In the nine to five world, we have somehow found ourselves with a surplus of grind and a deficit of time. The arbitrary clock and the connotation our society has placed upon its continuous ticking have left people paralyzed. Do you find yourself wishing you just had more time? It may not be exactly what is necessary for you to get the most out of your waking hours.
With better personal management skills, you’ll find there certainly are enough hours in a day to check off all your to-dos. Here’s how you can take back the control:
Map Out Your Day:
Every night before you power down your electronics and crawl under your cozy covers, create a plan for the following day. With all the stimulus humans are subjected to daily, it is surprisingly easy for our minds to forget about important tasks that we need to complete. By taking a moment to jot down an overview of everything you aim to get done the following day, you save yourself the mental energy you would’ve expended trying to get organized in the morning.
Utilize Your Phone’s Calendar Feature
Keeping an updated calendar to use for reference is one of the primary steps towards becoming your most efficient self. Adhering to the schedule you keep within it can help you to stay on track with your tasks and not overbook or overextend yourself.
Start Saying No
Are you someone who constantly gives but never takes? Although being a selfless person has many benefits, those who never learn to say no can end up being dreadfully taken advantage of. There is no shame in simply saying you cannot commit to baking two dozen sugar cookies for your child’s bake sale when you have a major deadline coming up at work. Saying no helps you and others realize that you have boundaries and that your time is a precious commodity. It’s just one syllable. Give it a try!
Say Goodbye to Distractions
Is your phone buzzing off the hook with work related emails? Are text messages frequently popping up from friends looking to grab a coffee? Is it truly necessary for your computer to ding each time someone new comments on your latest status update? The truth of the matter is that although technology has enabled our society to be more connected, sometimes we simply need to disconnect. Phones, emails, instant messages, tablets, and computers can all provide major distractions from the responsibilities that we need to focus our attention on. Try unplugging next time you need to buckle down and watch your productivity surge.
Learn to Delegate
They say that if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself. But that simply isn’t always true. Although the idiom holds some merit, it should be rephrased to “If you want something done right, you need it done your way.” If you have a busy schedule, teaching others to perform tasks the way you prefer and delegating those tasks can be a useful way to increase the amount of time you have to focus on matters that demand your direct attention.
Time is simply a social construct designed for our society to run more efficiently. It is not meant to be a wrestling move that holds you trapped within its confines. In fact, the key to your proficiency is in your hands. You cannot spend your lunch break reading the tabloids and then later apologize to a friend for being unable to find a moment to message them back. Perspective is everything, and once you learn to identify how you are being counterproductive, you are on track to becoming the master of your personal time.
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