© stockWERK –

An article by Markus Cerenak

Not for everyone “leaving the wheel” is immediately a good strategy. For some, this may not be an option at all. But to become aware of one’s own hamster wheel is important for all of us.

15 Strategies against the hoarder wheel

1. 1st Learn to appreciate your time.
We are driven or as I like to say: “We are shot like pinballs through our everyday life”. Develop a feeling for your time and learn to appreciate certain moments. Your time is your most valuable asset. You don’t go through the streets and give your money away to all sorts of people. Don’t do it with your time either.

2. Take care of variety within your routine tasks

I’ll say it the way it is. There are routine tasks. And among them are things that are not so tingling. If that cannot be changed, then we can try to change the circumstances. Music, for example, helps me. Just put on the headphones and the right mood is set for the 08/15 tasks. Or change the place. Or the order. Or. Or. Or. Come up with something!

3. Automate your Todo’s
From email to keyboard shortcuts to text blocks, you can automate everything or save a lot of time. It makes sense to be familiar with your daily tools. I’ve found, for example, that a lot of office hamster cycling takes so long because many people don’t know enough about their tools, the software. A craftsman has to master his tools perfectly, otherwise it won’t work. Think about where you can optimize your tools.

 4. Each piece only once “in the hand take”
If you’re working on something, finish it off as far as you can. When you open an email, do, delegate, or delete it. Don’t push or start unloved tasks from one side to the other, and then continue them “later. Start. Get ready.

5. Always allow 20% more time for projects

We tend to overestimate ourselves and underestimate the time things take. And we live in a “it’s already out” time. Nothing there. Don’t calculate tightly. Don’t plan tightly. Plan normally as always and then add 20% of time, effort or costs. Then it fits.

6. Write down your goals
This may seem strange to many people now. But every hamster wheel (no matter how much it is determined by others) has its own freedoms and thus its own goals, which you can set for yourself in it. Set them too! Write them down and thus make them clear, feasible and provided with deadlines.

7. Use the energy of the moment
If something’s going down, let it go. Don’t interrupt because you think, but now is the time for a break. Feel when you’re in the flow and really let it go. Even shift up a gear, step on the gas, forget everything around you. And above all, remember how you got into this state and make it repeatable!

8. Make a status quo in the evening

Everybody’s talking about morning rituals. How to start the day right so that it becomes something. But how to let the day go right is discussed less often. In the evening I drink a tea, sometimes a whisky, listen to Sinatra or Bach and let the day pass in review. I realize what went well and what still needs a little push. And I lay the foundation for tomorrow, for what’s first thing in the morning. Then I go to bed. And switching off is possible.

9. Avoid unnecessary interruptions
Fits quite well to the flow point. Create an environment where flow is possible. I already know: In the office it’s a challenge. But think about how you manage to get some of your tasks done undisturbed. I promise you will be amazed at how quickly certain things are done. Fight like a lion for a few uninterrupted minutes!

10. Recognize what you don’t want to do, let it or delegate it
I know the concerns you have that go right through your head. That is not possible. I wouldn’t know how to do that. But just very slowly. Many have not even made their unloved To Do’s clear to themselves. First step: Make yourself clear what really annoys you with your tasks and then look for solutions in the direction of “no longer doing”. No matter how you manage it. Won’t work for everything, but for more than you think. Just take 5 minutes to think about it!

11. Spend at least a quarter of your day with other people
I know what I’m talking about. Working alone is cool because a lot goes on. And it’s hell at the same time, because after a while you don’t have your counterpart. Just another person who is there. The hamster bikers in the office don’t know that very well, but the lone warrior-me-companies-entrepreneurs are familiar with it. So surround yourself with people. No matter where and how.

12. Discuss a freer allocation of your working hours

Here, too, you will think to yourself: “That may be possible with others, but certainly not with my job”. Here, too, my topmost maxim applies: First take 5 minutes of your time and think about it calmly before you rush to judge and let your inner dialogue ruin everything. Here, too, you will be surprised at the results you come to with your supervisor, if you have thought beforehand. There is the beautiful quote from Karl Lagerfeld, which really often proves to be true: “I don’t need to discuss, because I’ve thought before”.

13. Do something every day that you enjoy and that brings a satisfying result.
It’s part of my morning or evening ritual, namely to think about something I want to do, something that’s fun and brings a result that I can be proud of that day. Make it a habit to be proud of yourself.

14. Identify where there are bottlenecks and eliminate them

Many tasks, projects, plans etc. have a weak point somewhere, a bottleneck where it could get “tight” and where problems are almost pre-programmed. Make these bottlenecks clear and don’t be surprised when they occur. Even better: If there are real “bottlenecks”, eliminate them (ideally in a team) before they start, or create the circumstances for them.

15. Connect similar tasks

There are tasks you can “bulk”. For me, the subject of “e-mail” is something like that. E-mails are handled in one piece. Open the program, work through it, close it, get out of the bulb. Similar things happen to me with blog comments, reading other blogs, financial stuff, social media adventures and much more. Think about what can be done of your tasks “in one wash” and be surprised at how much this saves you hamster wheel time.

February 2014 –

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