(c) Copyright Angela Booth 2002
You're completely bogged down with work. This week you must complete three client proposals, and two of your staff are out sick. You feel you have a better chance of sprouting wings and flying than getting those proposals done. From experience, you know that each proposal will take around four hours to do. However, you just don't have those 12 hours to spare. You decide that you will have to call your clients, tell them that you're overwhelmed, and assure them that you will deliver proposals next week.
What can you do when you've got way more work than you can get done? Whether reason you're overloaded is that you're a procrastinator or someone who takes on more work than she can handle, these two techniques will work for you.
Double your output and get your work done in half time
What if you could complete each proposal in two hours? Can't be done? What if someone were to offer you a $1,000 bonus if you completed each proposal in two hours, could you do it? What if they offered you $10,000? Without any doubt, if someone offered you $10,000 to complete those proposals, you'd do it. Our work always expands to fit time we allot to it. You can get your work done in half time. The key is to have confidence in yourself. You need initial confidence to at least try it and to believe that you can do it.
There are a couple of tricks you can use. The first trick is to focus all your energies. You do this by relaxing, yet also becoming alert at same time. It sounds paradoxical, but it's a meditative process, and it only takes a couple of minutes.
Try exercise below, just once, immediately before you start work on something that requires concentration. You'll be amazed at how much more work you get done. The exercise is drawn from Chi Kung, a Chinese meditative exercise form which is used in martial arts.
Read exercise through a couple of times to get a sense of it.
The focusing exercise (two minutes)- should be done where you can see a clock, immediately before starting work on a task which requires concentration.
The first couple of times you do this exercise, you may spend half allotted time getting your posture right. With practise, you can get into position within a few seconds, and focus on relaxing.
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Relax your knees; don't lock them. Hold your head up, and imagine there's a string fastened to crown of your head, which is pulling your head up. You should feel slightly taller. Relax your shoulders. Keep your eyes open, but lower your gaze, so you're looking slightly downward.
Put your right hand across your navel, with your fingers spread. Your right thumb should form a straight line across your navel. Put your left hand across fingers of your right hand, also with fingers spread. Relax both hands.
Relax your forehead, corners of your eyes, and your jaw.
You're now standing straight and tall, but relaxed. Put your attention in your body, directly behind your navel, and breathe in and out from there. Feel as if your abdomen is gently expanding as you breathe in, and relaxing as you exhale.