Mind your time Understanding that time management greatly affects our productivity levels and success (as well as quality of life) is the first step to creating an ideal lifestyle and developing the patterns to support it. Perhaps you’ve reached that understanding, but having tried various time management techniques to no avail, you are on the brink of giving up. If you’re wondering why nothing seems to be working for you, the answer might be lying within yourself – your mindset!

Why Does Your Mindset Matter? Effective time management starts from the way you look and think about time. Learning different time management techniques is essential to developing enjoyable, stress-free lives, but without the right mindset to apply them to your life, achieving results can be difficult.
Your external life is a reflection of your internal world – a productive mindset will lead to a productive life. The fastest way to achieve results and succeed in reinventing yourself is to become well acquainted with your mindset through active self-reflection.

How To Tell If Your Mindset Is Holding You Back: If you think your mindset may be holding you back from achieving success but cannot pinpoint exactly how it is doing so, don’t worry, this often tends to be a blind spot that many of us don’t easily recognise at first. Being aware of blind spots will help you eliminate the self-sabotaging patterns that may be perpetuating your inability to manage your time effectively.

Your mindset may be holding you back from higher productivity levels if:

1. You often act on your assumptions: Assumptions that are not based on solid evidence are often inaccurate and can be misleading. Common assumptions that can undermine your productivity are:

a) getting organised is just way too complicated,

b) changing is impossible and therefore not even worth a try,

c) you don’t have enough experience and therefore definitely should not even attempt a task,

d) failure is inevitable and therefore any efforts are pointless. These counterproductive (and often irrational) thoughts  can hold you back from many opportunities to improve your productivity and excel at your work!

2. “Should” is one of your most used words: There is a time for thinking about what you should do and for creating a day plan/schedule. However, the moment you start thinking about what you should be doing instead of what you currently are doing, you can be sure your productivity is in jeopardy. These thoughts can not only take up valuable time, but can also be dis-empowering. Taking a more pro-active approach can be more helpful. Designating special times to thinking about what you should do can leave you more time to focus on what you actually are doing and how to do it best!

3. You indulge in frequent blame games: Immature blame games probably didn’t get you anywhere as a child, and there’s no reason for them to start doing so now. Once you stop seeing yourself as a victim of circumstance, or of other people’s actions, you can take responsibility for your own life – this can be amazingly empowering! You know the effects of your actions, these aren’t that difficult to see; focus instead on the causes of your low productivity levels and how to create better patterns.

4. You’re a die hard cynic: Ignoring the positives in life can greatly decrease your productivity levels! Focusing more on the positives can help you feel better about yourself and create a positive mindset. Changing your patterns is impossible if you keep telling yourself you can’t do it! The problem with letting negative thoughts roam free in our minds is that we often act on these thoughts – they are reflected in our external worlds. Thoughts can be controlled – but remember to not go to the other extreme! Becoming a starry eyed idealist who is oblivious to negative things in life can have negative consequences too. Finding the perfect balance is essential.

So You Have The Wrong Mindset – Now What? If you related to any of the above points, your mindset is probably undermining your time management skills and productivity. Don’t panic! Your symptoms are not incurable, and success (however distant it may seem) is not as far off as you may think! The difference between people who manage their time well and those who do not, isn’t that each person is born with a predetermined set of skills.

No one is born with the perfect set of time management skills – we learn these skills and apply them to our life routines until they become second nature. Now that you’re more self-aware, you can open your eyes to all the options available to you and work on developing better habits.

Remember, you are in control of your time – not the other way around! Take responsibility for your life and be the very best you can be!

If you missed the earlier tips – read time management tips 1 and time management tips 2 and time management tips 3

To your Success!   Kirstin ODonovan

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