Making the Most of Our Scarce Time
Each and every one of us, whether we manage a household, a business, or simply a life are conscious of time. It’s our scarcest resource, otherwise, why would we say “I don’t have time” so many times a day?
Sure, sometimes we say it because we don’t want to do something, but more often, it’s because there’s no more room on our plate for anything requiring time. But what if that wasn’t true? What if we could find more time?
I know what you’re thinking. Time is finite. There are only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 365 days in a year (except leap year). That’s all we get, isn’t it?
The truth is, it isn’t how much time we have, but how we use it. Take for example an average day. Maybe you get up at your usual time, make the bed, shower, get dressed, have breakfast, and leave for work.
- Do you do each task with razor-sharp efficiency, or do you stop to check social media, or stand in front of the mirror examining another wrinkle or gray hair?
- Do you linger over your morning coffee while gazing off into space daydreaming about something-or-other?
- Do you have kids who unerringly throw a wrench into anything resembling a tight schedule, or do you allow for those delays?
No matter how hard we try to stick to a schedule or how efficient we might be, stuff happens. It could be a spill you have to clean up before you leave, or unexpected traffic on the freeway. It could be an unexpected call you have to take. The list is endless, but the fact is, life is full of delays, distractions, and interruptions.
Maximizing Our Time
How do we make the best use of the time we have? We could:
- Get up earlier
- Try to multi-task
- Hire help
- Create a schedule and refuse to deviate no matter what
- Break our day into time blocks
But sleeping less won’t make us more efficient. More than likely, it will make us tired, cranky, and irritable. Studies have proven multi-tasking actually makes us less efficient because we have to spend time re-focusing on the task at hand after turning our attention away for even a minute or two. Hiring help isn’t always practical or feasible. Which leaves the last two.
Where Does Your Time Go?
In order to create any kind of schedule, we have to get a handle not only on how we use our time each day, but where the time sucks are. You know, the places where time disappears and we have no idea where it went. The first step is to track your activities for a few days so you can see where time is slipping away from you.
Once you know where your time goes and where you can stop it from leaking away, you’ll be able to schedule your day to allow for interruptions, delays, and changes of plans without losing your mind. And you can still get all the important things done. I’ve created a free tool to help manage your schedule and start reclaiming some time, you can grab it here!
Doing More of What We Want To
We tend to overload ourselves, feeling we have to do it all. But we really don’t. Once we get a handle on how much time is available after doing the “have to’s” (and this includes time for self-care), we’ll have a much clearer idea of how much time is left for “want to’s”, and more importantly, justification for saying no to things we don’t want or need to take on.
We’ll be able to look at our calendar and say with all sincerity: I really can’t take anything more on right now. We’ll be able to determine approximately how long the extra task will take, adding in padding for the inevitable delays and crises because we looked at the things we already do and know not only how long they should take, but where slippage occurs.
Wouldn’t you like to have more time for the things you want to do? Get my free “Simple Tips” now and start finding more time!
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