Is Time On Your Side?

Apr 17, 2013

clockYou probably have days where you are really on top of things, and then there are days where things are piling on top of you. Why can’t they all go the way you want them to (or at least most of them)?
Racing against the clock to get everything done can be overwhelming. However, there are proven techniques to manage your time, and they include both physical and psychological components in order to sustain a long term effect.
Prioritizing commitments and schedules every day is a struggle for many people, even without adding thoughts and emotions to the process. Organizing your time effectively is just as important as understanding how you feel about what you’re spending your time on.
When you need to focus on that project, there’s always something that is ready to suck time away from it, whether it’s the internet or a call from your mom. I enjoy the internet and talking to my mom, but I know the project should take priority. If the project requires you to be on the computer, and specifically the internet, close all other windows or applications (Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, Outlook etc.) and then turn off your phone – even if it’s only for 15 minutes at a time.
An important question: why didn’t you want to work on the project to begin with? Ask this every time you find yourself procrastinating, then plan for this happening in the future. Can the project be delegated? Can you start earlier on the project and work in small increments over a few days? Can you decline to do projects like this?
Spend the next two weeks notating what you look forward to doing and what you don’t, and then re-evaluate your commitments from what you learn by doing this task. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that most people procrastinate doing those things they don’t like, and although you won’t be able to eliminate all those things, you certainly can reduce or delegate them.
Managing your time effectively requires organizing your schedule. Find something that works for you and commit to it, whether it’s a handwritten calendar or handheld device (Blackberry, iPhone etc.) Whatever you choose, always have it handy for scheduling EVERYTHING! Whether it’s a business meeting or going to the gym, schedule EVERYTHING! Need to go to the grocery store or the mall for a gift tonight? Put it in your schedule. Anything that happens in 30 minute increments should go in your schedule.
Planning how you spend your time becomes much easier as you schedule everything you do. Eliminating, reducing, or delegating tasks you don’t like doing is crucial to the overall management of your time, not to mention your sanity. Remind yourself every day that you can’t do it all. Even if you think you can, you can’t!
And remember to always schedule time for yourself. Without that “me time” you will have trouble focusing on the rest of your to do list. And without focus, your to do list will just take longer.