Key steps to change your situation around and get on top of your time!
Fully understand what it is costing you to continue in this situation.
It is not a fun task but it is important for change to occur.
1. Start by thinking about all the disadvantages of staying in your situation, how does it feel? How much pain is associated to your current situation? Think about what it is costing you to stay in the same situation, what is the effect on you? Do this for all areas of your personal life, working life, even on your health, physical and mental.
2. Then think about what it would be like to not have these problems anymore. Imagine having two or three more hours a week, how would that feel? What would you do? How good would it feel to not feel stressed, unproductive or overwhelmed?
Imagine feeling completely satisfied at the end of the day, knowing that you did accomplish all you wanted and still have extra time for yourself!
Motivate yourself to change with this exercise.
Identify your current unproductive behavior
1. Identify what your current behavior is. You can´t change something until you know exactly what you need to change.
Here are some questions to help you reflect on how you spend your time:
How do you decide what to work on during the day?
- Do you set aside time for planning before you get to work?
- How many breaks do you take during a typical day?
- How much time do you spend multitasking each day?
- How often do you delay working on important projects, finish projects at the last minute or struggle to meet deadlines?
- How often do you check your email, spend time on social media sites, etc?
- How often do you procrastinate?
- How do you prioritize your work?
If you are not sure, use a time tracker – For a few days, briefly note where most of you time goes and how long it takes to complete your tasks.
Now you have an idea of where you are spending your time. So now you need to improve and strategize! Looking at your information, ask yourself:In which areas am I wasting my time? (this includes tasks that can be delegated).
What tasks could I spend less time on?
What tasks should I spend more time on to give maximize my return on time?
What do I need to change to free up my time?
Take on new habits and take action
Now that you know what areas you need to work on – do that just! Whether you need to start working with a to-do list, prioritizing, planning, getting to the main root of your procrastination, whatever it is, work towards changing the situation.
Maybe you need to implement a system that manages the flow of work or avoid making the typical but common time-management mistakes.
Creating a mindset to manage your time
You need to take responsibility for your time. Decide how you fill your schedule; how you manage your time, you need to get into the mindset that you are responsible and you decide how you spend your time. Maybe you think, but I don’t, I work for someone else, you still have to manage your time though, you still decide what to work on, how focused you are….if it is not possible and you are completely drowning in work, maybe you need to speak to somebody such as your boss. Take responsibility for the results you achieve otherwise your work performance and your quality of work may probably be less than it could. Control your time – don’t let your time control you.
“Lost time is never found again. “ – Benjamin Franklin