Where does your time go? Can you control time?
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Where does your time go? Can you control time?


Can we really control time?  I have rarely met anyone who told me that they have all the time in the world and have complete control over time.  Time does have a way of getting away from us.  We underestimate our time.  We decide to tackle a project without planning sufficient time to complete it.  We procrastinate and then rush to complete a project or get to a meeting.  However, here are some valuable tools to help you control the way you allocate your time.  Time is one of your most valuable resources, so learn to take steps to manage it.  As you read these keep in mind your work/life/family balance.

  1. You are in charge of your time.  It is something that can be managed, not something that should be managing you.  Before you make a commitment or take on a project think through the process entirely.  If someone request your time, buy yourself time to think about it before you respond by asking, “Can I let you know tomorrow, I have to check my schedule?”
  2. Before allocating time, ask yourself, “Is this urgent?”  Frequently we say to ourselves, “I have to get them done now!”  This often happens when we are avoiding doing some other chores that we have been avoiding.  Try putting off those things that are not urgent and address the real priorities.  You will be surprised that most things are not urgent at all!
  3. Learn to look at your schedule in reverse.  List the real priorities on your calendar first.  What are those?  Those are the things that bring you peace, joy and happiness; such as family and date night.  After you have those on the calendar then address the other areas.
  4. Look at your schedule over the past few months and drop one thing from your schedule before you make out a new calendar.  You might let someone down in the process but you will gain the benefits.  You will feel more in control and you will be taking care of self.  Making the difficult choice to eliminate the four days a month that you volunteer at the senior center may seem selfish but if you are living with the stress of always feeling behind, rushing to make your commitments, you need to decide how you want to spend your time.  This may be something that you can do at another time in your life when some of the other priorities change.
  5. Be present in your life.  If you are over committed and overscheduled you may be doing rather than being.  You are not present in your own life and you may not be present for those you care about.  Think, pray and relax because this is your time.
  6. Get feedback.  Ask your spouse, friends and family what they observe.  You might get a new perspective.  They may see things you don’t and they may even let you off the hook. Ask them how you’re using your time and where they see you could make changes.
  7. Just be quiet.  Be honest with yourself about your own limitations.  Try not to be all to everyone and be a pleaser.  Know your limitations and own them.  Do you find yourself saying “Yes” when you want to say “No”  When you say “Yes” to everything, it means nothing.  Think about that.  Everyone expects you to say “Yes” because you always do.  When you say, “No” frequently or even once in a while, your “Yes” is important and people will value your time.   If you find many of these suggestions difficult to implement, such as saying “Yes when you want to say, “No”, you may need help in finding balance in your life.  Call today and schedule a free consultation and gain control over your time.

 


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