A Message from Editor Helen M. Stone

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” — Lao Tzu

Whew…I don’t know about you, but this spring has kept me running at top speed. I’ve taken on a couple new projects and am wondering if I finally reached the tipping point here!

In today’s fast-paced culture, every moment gets packed with activity. In your haste to get everything done, has anything ever slipped through the cracks? Did you ever look back and think, “Oh, I would have done that much better if I would have started earlier?”

If that hasn’t happened to you, please contact me so you can write an article on how to get everything done! We’re all human, and sometimes there are just too many things going on.

I’ve been in business for many years, and have taken seminars and read books on how to more efficiently manage time, employees and the work load. Here’s a couple of tips that help me keep my sanity that might help you a bit, too.

First of all, set priorities. With nine million things to do swirling around your head, it’s all too easy to take off chasing a task that might not be the best use of your time. I confess I’m not a list maker, but when I review the day ahead in the morning (or recap in the evening), I sort through my jobs and prioritize by both the payback and the time it’s due.

Next, one of the hardest can be ditching the need for perfectionism. I was surprised that perfectionism can be a leading cause of procrastination! If you want to do something perfectly, it’s often hard to get started on it. You tend to want all the stars to align and the proverbial ducks lining up in a row before it’s a go. Take a tip from the Nike and “Just Do It!”

This does not mean that you don’t do the best work you can. It simply means that your best is good enough. It doesn’t have to be perfect! And honestly, with all your fretting, it probably never will be anyway. So just get it done. This is an especially important philosophy when completing tasks that are routine, mundane or not necessarily that rewarding.

If you get tired, take a break. Get up and walk around a bit. Or if you’re in the field, take a moment to visit your Facebook or Twitter account. Now, this doesn’t mean that you stayed glued to your phone. It just means that sometimes we need to stop and get away from what we’re doing to accomplish it better. Kind of like a reboot on your computer. Or taking the trash out. Whatever you need to do, just step back a minute and you’ll probably do it better.

Finally, whatever you are doing, focus on the moment. Psychologist Matthew A. Killingsworth has done extensive research on happiness and “mind wandering.” His findings indicate that when our minds wander away from the tasks we are performing, we are less happy. Even if we are thinking about a vacation while we are slaving in the hot sun, it doesn’t help. It just makes our overall feelings of well-being plummet.

So focus on your task, finish it, and then take a fantasy break if you need one. A focused mind is a happy mind.

Yes, we’re all way too busy! But busy is good, isn’t it? Take a deep breath and be grateful for the opportunity to greet every new day with a sense of purpose and enthusiasm. This is a great business we’re in!