It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling controlled by time, as if it’s somehow working to stop us reaching the finish line. However, it’s this very mindset that leads to poor time management, as we waste valuable energy thinking we don’t have enough time, or that it’s never the right time. Remember that life isn’t a race, it’s a journey and the key to time management is to mindfully use each moment along the way.
Here are 10 quick tips to get you started.
For better time management, don’t waste it on frustration or impatience.
1. Reframe how you think about time
Instead of focusing on not having enough time, start thinking about it in terms of what you have enough time to do. This creates a spacious, rather than limited, mindset.
2. Value your time first
For others to value your time, you have to value it first. If you’re constantly dealing with interruptions from people, start enforcing boundaries as to when it’s appropriate for them to do so.
3. Turn off notifications
Unless you’re waiting for something urgent, turn off all email, social media and mobile notifications. It might only take one minute to check a single notification, but that really adds up over a busy day. Dedicate a time to do it and don’t deviate from it.
Question procrastination, to get moving again.
Everyone procrastinates. Instead of beating yourself up about it, ask yourself why you’re delaying a task.
4. Question procrastination
Everyone procrastinates. Instead of beating yourself up about it, ask yourself why you’re delaying a task. Facing it head on makes it easier to conquer.
5. Audit your time
When you’ve had a particularly rushed day, make a point of jotting down what you’ve done and how long tasks took. This way, wasted moments become clear and you can devise better strategies.
Waiting in traffic or a line at the supermarket? Got 10 minutes to spare before a meeting? Don’t waste your thoughts on frustration or impatience. Instead, focus on planning next steps, positive outcomes or stop thinking all together and rest your mind.
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7. Identify and fix anything that drains time and energy
It’s all the little things, like a broken coffee machine or an outdated system that slow you down. However, it’s easy to get used to everyday issues and simply adapt. Every time you feel annoyed during a process or task, question why and aim to fix it.
8. Don’t underestimate time
It might seem like a productive tool, to give yourself a short amount of time to complete a task. Usually though, this just makes you feel rushed and incapable. Time your tasks so you can realistically factor in how long they take to complete.
9. Learn to make quick decisions
A good decision now is usually better for time management, than a perfect decision next week. Don’t agonise about or over-complicate choices, to the detriment of your schedule.
10. Always prioritise and focus on the most important job
Your most important job in the morning might be to get the kids to school. Therefore, it’s better to leave the dishes and engage totally with the process, to avoid mishaps. Multi-tasking rarely works effectively, as it disrupts your ability to focus.
Close all the tabs on your computer, other than those needed for your current project and do the same with any singular task in life. Rather than time escaping you, you’ll find it soon complies with how you choose to manage it.
Nicole Leigh West
Nicole Leigh West is the author of fiction novel, 'The Gypsy Trail' and an internationally recognised travel and lifestyle writer.
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