It seems the more technology we have as time-saving tools, the less time we have! Why is that? Is it that the technology isn’t so time-saving? Or, could it be that fill up our “spare time” with more and more?
I could argue that we should stop doing that — filling up our spare time. It seems to be human nature for us to fill whatever void is in our life — space in the basement, gap between the new raise and the current expenses, and the time we gained. I feel we need to be selective about what we put into our voids, or gaps so that we stay in control, but that’s for another article another day.
Having enough time comes from a series of habits — or the habit of habits. The best way to get more time is to take control of your decisions and life. When you work with intention and purpose you direct your life — and your time.
I covered in an article a month ago one big technique — or habit — of gaining time in your life, and that is saying “No” to more things. Saying “Yes” to too many things is an issue I see for most people in my life. Putting yourself last comes when you put others first regardless of the consequences, and saying “Yes” puts others first. Know your priorities and your needs, and be true to yourself by saying “Yes” only when it truly makes sense.
Another habit you can implement is to schedule your day so that you are sure to know and stay aware of the tasks that have to get done today. With a schedule you can also track the people you need to communicate with. Further, you can use your schedule to remind yourself of various projects you want to move forward on and the steps necessary to do so.
If you work using blocked time you can concentrate on the task at hand without intrusions. When you let yourself get interrupted and redirected it takes your focus off your task, and that slows you down. Each instance when you change focus, you lose time. It takes time to change from your task at hand to an interruption, and then more time to go back to the task. With ample interruptions in a day, you lose enough time to miss hitting your mark in getting the important things done.
Many of the intrusions I’m talking about are merely distractions — those things you let into your life to alleviate some pain. It’s good to recognize those distractions for what they are and what they are doing to your life, and then start managing them. Distractions like email and texts, Facebook and YouTube, and phone calls and people coming to your door are what you owe it to yourself to reduce and manage. Conquer the distractions to gain more time.
One habit that will surprise you that’s important for getting more time is the habit of regular breaks. When you take a break from your task, you give yourself a change of scenery that’s good for the soul and acts like fuel for your imagination to keep working. But, breaks also give you a chance to move your body and breathe deeply so that it gets refueled with oxygen that is necessary for the body — especially the heart and brain —- to work. When your brain is refreshed you can get more work done. So, breaks for movement, breathing exercises, and change of scenery for a few minutes every 50 minutes is a key to creating more time in your day.
How do you get more time? By taking care of yourself first, working with intention and purpose, and conquering distractions you will have time to do what you want and need. Those are habits that will support your desire to have more time in your life.