recommended seven to nine hours sleep, it can prove difficult to tick all the boxes while also maintaining a “healthy balance” including downtime and socialising.
So what can we do? Since a twenty-five hour day isn’t coming anytime soon, we need to stop glorifying busy and become more efficient and flexible with our time, says Vanessa Bennett, high performance coach and CEO of Next Evolution Performance.
“People need to get over being busy, that’s basically just life. We all have far more opportunities these days and the result is having a lot on – it’s a good thing, not a bad thing,” says Bennett, who has spent years training top professionals, individuals and teams to be more productive and mindful with their time.
“The trick is, you can do anything but you can’t do everything. The issue arises if people are doing things that don’t really serve their ultimate goals; people will be ‘busy’ rather than ‘productive’ and consequently, waste time.”
According to Bennett, many people are “very busy being busy, and telling everyone how busy they are” – something we’re all familiar with or guilty of at one point or another. She says, if you cut out the things you don’t really need to do and then manage your energy instead of your time, you will be a whole lot more productive instead of ‘busy’.
Bennett tells us to identify when we are most productive and use it! “You need to learn how to manage your energy, not your time. It’s incredible how much you can achieve when you’re energised. Whether it’s after a yoga session, a good nights sleep or working on a project you love, we are so much more productive when our brain, body and belief are aligned.”
This can be difficult for those of us (myself included) who have been diagnosed with a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out) or who simply always want to please, but from Bennett’s experience it can make all the difference. “Be selective on how you spend your time. Don’t overload your days with different tasks but choose tasks that contribute to your end goal and focus your energy and intentions on those.”
This is a sentiment we’re all too familiar with. Checking our phone has become part of the daily routine – when we wake up, before we go to bed, while we’re waiting for the bus, sitting on toilet (you know you do) – but Bennett warns us to use technology to your advantage, instead of letting it take control of your life. “People think that digital detoxes are the answer – it’s more about digital discipline. For some, putting your phone / laptop aside for hours, or days causes more anxiety. Instead, allocate your time checking your emails etc. to ease the mind then allow for downtime.” Here are some tips to help you out.
Vanessa Bennett is a high performance coach and the Australian CEO of Next Evolution Performance, an international organisation dedicated to increasing productivity in the workplace. Bennett believes in taking a holistic approach, incorporating body, brain and belief with neuroscience to improve performance. Built upon a philosophy of energy as the foundation of all action and inaction, Inside 80 identify the natural pace of their clients and empower them with strategies to align their work and leisure paces in parallel. Follow Vanessa Bennett @high_perform_ness.