Time is relative. An hour in the dentist chair can seem like an eternity, but turn around and in an instant your toddler is graduating college. All time passes equally, so why does it seem at times so different? The answer to that question is perhaps the reason it is so difficult to manage time. Time flies when you are doing something you enjoy and it drags when you’re doing something you dislike.
If you don’t have enough time for the truly important things in life, maybe it’s because you haven’t taken the time to prioritize your time. If you think you’re too busy to do that, you are probably too busy not to. If you have problems prioritizing or if you tend to procrastinate, the standard time management suggestions may not work for you. Time management is really self-management, so if typical time management seminars and systems haven’t worked for you, maybe it’s time to try something different.
You could start by doing things you dislike first. When you dread something, you spend more time thinking about it and procrastinating than if you simply went ahead and completed the detested chore. You will find you are more productive if you get those items out of the way first and then move on with your day.
If you keep a to-do list, scrutinize the things you leave on it day after day. Either decide not to do those things at all and remove them from your list, or vow to take care of them first and get them out of the way. It will leave you with a shorter list and make what is left more manageable. It may prove worthwhile to make a “don’t do” list of time-wasters as well. If you catch yourself doing something on that list, immediately redirect your efforts to something more productive.
Experts say it takes 21 days to break a bad habit or establish a good one. Give yourself three weeks to change the things that are sabotaging your time with the promise of a nice reward for yourself when you reach your goal. It is difficult to get organized, but by focusing on your time-management goals, you may soon find those extra hours you were missing—extra time to spend with family and friends or some activity you enjoy.