Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Staying Focussed and Managing Time... There is a solution!

Sometimes it can feel like there are not enough minutes, hours and seconds in the day.   There are 86,400 seconds in a 24 hour day, 8760 hours in a year. No matter how you slice it, we have the same amount of time available every day.

Have you had those days where it feels like you have moved the piles of paper far too many times, or maybe you have 10 electronic documents open, but none completed?  It might be time to shift gears in terms of how yo manage your time, energy and actions.

86400 seconds

Here are some tips that I have found help keep me focused, productive, creative, and high energy:

  1. Use a timer. I love my iPhone because I use the timer, stop watch and alarm frequently throughout the day.  Just for fun (actually just for a reality check), I recorded every activity I did during the day from returning calls, to email, to doing dishes, marketing tasks, going for a walk with the dog, preparing presentations and working on a new book.  This gave me great insight to where I spend my time, what tasks I may be able to delegate (or drop), and how long tasks take.  I time my activities. For example, working on this blog I set my iPhone for 15 minutes. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you are timing yourself. 
  2. Pick your Big Three. I use a red file folder or Big 3 list... these are the three things that must (did I say MUST) be done by the end of the day. Do these first, early in the day so you free up your energy for other tasks.
  3. Have a GREAT IDEA file. Many times people get sidetracked by new ideas, creative bursts something new... this is when the skill of discernment comes into play.  Ask your self questions like.... Is this a must do or would be nice to do project?  Does it need to be done now? Then if the answer is no, put it in your Great Idea file, which you look at once per week.
  4. Forgive mistakes. We can sure zap alot of time by being wrapped up in the drama of mistakes.  Blaming ourselves. Then sharing the story with others. Blaming self some more. Playing it over in your head. When I used to teach stress management to children and teenagers (a life time ago in another career), we used an exercise called the Worry Jar and Worry Time. The key was to provide yourself with a worry time (not before bed, and no longer than 10 minutes). During that scheduled time, you could worry but after the timer went off, it was time to stop and forgive and move on. Or, put the worry in the worry jar.  This has served me well as an adult, and funny thing is, there is nothing to worry about at the scheduled time, so I freed up 10 minutes to do something fun, relaxing or helpful.
 I encourage you to choose one of the four ideas and try it for one week.  Let me know how it works.  Add your comments and best strategies to the comment section so that we can all learn from one another.

Until next time, let's make it a great day!

In my book GPS Your Best Life, Co-authored with Debra Kasowski, we offer a number of strategies to create work life harmony.  You can find it here:

Just for the record, I stil have 1 minute 26 seconds left on the timer.  Whoot Hoot!

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