The biggest reason we become overwhelmed and burnt out by our business, our health goals, and other life expectations, is that we place too much focus on the future. Rather than doing what needs to be done today, we worry about the list for tomorrow, which results in little or no progress at all; and spirals into limiting or unkind thoughts about ourselves and what we’re capable of.

Here are a few tools to help you avoid the future trap and step into your NOW:

First: Break down your Year

Perhaps you have a goal or outcome set for the year? You’ve listed the steps required to reach this goal, but about a week (or a month) into the year, things get fuzzy. You start feeling anxious about your ability to achieve this goal, feel unsure of what step to do first and start seeing everything as “urgent!” If this sounds like you and you’re ready for less overwhelm, why not try this:

  1. Write down the full list of steps to achieve your goal or to reach your outcome.
  2. Next, to that, note how much time you will need for each task.
  3. Now, rank your tasks in the order they need to be completed.
  4. Finally, add your tasks to your calendar in order and with enough time to complete.

Let each task have its own space. In this way, you can fully dedicate your time to each step, with the comfort of knowing that everything else will get done in due course.

Second: Prioritize the excess

Doing more is not the same as moving forward. Click To Tweet

No matter how hard we try, sometimes we just don’t tick everything off our to-do list and it rolls over to the next day or next week. This causes lists that are way too long and far too cluttered, but before you scrap your list and attempt to start again, go through each item and ask:

  1. Has “not doing” this item held me back from moving towards my goal?
  2. What would happen if I simply removed this item from the list?

Your answers reveal the importance of each task on your list. If the item is critical in moving you closer to your goal, commit to a deadline and get it done. If, however, the task carries little or no tangible impact on your success, perhaps you can remove it altogether? Declutter your to-do list to make space for the important, forward-moving tasks.

Remember that busy work distracts you from getting ahead. Doing more is not the same as moving forward.

Third: Give yourself enough time

While close to 90% of “overnight successes” say that they achieved their goals with slow, systematic progress, we continue to rush outcomes, strive for instant results and add unnecessary pressure with unrealistic deadlines. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be ambitious or dream big. I’m simply suggesting that you create the space to truly dedicate yourself to your goals and that you do so without hurting yourself in the process.

Giving yourself enough time doesn’t take away from the achievement. You do not need to get there today or this year. Take your time and make sure you keep moving forward, without burning out and losing more time as a result.

Giving yourself enough time doesn’t take away from the achievement. Click To Tweet

The formula is simple: create enough space for everything and then commit to focusing on the next right step. Trust that you have it under control and that each bit of progress is an achievement in and of itself. Stop chasing and transform your schedule from a race into a calm, yet exciting plan-of-action that is perfectly crafted to get you to your goal.

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