Oh my gosh, look at the time! There is not enough time to get all this done. I’m running out of time. I’m swamped. I’m too busy. I’m not good at managing time. I have too many demands on my time. My time is not my own. I need to get better at managing my time. I underestimated the time it would take to get this all done. Do any of these sound familiar?
Whenever I ask my audience or clients a question regarding time and getting things accomplished, I usually hear some sort of retort that mirrors the statements listed above. I remind them that what you see depends on what you thought before you looked. Notice how you feel when you have those thoughts of time limitation.
It’s important to set the course of our thinking as it relates to ourselves in relation to time. I’ll share some ways to approach that in a moment. Before those can easily fit into place, it is best to identify and remove obstacles that tend to suck time out of our day.
Here is a partial list of typical time sucks. Rank which ones tend to be your dominant concern and formulate a strategy to handle the core issue by either limiting or eliminating it’s negative impact on your time and energy.
Slow, outdated technology
Having too much to do
Not knowing how to prioritize
Having no clear direction
Surfing the Internet
Once you get clear on the dominant element that is absorbing your time unproductively, you can start to do something about it. If your dominant issue is feeling you have too much to do, you may need to learn how to set boundaries and say the word — no. You may need to improve your ability to delegate or outsource.
If you find yourself being constantly interrupted, you may need to adjust your environment to limit those interruptions. Ease into these and rather than doing them for the whole day, try them in 60-minute increments: Close the door with a “do not disturb” sign. Turn off the ringer on the phone. Turn off email reminders. Place the piles of files in a file cabinet or box that you can reference later. Close the Internet browser on your computer (unless you need it for the work you must get done during those 60 minutes). The strategy here is to create an environment that enables you to stay focused on what you want to get done. If possible, take your work and go off site where there are no distractions or interruptions.
As I alluded to in the beginning of this article, your thoughts have a significant impact as to how you feel about time. Try adopting the following time-expanding thoughts when you catch yourself in the busy trap:
I get things done on time.
There is always enough time.
Time exists so I don’t have to do it all at once.
The only time that is real is now, and it’s always now.
In this moment, I am present and tapping into my brilliance.
If you can start to condition your way of thinking so you have more time-expanding thoughts and fewer time-limiting thoughts, you will actually start to experience the feeling of having more time.
Oh my gosh, look at the time … gotta go!
Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!
No. 1 bestselling author Machen P. MacDonad, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 530-273-8000