Life is getting busier. We are bombarded with info 24/7 and it’s exhausting. I recently heard an interesting talk that stated that people have become 20% more busy in the last 10 years and with that, about 20% more stressed.
The challenge we have is this “busyness” is affecting our “sacred space”, the space in which we process thoughts and create ideas. As a result we are becoming a “thoughtless” generation.
What I mean by that is, we’ve become so busy we end up clicking on articles we never finish, buying things we don’t need and spending unplanned time with people we don’t value. Thus we are inviting more noise into our lives.
“Take time to take stock of your life”
In this busy age we run the risk of living entertaining lives rather than meaningful ones. We have to develop new skills to navigate this busy landscape. And for me “visualising” or “visual mapping” is a powerful tool to separate the wheat from the chaff and start filtering things we take it.
Let me give you a simple example: recently I took the time out to take stock of my personal finances: my will, investments, policies etc. In doing it, I got to thinking that this is a ton of stuff for my wife to go through if I died, which wouldn’t be fair on her. So I decided to make her a cheat sheet, visualising all the relevant info onto one page. In doing this I noticed that some policies I had with different institutes had certain benefit overlaps. So in effect I’m paying for the same thing twice where I could be investing some of that cash elsewhere.
It taught me a valuable lesson: Take time to take stock of your life. So I’ve started thinking about other areas of my life and I’m doing the same thing – mapping them out.
1. The people I want to spend time with vs. those random invites.
2. What I start vs. what I finish.
3. When am I most productive?
4. Content that sharpens my mind vs. content that numbs it.
5. What I end up spending my cash on vs. what I should.
6. The time I spend in the virtual world vs. the real world.
7. How often I check my phone for no apparent reason.
8. How often I mail when it’s better to phone.
9. Clients that value my services vs. those that waste my time.
10. How often I worry about the future instead of living in the present.
Keep the maps where you can see them. Look at them regularly. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you start to see the change.
In this busy age we live in sometimes it’s worth taking a step back and mapping out key areas of your life to see where you can better manage your time, talents or treasure. Because if you don’t, someone else will.
More about the author: Garth Jemmet is a director at Flick Visual Foundary has 15 years’ experience in traditional advertising and eight years in broadcast media. He specialises in visual communication & strategic thinking which drives business results.