When we talk about having more time what we’re really saying is “I need to manage my time more effectively.” We are easily overwhelmed with what we need to get done. As we become overwhelmed we become more anxious which then causes us to disconnect from what needs to be done. As you can see we are easily sent into a tailspin of getting nothing done. In other words we procrastinate.
You’re already familiar with the term time management, but how can you put time management into action in your own life? The skill of time management is not something that you’re born with, it’s something you must master for yourself. It is a critical skill, but it is one you can learn.
Once mastered time management will free you to focus on the more subtle things you need to tend to.
What can you do, here’s some tips:
- Let’s start with the basics: Create a to-do list, writing down the steps you need to take to get it done. As you get in the habit of creating your list assign an amount of time for each step and then stick to that amount of time.
- How much time are you willing to devote to a specific task? Break this down into days, hours, or minutes. Start with a list of your task and then assign an amount of time you need to accomplishing it.
- Prioritize your list. What do you need to do first, second, third, etc. Does the order make sense? Is it doable? If not, reprioritize until you get it right.
- When setting aside time to prioritize start on time. Whether it’s a meeting or a personal task it is important that you discipline yourself to start on time. One of the biggest enemies of time management is procrastination.
- Focus on one task at a time. Give each task the attention it deserves. Remember, you can’t successfully move on to the next step of your agenda until the preceding task has been dealt with.
- Make sure you have everything you need at hand to accomplish a task. What do you need to accomplish the task? Are there specific items like a calculator, computer, pen and paper that you must have in order to succeed at this step?
- Discipline yourself to stay on task. As mentioned earlier procrastination is going to be your biggest enemy. And what is the opposite of procrastination? Discipline. You must hold yourself accountable for getting each step done in a timely manner.
- Reward yourself for completing a task. Until you get the hang of it time management is hard work. Each step of the way is an accomplishment. And as with any success you deserve to reward yourself. Be that nothing more than taking a break from the task at hand be sure to give yourself a well deserved “pat on the back.”
Chief among the tricks to completing a task is self-discipline. After all wouldn’t we much rather be doing something else than what we need to get done? Sure!
But the more we put off those tasks we really need to do the higher your anxiety level will be and the less you’ll accomplish.
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