Reclaim Your Time!
As we move into the height of the holiday season, notably a time-consuming month and lending nicely to last month’s post on “Shifting The Pressure of Time”, I’d thought it be helpful to take December’s newsletter to explore the two biggest pitfalls women fall prey to resulting in valuable loss of their time…overcommitting and failing to manage distractions.
Did you know that many of us lose close to two hours in a day to distractions (Mindtools, 1196-2017). Think about it, how often do you find yourself sidetracked by incoming emails, texts, and phone calls. Then there are the inevitable daily interruptions we experience from friends, colleagues, clients, kids, and pets all requiring our attention in some shape or form. Not to mention the discontinuity that comes with having so many things to attend to. On top of that women share a common tendency of overextending themselves. Whether it’s due to avoidance of conflict or ruffling feathers, feeling guilting about letting others down, or being a bit of a micromanager, women have a hard time saying no. Failing to manage distractions and be more discerning with allocation of time undoubtedly leads to a lack of progress and inconsistencies in our goal obtainment.
5 Ways To Reclaim Your Time
1.Establish a Correspondence Routine– Turn off the alerts on your computer screen notifying you of incoming emails, set your phone to go straight to voicemail and put your cell on silence mode. Check and respond to all correspondence only at set times of your day and give yourself only a maximum of 30 minutes for each session. If need be inform others of your correspondence routine and that you will get back to them in a timely manner.
2. Stop Multitasking– Researchers have found it can take 20-40 percent more time to finish a list of jobs when you multitask, compared with completing the same list of tasks in sequence. Not to mention that those tasks done at the same time will not be done as well if focused upon one at time.
3. Limit Time On Social Media-A great way of communicating with unprecedented numbers of people but a major time killer. The lines are blurred between an appropriate and excessive use of it. Given its addictive nature best bet is to allocate a certain time of the day preferably morning before you move into your day or evening as you end it but set a time limit and stick to it!
4. Keep a To-Do List-A lot of time can be lost in not knowing what to do first, our minds become scattered when we have many things to attend to, resulting in a waste of valuable time trying to figure it out. Maintaining a to-do list is an absolute must as it provides clarity, direction, and accountability. Personally, at the end of every week, I set up my following weeks to-do list, one for work and one for self/family objectives. I put pen to paper and “brain dump” everything that requires my attention in order for my business and personal life to flourish. Then I prioritize by selecting the top three most relevant objectives whether that is based on time constraints or “need”. Not until those three priorities are completed in their entirety do I move on to others. For me, I find the list particularly helpful in securing my peace of mind, as referencing it throughout the day tells me where my time will best be served while reassuring me that I’m as on top of things as humanly possible.
5. Learn to Say No-If I had to identify one thing that will have the most impact on managing our time most effectively, it would be learning how to say no to requests that don’t support or inspire us. If you want to achieve your goals, becoming more selective in how you allocate your time will be a must. Ask yourself how much of what you’re doing in your day promotes your objectives. Say no to anything that is not in alignment with what you want in and for your life and when appropriate delegate.With all the busyness of the holiday season and the advent of the new year awaiting us why not start today, reclaim your time and begin practicing better ways to approach the use of your time. As a wise man once side….
“Lost time can never be found”
Happy Holidays Everyone!