(This article was originally published in April, but with recent conversations, I think it may be a good time to reiterate the benefits of managing your time well. ~ Enjoy)
“I could move mountains if it weren’t for “distractions.” (Click to Tweet) I mean, really, the shiny things get in the way, catch my eye and I’m gone.
It’s become more challenging since I’ve become a corporate refugee, because now I’m doing creative work and am accountable to only myself. We are all creative beings, no doubt, but once you give yourself permission to be fully creative, you lose some of the ability to focus on getting stuff done. I think this is partially due to the fact that creativity is fostered by exploration and play. (Click to Tweet) The three go hand in hand in hand.
I’m sure the “shiny thing” gets you, too. And it snowballs. One distraction can lead to another and soon the sun is setting and you haven’t done anything even remotely productive. Urghh!
What to do?
It’s all about – ahem – time management. And self discipline. Ick. Doesn’t that sentence just make your hair stand on end? Feeling resistance yet? Think of it this way:
“Time is your asset. It’s the key to the kingdom.” (Click to Tweet)
You aren’t going to get more of it, so have the self-discipline to jealously guard the 24 hours you’ve got. Identify what gets in your way – and take steps to secure it. Here are some easy strategies:
Your “To Do List” is your GPS – Creating a “To Do” list may sound cliché, but it keeps you on course, guides you and tells you cheerfully, “You have arrived!” Use a list!
Control TV, Email and Social Media – Set designated times to check and respond to email and social media. For most of us, three times a day will work. Morning, noon, afternoon. Having your mobile device firmly tucked into your hip pocket and responding to its every chime? That chime – that’s the sound of your time being sucked into a big hole!
Schedule your Day – Schedule your day…but not ALL of it. Scheduling 60% of your day is realistic, because it allows room for life to happen and keeps you from turning into a shrew. Schedule the stuff you must do, and the stuff you want to do. Workout time – schedule it! Creative prep – schedule it! Even schedule recreational time. Remember to schedule some time at the end of the day to prepare for the following day. You can create some balance in your life and still move the mountain if you schedule it!
Create systems – Take time to organize in a way YOU can understand. If you can’t find it, you spend time looking for it, so take time to put it in its place in the first place. Besides, just admit it, if you’re looking though stuff to find other stuff you get DISTRACTED with the new stuff you find. (yeah, I wrote that all by myself).
Get a Handle on Procrastination – We all do it. If you really want to, you can get a handle on it. It’s not rocket science…if it were I would procrastinate for sure. Find the root of the procrastination and ferret out the resources, gumption or whatever you need to move through it…one step at a time.
Make Yourself Accountable to Someone Else – Research shows if you write down your goals you’re more likely to achieve them. If you write them down, tell someone you respect about them and make a commitment to report back to that person, your success rate jumps to 95%!
I offer a free gift to those who sign up on my mailing list. This published article is a “How To” for overcoming procrastination. Just “Join the Tribe” at the left and I’ll send it to you, FREE. Tell your friends to sign up, too….don’t procrastinate!
I once heard , “If you’re not using your time to deliver your own package, others will use your time to deliver theirs.”(Click to Tweet) At first this self discipline may look like shackles to you. This is not bondage. Manage your time well and you will get to spend more time doing what you love to do…perhaps even move a mountain or two.
The Clock is Ticking!
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