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Manage Your Life, Not A List

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The expectations you set for yourself are sky-high: You want to dominate at work, be an exceptional provider for your family, stay in incredible shape and find ways to become more involved in your community. People often describe you as an “overachiever,” and, in the past, this title made you proud. But you’ve realized that the more you take on, the more stress follows. You’ve relied on to-do lists to stay on top of the many items that fill your calendar, but this system is not working for you. A to-do list won’t help you become a master of your own life — it will simply make you feel like you’re not doing enough. You’re ultimately sabotaging yourself. To truly grow, you have to learn life management skills instead of just piling more tasks on to your plate.

If you find yourself achieving things, checking them off your to-do list and still wondering, “Is this all there is?” then it’s time to change your approach by integrating these powerful life management skills into your life.

Find purpose

What do you want from your life? What is your ultimate outcome? The answer isn’t buying a nice car or fancy house. Your true goal is something deeper. What objective, when you think about it, brings you a sense of joy, fun and freedom? That’s what you’re working for. It could be providing for your family or being the best in your field, but it isn’t about material things.

All too often you lose sight of your end goal when thinking about what you want to achieve. This results in creating meaningless to-do lists. You get swept up in the short-term tasks you’ve listed instead of pursuing your higher purpose. The more clarity you have regarding your end goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. Once you know what you really want, you start making progress to achieve it.

With a clear vision in mind, you can start mapping out your actions with purpose and make true progress toward your goals. As Tony Robbins says, “One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” Decide to become a master of your life. Take control of your time and make your actions count.

life management father surfing with kid on shoulders

Rely on chunking

You’re not failing at reaching your goals because you’re incapable of success — you’re failing because you’re trying to focus on too many things at once. Change the way you think about your goals. Don’t think about the things that you need to do to achieve your goal — think about the outcome.

Say your goal is learning how to cook. You’re dreading going to the grocery store, finding recipes, purchasing kitchen appliances and cleaning up the mess at the end of the ordeal. Instead of focusing on your desirable outcome — becoming an amazing cook — you’re caught up in all the intimidating details.

Now think of something you already know how to do really well, like working out. You know you need to drive to the gym, then exercise when you get there. These two manageable tasks seem much easier than the many steps it takes to learn a new skill because you’ve done it many times before. But in reality, cooking and going to the gym aren’t that different in terms of difficulty — you’re just thinking about them in a completely different way.

If you change your mindset and think about the outcome instead of the steps to get there, you’re more likely to pursue your goal. Chunking is the understanding that when you’re first learning a new skill or trying to get something done, like cooking, it can feel like you’re trying to accomplish 100 things. But after working on your skills in the kitchen enough, it becomes a couple of manageable tasks — going to the store and cooking.

Once you master this skill, you can chunk activities with similar outcomes together. Empower yourself to get things done by grouping together information into manageable-size chunks that you can use effectively to achieve your goals.

life management girl sitting on bed using laptop

Use the Rapid Planning Method

There’s no reason why you need to dive into life management tips on your own. There are tons of tools out there to help you create the life you’ve always wanted. Once you know what you want and why you want it, it’s time to seek out valuable resources, like Tony Robbins’ Rapid Planning Method (RPM). You now know the essential components of RPM that were discussed above, as you’ve identified your purpose and can utilize chunking to develop your Massive Action Plan. Adhering to the Rapid Planning Method is as simple as knowing what you want, identifying why you want it and mapping out what actions you’ll take to accomplish it.

It’s time to throw away your to-do list and embrace change. As Tony Robbins says, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” With a clear vision, and powerful life management resources under your belt, you’ll be one major step closer to maximizing your time and reaching your ultimate goals.

Source: Tony Robbins

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