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I recently came across a really great TED talk which caught my attention for the very reason that I think it has caught the attention of so many others. I am battling at the moment with feeling extremely tired, depleted and low on energy (as if it was November) and yet it is only April. How are we meant to remain resilient and manage ourselves, our time and our resources effectively for the rest of this year and all the other many many years that lie ahead?!?! 

In the TED talk was by Dr Darria Long, titled “An ER Doctor on Triaging Your ‘Crazy Busy’ Life”, she shares insights from the emergency room.  As an emergency room physician, she shares practical strategies to regain control and reduce overwhelm when life becomes “crazy busy.” The same way doctors need to prioritise patients based on urgency, we need to triage our job and life demands.    

The Triage framework encourages one to identify what is urgent versus what is important. Urgent tasks demand immediate attention, while important tasks contribute to long-term goals.  Here is a simple way to think about it: 

Urgent – “Do it now!” 

Important – “Do it right” 

The Eisenhower Matrix, also known as Urgent-Important Matrix, helps you decide on and priories tasks by urgency and importance. 

Together with prioritising, Dr. Long emphasises the power of the word “no”. How can we start saying no to the non-essential commitments. This includes delegating or deleting tasks that are nor important or urgent. 

Managing our time in human-centric ways is not just about getting more done in less time. It’s about ensuring that time is spent in a way that is most beneficial and satisfying to the individual, leading to a higher quality of life. According to Dr. Long, prioritising your well-being and focusing on what aligns with your goals requires a shift in mindset. This means that we need to think differently about time and what we prioritise.  Where would you plot self-care in terms of importance and urgency? Just like an ER doctor must care for themselves to care for patients, we need to do the same.  Our ability to set clear boundaries can inevitably help increase productivity which leads to goal achievement and plays a vital role in preventing burnout.  

The truth is that life constantly throws us with unexpected challenges and our ability to triage tasks increases our ability to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances.  

Lets try be more deliberate by not defining our day or week as “crazy busy” and rather take on our reality from the perspective of Charles Buxton, “you will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it” 

Feel free to explore the full talk here for more insights! 

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