People seem to be getting busier and busier every day. The sad fact is, however, this doesn’t appear to correlate with how much we are actually getting done. It’s truly becoming the norm to express how busy you are. Our days typically start in a chaotic reaction-type outlook. Rather than starting with a clear mental stock of what we have to accomplish for the day, we immediately dive into the first ‘hot item’. While it may feel good to get right into answering emails and returning calls, it may not be serving you in the long run.
For the past few years, I’ve been reworking my strategy to be as productive as possible on a daily basis, while also keeping a healthy outlook on my longer term goals. I believe it’s the balance that makes both work. Throughout this process, I’ve discovered 4 factors that help me keep my life in harmony. I use a short acronym to recognize these parts on a daily basis — RUSH.
R – Relationships:
There are many types of relationships to take into account. It’s up to you to decide which are most important to you and your long-term goals. Ideally, you would be able to think about each of these on a daily basis, knowing that you’re building something for the future.
Professional: You may want to spend some time networking with like-minded people. If this is your goal, you might spend time at some meetups or networking events. Or, this might be a simple as reaching out to new contacts on twitter.
Family / Spouse: You may want to grow in your relationships with those closest to you. This could be setting aside some time to play a game or go out to eat. Try to leave anything that would distract you behind.
Friends: You may want to invest time in fostering the meaningful friendships you already have in your life. It’s important to surround yourself with quality people that share the same values in life.You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Click To Tweet
— Jim Rohn
U – Understanding:
This speaks to everything we fill our minds with. This is our knowledge, education and experience. It’s important that we continue to sharpen our minds by learning new things. Whether it’s from a book, mentor, podcast or friend; we must never stop. Every week, choose one thing that you want to focus on learning more about. I’ve made it my personal goal to read at least 1-2 books per month. You would be surprised how much you can get through just listening during a daily commute.
Here’s a few books I’ve found to be pretty interesting:
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
Written by: Gary Keller, Jay Papasan — This book is all about concentrating on the “one thing” that will move the needle on your larger goal. When you wake up, you focus on knocking out this one thing before anything else.
The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success
Written by: Darren Hardy — This book is all about how small things add up. Doing small things each day can yield large results in time.
How to Win Friends & Influence People
Written by: Dale Carnegie — This is an oldie but goodie. There is a lot of golden nuggets inside. This is all about how to engage in meaningful conversations with others to help deepen relationships.
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
Written by: Timothy Ferriss — Tim breaks down every aspect of life, to help us live simply and efficiently. This book is all about productivity.
Think and Grow Rich
Written by: Napoleon Hill — This book is all about the power of thought. This is sure to help boost your self-confidence and help you think on a whole new level.
S – Spirituality:
It’s important for everyone to believe in something greater than themselves. This might take on different forms for different people. Either way, we must make time to reflect on ourselves in a spiritual way. Figure out what makes sense for you and then carve out some time. For many people, this is best expressed in the morning before the chaos of the day ensues.
- Spend 15 minutes in the morning in meditation. Center yourself for a productive and meaningful day.
- Take some time to journal during your lunch break. Taking a few minutes to express and reflect on your life can do a lot in the long run. Sometimes we get so caught up in our day, we forget to keep a positive perspective on things.
- Pray before you go to bed. Take time to recognize all the amazing blessings in your life. Focus on the good.
The goal of this part is to become your best self. Work on building these habits daily and you will certainly become more self-aware.
H – Health:
This one is probably the most overlooked – or, at least the most justified. It’s essential that you treat your body well. After all, you’ve only got one. There are two pieces that contribute to our overall health and wellbeing; Exercise and Diet.
This is a “sore” subject for a lot of people. Most people think they simply don’t have the time to go workout. First of all, look at some of the things we do make time for (binge watching Netflix, hours of video games, or just taking it easy). Secondly, I think most people would experience noticeable results without ever going to the gym. My challenge would be to spend less than 5 minutes daily doing something intense, right around the house. Make the hard decision to go do something active. Too much? Think smaller: take the stairs, walk the dog, wash the car…it all adds up. Once you start making this a habit, it’s much easier to build on it.
Yup, the “D” word. No, I’m not talking about the latest fad diet. I’m talking about the things we consume in general. Our modern culture as transformed the word “diet” into an unrealistic, unhealthy expectation of what we’re supposed to eat. Most of us know what’s good and what’s bad, but it’s too easily justified to make a poor choice. Make the decision to eat healthier and track the difference. The compound effect (mentioned above) has an amazing illustration about how small choices can add up to large results. Here’s some food for thought:
- 1 lb = 3,500 calories.
- 1 Coke has 182 calories.
- 1 Coke per day = 66,430 calories per year.
Cutting just one Coke per day can save you almost 20 lbs/year. That’s assuming you eat everything else the same and don’t work out. There are a million ways to break this down with all sorts of food. The idea is to find something that you can live without and cut it. Do the math – it will add up. Miss a day? Don’t give up.Giving up your goal because of one setback is like slashing your other 3 tires because you got 1 flat. Click To Tweet
Use these 4 factors to help balance out your life. When you start getting overwhelmed or feeling discouraged, think about which of these you might be neglecting and adjust accordingly. You deserve to live a happy and healthy life…that’s what it’s all about. Do you have something else that helps you live a successful life? Let me know if the comments below.