Thanks to Kait Curran Palmer for the Photo.
I guess everyone want to be a little more carefree in life or at least look like it to other people. I am also sure that many of us are just the slightest bit jealous of those that seem to be very carefree, especially those that are also seem to have done everything as well at the same time as being annoyingly carefree.
The Carefree Secret
Well here is a little secret. If you analyze a lot of successful carefree people you will find that actually underlying this happy go lucky surface is usually a very systematic and process driven structure for achievement. Sneaky I know but before you go out and lynch them I want to share some insights into this underlying structure that can be adapted to you own life.
Appear Carefree Through Carefully Planned Systems
Personally I am an avid promoter of systems, especially ones which are used to structure the repetitive tasks in your life allowing you to appear more care free and spontaneous on the surface. Systems are great for saving time, removing stress and being productive.
If you asked anyone who knew me for a short or long period of time they would generally be more than readily enthusiastic in highlighting how rarely I seem to plan things and generally act in very spontaneous ways and seem to drift through life in a very carefree manner, rarely letting issues or problems derail me. This is a great brand and one that I strive to develop every day but is also easy to achieve.
What also surprises people most is that under this carefree, devil may care approach to life I actually do an incredible amount of stuff and get through far more workload than most. I owe this mainly to the systems and processes in life that I am constantly honing and tweaking to allow me to get the very most out of each and every hour I invest while still living a great spontaneous life.
It is all down to Structure and Systems
It is all down to how I structure the day to day running of my life so that I can focus on the unexpected turns of the journey. After all, that is where the real fun happens and I want to have as much time available to me to enjoy LIFE.
To help paint a picture of the systems I use to make my life easier I have highlighted some everyday ones below.
Systems I Use To Free Time And Be Productive
- I always check email, blogs, social and stats once a day in the morning – NEVER more than once.
- I Always backup work once before shutting down in the evening. ALWAYS last thing in the evening so I don’t feel tempted to wait for 10-15 minutes till it completes so that I can work.
- I Leave Saturdays unplanned to finish off any outstanding work. If there is nothing to finish, then I take the day off. This gives an added incentive to complete all my work during the usually Mon-Fri.
- I use my 7Life system to structure my days to ensure that I am getting the key tasks I need done to achieve the vision I have for my life and the goals to get there as well as factoring in time for a social life, entertainment and continued learning.
- I worked out that I operate most effectively on 6 hours sleep so I have timer that ensures I get exactly 6 hours a night. If there is a deposit at the end of the week I catch up on Sunday.
- When I travel, I travel light with a single rucksack and I have a place for every article and I know everything I have an where to find it. This saves untold amounts of time when I don’t have to constantly check every pocket to find something make sure I haven’t left anything.
- I always keep my wallet, phone and ipod in separate pockets and always the same ones so there is no fumbling around. I also place them in the same place and the same order when not in my pockets. I have never lost my wallet, phone or ipod in years because of this system. While in India I have adapted the system and now always carry a few rupees in my back left pocket to give to the beggars in passing instead of fumbling around my wallet.
- I spend exactly 1 hour on almost all blog posts – 30 Minutes to Skeleton and Flesh out the post, 15 minutes to skin and 15 minutes to polish. I time box it with a Countdown timer.
- I work in 2 hour productive pies. 25 minutes followed by a 5 minute break, 25 minutes etc as studies have been shown that this is the most effective way of working. Generally I do two pies a day, one in the morning and one in the evening focussing on just 2 key things I need to get accomplished.
- In any given day I tend to focus an hour on reading, four hours on 2 key “Work” tasks, another two hours on a non work related task, around an hour on “Housekeeping” and the rest of the time on entertainment and social activities. It works well for me.
- Sundays are for organizing, improving systems and washing etc. I don’t work on a Sunday as I believe a day of rest per week is essential to a happy and productive life. On Sundays I like to spend time alone, organize my room, improve the systems and sort out washing as well as catch up on some reading, watch some movies and spend a few hours planning the next week and update my ipod with new podcasts. Basically relax and take some time off.
Developing Your Own Systems For Success
These are just some of the systems that I use and are they are constantly adapted and tweaked depending on the situation. Hopefully they give an indication of how being structured and systematic on the back end of life allows you be appear more carefree and spontaneous on the front end.
You no doubt have your own systems to a degree and I would suggest developing more to help reduce the time and effort that does into running your life on a daily basis so that you can dedicate more time to focussing on what is really important to you in life.