Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Where Did the Time Go?!

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How many times have you said or thought these words?

At work? At home? 

The real question is, have you used that time wisely and to your full advantage? There are so many distractions that can hinder our time. And the fact is, time is completely out of our control, it doesn't stop. However, there is an upside, you get to control what you do with that time.

Consider a work day, do you set goals first thing for the day or week? Do you have a to-do list of your priorities and what needs to get done? These are just a couple of the first things people who are very successful with time management do to take control of their time. And when you think about it, it's not that hard. I bet you could write up a list of 5-10 things that have to be done in the next week. I dare you, do it. Now, prioritize them, and just like that, you're beginning to take control of your time.

But then, your phone beeps, an email pops up, a phone call, a co-worker stops at your desk...suddenly all of your planned time is getting eaten up distractions! Know your distractions, because it will take you about 20 minutes to get back to the level of focus you were at before you got pulled away. (Read more here on interruptions) Do you feel the need to pick up your phone every time you get a text, open your inbox when you get an new email? Guess what, you don't need to. Set aside time for these distractions. Maybe set a half hour at the beginning and end of your day to go through email, that way, you can focus on the tasks at hand instead of being pulled into you inbox. Be sure to think of other distractions that steal your time and how you can mitigate them as well.

Now, to really hone in on time management, learn to use the word "no". If you don't, chances are that to-do list is going to get out of control, just like your time. Sometimes saying "no" feels rude, but you're not the only one that's busy, everyone is entitled to say no. I've been there, I used to say yes to everything because I felt guilty saying no, but it showed. My work may have been done, but it was sloppy, things got missed from time to time, I felt like my job was out of control. But actually, it was just my time management that was out of control. Once that was back in control, it took work, but I was free from those stresses time.

It's also important to take breaks. Let your mind rest for bit. Don't thrive on always being busy, you will burn out. Take time for those distractions you're keeping at bay. Respond to texts, scroll through a newsfeed, whatever you need, use this time to re-fuel, whether it's 15 minute break or your hour lunch. Time is one of your most important assets, learn to use it to your advantage and be the master of your time!

Check out this course for a deeper dive into learning to managing your time!

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