As a German national, it is often automatically assumed I am an expert in time management. Could be true! It might be in my genes or it might be a learned behavior. I am, indeed, very good at managing my time. I am, however, not very punctual, which is very ‘Un’-German of me.
It’s un-German – I make it work and am working on it. I know it gets on people’s nerves and stresses them out. Personally, I feel that as long as I get stuff done in a timely manner, over deliver, and remaind respectful to priorities – why does it matter? In the end, it’s all about communication, priorities, and healthy boundaries.
We all have our weaknesses – know them, work on them. Accept them. Find ways to get around them.
Let’s talk about some uncomfortable truths:
Poor time management is a huge opportunity cost. “Acting busy” or “being overwhelmed” or “overextended” all stem from an inherent inability to manage time and priorities. They are driven by procrastination and a need to avoid tackling the “hard stuff”.
All too often, I see people ‘act busy’ or fall into the it’s ok to use the “I’m so sorry I did not do ….x,y,z,…. because I’ve been busy” excuse. To me, this translates into: “Oh I’m sorry, I am disorganized, can’t set priorities, am lazy, and lack integrity.”
I have been guilty of using this excuse myself, but let’s just be clear on what this really means. It is, in a way, a socially acceptable excuse, but is signaling that I am not on top of my game.
It’s unproductive. It shows that my goals are not synced with my values and I am busy trying to aimlessly grab at opportunities, getting lost in instant gratification over long-term goals.
Time is the most valuable commodity all of us have. Use it wisely!
12 Tips to Think About:
1. Make sure you say no without resentment and yes without regret. You don’t have to do it all – commit only to what you can actually do.
2. Be in touch with who you are and what you really want to accomplish. Communicate from that place.
3. Make to do lists. Schedule your life. If it’s not on a list, it does not exist. If it’s not scheduled it is not real. Good intentions without actions mean nothing!
4. Follow synergy. Allow intuitive energy to set the tone in timing. Check in with yourself. Make sure you feel good about your decisions and what you agree too.
5. Mean what you say. People will respond to you differently and stop milking your time with nonsense. Don’t fall into the making vague promises trap to avoid setting clear boundaries.
6. Drop dead weight in your life. You don’t have to drag them around. If it’s not elevating. Don’t make time for it.
7. Learn to ignore stuff. Selective ignorance is bliss. Seriously! Ignore everything that is irrelevant, distracting, or negative. Time management is based on discernment of information flow.
8. Communicate effectively. Every time there is a misunderstanding and something did not get done right, try again and communicate better.
9. Meditate to get back to your center before addressing any issues.
10. Limit your time to be accessible for time wasters.
11. Lead by example with extreme kindness, thoughtfulness and positive energy.
12. Get excited about establishing new and healthy habits: explain why and others will respect and even follow.
9 EFFECTIVE HABITS:
1. Set timelines, deadlines and agendas
2. Your workspace is your temple: do not allow casual visitors.
3. Stay focused on one task and finish it. Get it out of the way.
4. Do not let people interrupt your workflow.
5. Checking email excessively is the biggest time waster.
6. Web browsing can make you lose days.
7. Avoid meetings that have no clear objective.
8. Ask for an email with an agenda with topics and purpose before the meeting.
9. Make people define what they want, before they come to you.
I will leave you with this:
Feeling like we are in control of our time and being able to spend it on the things we love is vital to all of us. How do you spend yours? Are you spending it effectively across all aspects of your life? Do you feel enriched, productive and fulfilled by the way to spend it? If not, start to now and change it.
This article is republished by permission from SilviaChristmann.
Image credit: becosky…