You can get your life back together again.
Was there a time in your life that seemed more enjoyable than what you’re experiencing now?
It is possible to experience more joy – and feelings of accomplishment – than you ever have before.
We like to live our lives as though we have an unlimited amount of time and physical energy.
But we don’t have unlimited time and energy – and when we pretend that we do, we end up organizing our time and energy in unfortunate ways.
Your time and physical energy are limited resources and when you treat them as though they are precious, your daily life improves.
Everyone feels like their life is spinning out of control sometimes. When that happens, here are fifteen uncommonly effective ways that can help you to get your life back together.
What follows is a deeper explanation of each of these key points.
1. Don’t Just Ask “How.” Ask “Why?”
Living a healthy lifestyle allows you to live a more robust and fulfilling life.
However, in order to become extremely healthy and stay extremely healthy, you need to create the time for additional self-care protocols and habituate them.
One way to accomplish this is to start using checklists in a new way.
Sound principles of time management and organization form the foundation of extreme health.
What you probably need is a new productivity system that you can stick with (which is important, because you want a system that works for you, not a system that you have to work for).
It will be helpful for you to determine – consciously – the reasons that you would write a to-do list in the first place.
Knowing why you want to get organized is an essential first-step to figuring out how to tailor a checklist system that fits your unique needs.
Are you trying to:
- develop your career?
- maintain your household?
- reduce stress?
Take a moment to reflect on what you want and why.
What sorts of things are you hoping to achieve by being better organized?
Asking the right questions is one effective strategy for getting your life back together.
2. Reduce Anxiety Naturally with Improved Productivity
It seems important to mention one other facet of productivity: that productivity systems are a healthy way to metabolize the anxiety that comes with contemporary life.
In these times, a typical day can be chaotic and anxiety-producing.
Even if you think you’re the calmest person in the world, modern living can still sometimes grind you down in unexpected ways.
It’s the low-level stress you have to watch out for because it starts to feel like your normal baseline so that after a while you don’t even realize it’s there.
It’s an undercurrent of mild anxiety or tension in the body – too mild to be dramatic, but too unhealthy to be experienced day-in and day-out.
Systems help your mind to focus and your heart rate to lower, because they bring order to the chaos – the brain doesn’t have to keep reinventing the wheel every hour, accounting for every variable, storing every bit of data.
Too often, without realizing it, we “handle” the multitude of tiny stresses within our daily lives by self-medicating them.
We use television, sugar, wine – you name it – to help dial-down the chatter of our brains and unwind a bit.
I encourage you to use productivity systems instead.
Productivity systems can give you a legitimate sense of calm and control so that you know you’ve handled what you can for today, and tomorrow you’re poised to hit the ground running. Now you can fully be in the moment – enjoying your novel, or being emotionally present with your spouse, child or best friend.
Reducing anxiety by improving productivity is one effective strategy for getting your life back together.
3. Identifying Your Everyday Rituals Can Help Get Your Life Back Together
Quotidian is one of my favorite words. What it means is: every day.
The word quotidian has a kind of spiritual quality to it – it’s like: daily rituals of blessing.
Your quotidian lists are for daily tasks you will do every day (not the one-time tasks).
You can have two quotidian lists. One for Professional, and one for Personal (if you’re a state-of-the-art homemaker or stay-home parent, you can combine those lists if you find that easier).
Think of all the tasks you want to get done every day, in your business and personal life, and lay it out in a list – order the tasks in the sequence that is as close to ideal as possible.
Identifying positive everyday rituals is one effective strategy for getting your life back together.
4. Determine What You Would Do With More Free Time
If you ask most people what they would do with their time if they were less busy, most will have answers such as:
“I’d finally start taking better care of myself — maybe take up biking, learn how to eat better…”
“there’s a new yoga studio in the neighborhood I’ve been meaning to check out,”
“I’d take my grandkids for long walks.”
You would probably have a similar answer, too.
The reason our answers to that question all sound similar is because, somewhere deep-down inside, we all know that these two things are true:
- when we have excellent health, we have everything;
- the trick to taking better care of ourselves is to first start using our time more effectively.
“Living well is the best revenge,” George Herbert once famously said, and – in a way – it really is true.
Though revenge is perhaps not the best use of your limited time on earth, it is true that when you have excellent health you have everything.
Excellent health is pure potentiality because great health forms the foundation upon which nearly everything worthwhile is built in your life.
No matter how bleak things may seem to you on any given day or in any given moment, if you have great physical health then your life is already prosperous and hope-filled and your dreams are realizable.
Determining what free-time means to you is one effective strategy for getting your life back together.
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5. Figure Out Where Your Time Really Goes
About three times a year I track how I spend my time. I do this for a few days so that I can get an accurate sense of where my time goes.
I think of it as a “time tune-up.”
Today, I’m encouraging you to pay close attention to how your time is spent.
When we track how we actually spend time during an average day, we often discover that where we thought our time was going is different than where it really goes.
When you look at your time objectively in this way, you are better able to re-prioritize your activities – organizing your time around your core competencies (those activities that bring you the largest return) and health protocols, and deleting (or delegating) those activities that offer the least return.
Figuring out where your time is actually going is one effective strategy for getting your life back together.
- ask strategic questions
- reduce anxiety with improved productivity
- identify positive everyday rituals
- determine what free time means to you
- figure out where your time is really going
- de-clutter your typical day
- honor the connection between health-span and organizing
- change your perception of time
- develop a new productivity system
- reframe your endeavor as noble
- fantasize vividly
- modify language choices
- look objectively at your typical weekday and fine-tune
- find joyful outlets
- equate healthy relationships with prosperity
- Peak Experiences help you to remember who you really are at your core.
- Approach your personal development goals as though they are adventures to embark upon.
- Set a clear intention that one year from today you will be even healthier and happier than you are today.
6. Declutter Your Daily Life
Clutter is a culprit!
A cluttered life soaks up free time like a dry, thirsty sponge.
By clutter, I don’t just mean a messy garage (although, that is clutter). “Clutter” means the noise, distractions, and chaos of modern life.
There can be so much reactivity in modern life. We spend our days reacting to distractions without even realizing it. But you can declutter your daily lifestyle and experience more joy and serenity than ever before.
Here’s how it works: in order to live longer and live better, you’ve got to live smarter.
The reason that smart and healthy people often seem to be working toward some self-care goal is that they understand that some of their lifestyle habits could always be fine-tuned.
Living smarter means to organize your life is such a way that you are filled with joy, energy, and excellent health. One essential aspect of this is to optimize your time for maximum efficiency.
Finding the right productivity system can help you to live smarter so that you can direct more time and energy to what-matters-most in your life.
De-cluttering your typical day is one effective strategy for getting your life back together.
7. Recognize the Connection between Longevity, Healthspan, and Being Organized
In today’s modern world, most of us feel drained – like we’re being pulled from all sides. This is the ultimate energy-zapper, and it leaves us overwhelmed, blurring our priorities, and making us resistant to change …even when that change could be greatly beneficial.
I feel passionate about helping others to understand that, in order to live longer and more joyfully, it helps to be organized.
Good organizing creates more free time to spend with friends and loved ones.
More Free Time Means Better Self-Care
Look, the bottom line is this: happiness requires self-care.
And self-care requires time and energy.
Efficiency systems and productivity tools are keys to freeing up the time and energy necessary for improved self-care.
When something is sufficiently fulfilling, there’s no need to conceive of it as something that will be judged or graded.
You weren’t graded on your first kiss – that wasn’t the motivation! The same holds true for improving your personal productivity.
I’m not promising you the magic of a first kiss, but I am promising you something that is rewarding unto itself – and shouldn’t feel like work.
Society is becoming more complex, and so are our responsibilities. The only thing that is staying the same is the number of hours in each day.
While many of us might be interested in developing new strategies for self-improvement and personal growth, we often feel so time-constrained that we don’t believe we have an hour to sit down to read a new book or attend a new workshop.
Resist the temptation to complicate success.
Stay focused. Keep it simple.
Remember that prosperity begins with internal shifts.
Honoring the connection between healthspan and organizing is one effective strategy for getting your life back together.
8. See Time Differently
Become accurately and tenaciously aware of how you actually spend your day.
When we feel time-constrained, it can negatively impact all areas of our lives. There are solutions! You can trick Father Time into helping you accomplish more.
The peculiar thing about time is, that if we talk a lot about“not having enough” time, or “feeling harried,” we can actually manifest fore of the same – a frazzled lifestyle that seems to short on free time.
This is one aspect of the natural law of attraction at play in the universe:
that which we give our attention to, we create more of”
Have you ever noticed that people who focus on the negatives in their lives seem to perpetuate bad “luck,” while people who celebrate their successes seem to manifest a snowball effect of sometimes unbelievable triumphs?
Instead of focusing on lack of free time, we can focus on the free time we do have – to observe it – either when it occurs on its own, or when we schedule it into our day.
It’s essential that we give ourselves a break. Being hard on ourselves for not being more organized – or for not using our time more effectively – only creates more guilt and shame, which adds to our chaos and clutter.
What things will you accomplish in the remainder of your life?
It’s exciting to think about!
Celebrating your previous accomplishments will do more to create free time, and help you feel less overwhelmed.
I assure you this is true, as fanciful as it might sound to you right now. I encourage you to try it out.
Changing your perception of time is one effective strategy for getting your life back together.
9. Develop a New System
With that increased awareness, determine where you can habituate – either your revenue-producing activities or, in some cases, your “future business activities” (providing value to others with whom you’re not in a current business transaction).
…understand that relationship-building is not a temporary campaign, it’s a lifestyle choice”
What tools are your favorites, for staying organized and getting things done throughout your busy day?
For example, even though I’m kind of a high-tech guy who loves gadgets – my favorite productivity tool is still a good old-fashioned clipboard. I have several that I use for my various checklists.
By having my lists – each on their own designated clipboard – I am far less likely to misplace a list, or start using a list as “scratch paper,” etc. Having clipboards keeps me reverent about my process and assists me greatly in getting things done.
But that’s what works for me. What works for you is probably something completely different.
Many people find keeping a big spiral notebook with them – a sort of log within which they write everything, like their shopping lists, their to-dos, their phone numbers, etc. – to be the easiest solution.
Me? I can’t stand that method!
I don’t have time to start flipping through earlier pages to locate something I know I jotted down a few days earlier. Blech!
But hey, that’s my point: everyone’s different, and whatever tool works for you, no matter what it is, is the right tool.
I work almost exclusively from the home office. I don’t travel a lot right now, and I don’t spend a lot of time in my car. For this reason, clipboards work great for me to help me track how I’m getting things done.
However, one of my lists is digital: the work-related list of tasks that I want to be able to share with my business partners and staff – and they share their lists with me.
Good project management requires good collaboration tools (we use a simple app called Asana, although Basecamp is also highly regarded).
Here are a few simple questions that can help you to decide which tools might help you get more done:
Do you work in one place mostly, or are you on-the-go?
Generally, if you’re at a central desk most of the workday then you can use low-tech tools if you prefer them. But if you work in the field and spend a lot of time in your car, you might need to go digital.
Are you a parent of young children, or a free-and-easy single?
If you’re a parent of young children, you can hold yourself to different standards. Sometimes, just getting through the day with everyone in the family happy, healthy, and fed is a huge accomplishment!
Do you like technology (or do you find it irksome and a waste of time)?
If you’re easily frustrated by gadgetry, that’s okay; low-tech tools can be just as effective. Go with your natural strengths.
Developing a new productivity system is one effective strategy for getting your life back together.
10. Reframe Your Endeavor as Noble
If we’re being brutally honest, the fact is that for many people, their physical and emotional health gradually deteriorate as they earn more money.
Most people figure they can get healthy “one day” once they reach some imaginary future point, then they’ll get themselves into shape and start paying attention to deepening the relationships in their lives.
But, of course, the only moment we really have for certain, is now.
Hopefully, you desire the healthy kind of success.
Choose to have faith that your healthier habits will enrich your life if you are consistent and if you persevere.
Understand that relationship-building is not a temporary campaign, it’s a lifestyle choice.
Reframing your endeavor as noble is one effective strategy for getting your life back together.
11. Fantasize Vividly
Visualize what you want perfectly in your mind – close your eyes, breathe, and see yourself having what you want, so clearly and deeply that you can actually feel it.
12. Get Your Language Together
Attract what you want into your life by using positive vibrations and feelings, choosing to observe the best of your life, and eliminating the words “don’t,” “not,” and “no” from your habitual language.
In Silver and Strong: Getting Fit After Age 50, I explain exactly how to craft a Fitness Comeback Plan that specifically meets the needs of your unique body and lifestyle.
13. Look Closely at Your Day, Again
Remember in Strategy #5 above, when you tried to see your day through a different lens?
Now, do it again, only this time, be pickier.
Really look at the evidence of where your time is going.
Move into action, by looking consciously at how you spend your time each day and establish systems of productivity. This website is loaded with many tips on getting the most bang from your average day, so I invite you to explore a bit until you find systems that work uniquely well for you.
14. Together with Your Friends, Find Outlets
For whatever reason, we humans are not always proactive in finding habitual ways of releasing tension from our minds and bodies.
If we look back closely at the mistakes we’ve made in your lives until this point, we’ll see that often we made them when we were feeling anxious or off-center.
Identify your three favorite ways to release tension from your mind and body. Then ask yourself how you can do those activities more often during a typical week.
I’m grateful that I’ve managed to learn a few important lessons in my 55 years of life so far. I’ve made so many mistakes, yes, but I choose to see my experiences as positive because those mistakes have led to improvements in how I live.
I’ve always been uniquely interested in patterns, and during my life’s journey, I’ve been able to look around the world and identify certain repeating patterns of cause-and-effect.
What I’ve been able to recognize, repeatedly, is this simple truth: prosperity is magnetized by enthusiastic relationships.
Finding joyful outlets is one effective strategy for getting your life back together.
15. Equate Healthy Relationships with Prosperity
The more people you know – and the more positive and excited you are about knowing them – the more readily you will manifest increased wealth.
If you’re an introvert like me (introverts get their energy from solitude – that’s how they recharge their emotional batteries) then knowing a lot of people may not come as breezily to you.
Like me, you’ll have to make a concerted effort each day to extend yourself and grow your sphere of influence.
Fortunately, we introverts genuinely like people (even though we enjoy our alone-time, too), so once we set good relationship-building habits, it does start to get easier.
The Energy Loop of Reciprocity and Being Together
The plain fact is that we all answer to somebody.
- if you’re a landlord, you answer to your tenants.
- if you’re a teacher, you answer to your students, parents, and principal.
- if you’re a bishop, you answer to your diocese.
- if you’re a nurse, you answer to your patients.
- if you’re a small or micro-business, you answer to your clients.
- and if you work at a corporation, you answer to your customers and manager.
We all answer to somebody and we all need relationships – they are the glue that holds modern life together.
One of the activities I invite my colleagues and clients to participate in is creating a Relationship List. A Relationship List is a roster of your favorite people in the world. It is a list of the “givers” in your life. It may be relatives, past clients, old college buddies – just people you like.
Together We Win
I like to imagine my Relationship List as a garden. It needs tending. It needs water, air, nourishment, weeding, and love.
And when you tend to your relationship garden, your garden will bear abundant fruit each harvest season. Simply put: you will enjoy your life more.
Learn to garden the relationships in your life and partake in the abundant harvest.
Many people treat the relationships in their lives as an afterthought – a wild orchard that they just “happen upon.”
They snatch a few pieces of fruit from a tree, and they keep walking.
I prefer to be more aware – more conscious – about the relationships in my life.
I like to reflect on my relationships, and I like to reach out to my relationships. I like to give to my relationships.
The analog era was about broadcasting. The digital era is about reciprocity. So I suggest that you don’t waste your time trying to garden with people who are “takers.”
No amount of energy that you invest will ever be enough and come harvest time, your crop will be slim pickings!
Instead, give your time and energy to the people in your life who are givers. They already understand true reciprocity and so will appreciate your efforts. Together, you will help each other win.
Relationships are work. Period. Even if you’re a people-person like me, it still requires time and energy to create healthy, equitable relationships with the fellow human beings in your life.
Imagine for a moment that you are part of a field of energy, and within that field, there are two dynamics to which prosperity is attracted:
- a person who connects well with others
If you want to be a magnet to money, get to know more people and get to know the people that you already know, better.
How do you converse with your tribe? And, most importantly, how do you give to the people you like?
When we use the word abundance, we often mean different things.
For me, abundance is, above and beyond all else, enjoying excellent health. Having reciprocal, enjoyable relationships in your life is an essential part of abundant health.
The above 15 methods can help you get your life back together.
- Which of the above have you not yet tried?
- What would happen if you combined all 15?
- What one person do you know who might find this article helpful or inspiring?
Additional Sources about the Process of Getting Your Life Back Together Again:
Spreadsheet for Time-Tracking and Help Getting Your Life Together – http://lauravanderkam.com/books/168-hours/manage-your-time/
The Science Behind Change – http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5587977_stages-change-motivational-interviewing.html
Networking Together – http://www.bookyourselfsolid.com/small-business-marketing-advice/free-template-4-simple-steps-to-build-your-network/
On Forming Life-Long Friendships – http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongrelationships/Lifelong_Relationships.htm