At this point, you might be thinking about examples from your own life for which you wish you had more control.
I want you to hold that thought because we’re going to get to it in a second.
First, let’s come up with a goal to help you get more control in your life. Let’s make it a healthy goal.
Goal: The point is not to be able to control every aspect of your life. That will lead to so much rigidity that you will no longer be able to act with spontaneity. The goal is to have just enough control that you can direct and guide the areas of your life that are important to you.
Now that we have a realistic, healthy goal, it’s time to do the work.
The Control Checklist (What to do to get more control in your life)
First, you must decide what’s worth your time and energy. You must decide what needs to be controlled in the first place.
When you’re committing to gaining more control over something, you’re investing your precious time and energy.
You can’t get time back, and your energy must be slowly be restored. So this step is crucial.
Second, you must act differently than you currently are. There are reasons why you’re feeling out of control, some of them psychological, for sure, but many that are within your reach to change with simple actions.
Some actions you could take include:
- Choosing a boundary and sticking with it (i.e. “I will meet here and not there. I will be available three days a week, not at a moment’s notice.)
- Saying no more often (Sometimes, lack of control comes from being spread too thin)
- Create rules for yourself (I’ll only do this when I’ve had at least 7 hours of sleep, I will only take meetings if I have at least a 15 buffer before them to prepare and decompress)
Third, you must constantly reassess and recalibrate.
You don’t suddenly have control of your life after you take one action.
I wish it were that easy.
But the reality is that maintaining healthy control over your life is a process that never ends.
However…it can get easier.
My favorite way to assess the control that I have is to do a weekly review.
Each week I set aside time to see how I spent my time, what I got accomplished, and how I would like to spend my time in the week ahead.
Think of this like building a ship. As long as the foundation of a ship is solid, you can be pretty confident that no major issues will happen, that water won’t come rushing in to destroy everything inside.
Not building in times to check in with yourself is like flinging out a piece of cardboard into the ocean and hopping on. You might be OK for a while, but everything can fall apart at a moment’s notice.