Time management or lack there of seems to be a huge point of stress for a lot of people! So much to do...so little time!
The question I always like to ask is..."Is there no time or are you not prioritizing it?" It is a hard question to ask and no one likes to be called out but one of us has to do it. I am just as guilty as anyone else who might take a quick social media scroll session only to come up for air an hour later and wonder what happened. Distractions are all around us. Some are better at avoiding distractions then other BUT everyone can benefit from a few simple tips and tricks to help.
1) Stop Multi-Tasking: For example, if I am not careful I will find myself doing no less then 5 other tasks at the same time as writing this post: Checking email, checking social media, checking bank, checking website etc. Doing all of these things at the same time, constantly switching tabs! This make writing this post take 10x as long and constantly derailing my train of thought. When it is time for focused work, focus on that task. Give yourself and the task the respect it deserves of your undivided attention. You will find that it allows you to complete tasks quicker and more proficiently then if you approach it from a distracted mindset.
2) Work in time block intervals: If the idea of focusing on one task at hand seems daunting (after all, our brains are constantly looking for the next problem to solve) then I suggest working in manageable time blocks. This could be 15,25, 30 minute intervals. Maybe your time blocks are shorter or longer...find what works for you. You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you have a structured time. Put this time on your calendar so people know it is your dedicated focused work time. (See post about Dealing with Interruptions )
3) Prioritize Tasks: This goes for things that need to get done or simply things you would like to have time to do. Make a list. Circle the top 3. Look at your schedule and see where you can work it in. Look at your life and go through your normal day. Where can you potentially carve out some time? Instead of scrolling for an hour on social media can you set a timer for 15 minute of scroll time and dedicated the other 45 minutes to something you have been wanting to do or need to do?
4) Put phone in DO NOT DISTURB mode: This has been one of my favorite feature that the iphone has rolled out. Simply not getting notifications helps me stay on track so much easier! I am not having to wonder what I am missing out on or checking notifications to see what is going on. I can remain focused on the task at hand. I wish I had better self control where I could just ignore the notifications, but I can't. This is why I love tools that help me with my short comings.
5) Set up reminders: Your digital calendar is by far one of the best FREE tools you have at your disposal. If I don't put it on the calendar it falls out of my head. Being able to set up reminders, tasks, messages etc and setting up alerts for yourself is going to help you pace out your day and know what is coming down the pipeline.
MINDFULNESS TIP: Check in with yourself!
I will always promote the importance of self awareness. Being able to learn to check in with yourself is going to be one of your greatest gifts. Learn to pause and check in. Soften the gaze or close the eyes completely. Taking quick inventory of the body. Are shoulders tense? Are you clenching your jaw? Is your heart racing? Are you realizing you haven't gone to the bathroom in 4 hours? Your body will give you clues and cues as to what is going on inside the mind. Listen and act accordingly. Do your best not to ignore it and continue to bull doze your way through your day.
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