Monday Mo: 4 Steps to Making the Most Use of Your Time

This week’s Monday Mo was presented by Senior Account Manager Maggie Stringham.

Life is made of time. Life is made of small pieces of time that we choose to spend however we choose to spend it…and if you’re anything like me, you are probably sitting back at the end of the day thinking “there are just not enough hours in the day.”

Well, I was thinking that, until I realized that a lot of my day was wasted on anything but the productive and exciting things that I wanted to do and didn’t have time for. 

Feelings of overwhelm, stress, and time constraints typically happen when we just don’t know how to manage our time the right way. Even if you don’t feel like you are “wasting time” – you probably are. 

Time Wasters

Let me get more clear about time-wasters. 

Time wasters are anything that you spend time doing that is not going to help you meet your goals or add value to your life. Time wasters rob you of your productivity and overall happiness…and there are a few different types of time wasters that are going to suck the time right out from under your feet and knock off your ladder of success. 

Let’s talk about them:

  1. Distractions – Anything that takes you away from your focus. 
    1. Scrolling through social media
    2. Watching tv
    3. Playing games on your phone
    4. Checking your email repeatedly
  2. Prioritizing & Not Delegating – Lack of priority with tasks and responsibilities
  3. Procrastination – Putting off the hard stuff – or anything really – till the very last minute

Right now, your mind is playing a video collage of your biggest time-wasters that you know hinder you – but you haven’t done anything about….yet! 

And you haven’t done anything about them because you can’t until you take some time to understand how they are affecting your life negatively and how you can make the choice to change your behavior. 

You don’t have to pay any money or sign up for anything – you just need to follow a few steps and stay consistent and active in following them.

Step One – Focus On The End Result – The Achievements. 

You’re likely focusing on the pain points of the tasks. You are focused on the activities needed to accomplish your tasks instead of the end result or what you might accomplish. A task truly is no bigger than we make it out to be in our minds. If something seems hard – it’s going to feel hard and it’s going to be harder to get started. Mapping out all of the steps and conversation and work that is going to happen is just going to increase stress, cause anxiety and turn into procrastination. Instead, think about what you want to get out of it. What will be the reward? How will you and others benefit from this task? How will completing it make you feel?

Step 2 – Is It Really Something That YOU Need To Do?

Delegation is one way that busy, busy people are wasting time. If you have to control every aspect of what you have to do and can’t delegate tasks to others – you are going to be burnt out and overwhelmed easily. You already feel like you have no “me” time, right? 

Think about tasks at work or at home that you won’t let go of. Are there things that you can pass off to someone else and stop carrying the extra burden? I know – nobody is going to do it the way that you do. 

Yes. You’re right. So move on. Let them do it differently and let them learn. You might even be surprised that they have a better way to do it or enjoy it more than you would. 

Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. 

Step 3 – Lay Out Your Priorities

That means making a list, each day, of what your priorities are, what you want to get done, and what the outcome will be if you complete it. 

Now, hand off some of those items and prioritize them. What is the most important task? What is the least important? What tasks are going to help you get to your end result faster?

After that, get to work. 

Step 4 – For The Fun Of It

For the fun of it, and to help you see where you are losing time, make a list of everything you can remember that you did yesterday. Everything. Laundry, opened your email, opened an app on your phone, got on social media, had an unproductive conversation, steps you took to get ready for the day…..

How many of these tasks robbed you of time you could have spent working toward the things that you want in life? How much time did you give away instead of putting it toward the things that make you happy? 

Go through that life and eliminate – or change routines. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new with the way you spend your time. You are going to find that your time management skills are going to boost your self-esteem, catapult your success, and become the biggest asset of your life. 

Don’t waste any time – start taking control of your time right now!

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