|Time management isn’t all about time management. If you have tried to manage your time and it hasn’t helped it’s probably because you only tried a very small part of what you really needed. You probably also tried to fix the symptoms not the problem and we all know how well that goes.
When you think about the need to manage your time it is likely that you feel you have too much to do and not enough time to do it all. You probably also feel like there is nothing you can do about the demands placed on your time because you have to do them. This feels especially true when it comes from work and there are ways to manage that too.
I suggest that whilst it appears to be the case that you need more time you won’t find an effective solution to that problem because that isn’t really the problem.
The problem is more likely to be linked to other areas. It’s not so much about needing more time, rather it’s about not wasting the time that you have. Now before you get all tense about that statement and say that you wish you had the luxury to waste time I highly recommend you looking at this a bit deeper.
Firstly, it’s not just about time, it’s about energy and focus and where you are spending yours. Here are 5 things for you to think about:
1) Taking Control Of Your Thoughts
One of the biggest areas that we waste time and energy in is our thoughts. Our thoughts sabotage so much of our focus, time and energy. What an unbelievable but all too common squandering of time right in front of our noses. Learning to manage your thoughts is absolutely essential if you want more time and energy.
If you are not sure how to then breath awareness practices, mindfulness, and meditation are all great places to start. There are loads of resources for all of these now. You can find some free ones on my website too.
2) Use Your Energy Wisely
Energy and how you spend it literally is shaping your life.
If you had a tank full of fuel in your car and you set off and drove around and around in circles it would be crazy to get frustrated about the fact that you hadn’t got to where you wanted to go, unless of course it was your intention to drive around in circles.
If you want to get somewhere you need to decide on a destination and you need to get started. You then need to be be honest about whether the route you are taking is moving you nearer or further from your destination. You also need to keep an eye on the fuel gage – you won’t get anywhere if you run out of fuel.
Set your intentions as to what you want to achieve and look after your energy levels. I will discuss this further in another blog but for now this means being in tune with how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally so that you notice if you are running out of fuel and heading towards burn out.
How much fuel is in your tank?
3) Checkaholics Anonymous
Now I am not saying this applies to you but can you imagine setting out on that car journey and every 5 minutes stopping the car to check social media? Whilst it sounds crazy to even think anyone would do that when they are trying to drive somewhere, it can all too often happen all day long when not driving. It is fast becoming the latest addiction.
I’m not suggesting you do that, or do you?
4) Inner Calm = Maximum Output
The pace of life that the world can and seemingly does function at is a much faster one than the world we used to live in. Let’s get over that fact because it is how it is and it doesn’t have to be a bad thing if we get back in the driver’s seat.
Learning to be calm and steady in the centre of chaos is a skill we all now need. If you feel life rushes you through the day and you get to the end of it and are not quite sure what happened or how you got through it then you are most definitely not in the driver’s seat.
There are many ways to develop your inner calm, including mindfulness, breath awareness and meditation.
As an experiment, try taking a single deep conscious breath as often as you can today. Even better take 30 seconds at the end of this blog and breathe steadily and deeply. Notice how you feel at the end of it.
5) Drifting Into Nowhere
At the other end of the scale if your day drifts by like one big daydream then your time, energy and focus is most certainly a car without a steering wheel so don’t be surprised if you don’t get to where you want to go either.
Being more present allows you the opportunity to make conscious choices and to use your energy effectively. You are either ‘nowhere’ or ‘now here.’
Whilst a little daydreaming in life is a good thing if you do feel like you are wandering aimlessly through life without a sense of purpose then learning to practice mindfulness will invite you to take back the steering wheel and decide where you want to go.
Time without focus is wasted.
Energy without focus is wasted.
An unfocussed mind is a waste of a mind and of endless, untapped potential.
Sometimes managing time needs a fresh and radical approach. If any of the above resonates with you then I highly recommend taking back control of your life before you waste any more time.