How to Take Control of Your Time

I don’t have time to…. Those words come out of everyone’s mouth from time to time, particularly when we are trying to justify the fact that we fell short on a commitment. How often do you excuse your missed exercise routine, or the fast food run to a lack of time? Today I will share some simple tips on how to take control of your time so that you can fit everything in.

Before I dive into that though, a little disclaimer is necessary. Most of what you are about to read is pretty basic, but sometimes getting back to the basics are exactly what we need. 🙂 Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a new tool, or iPhone app will be the solution. This is another form of procrastination and after all, you don’t have time to waste.

6 Tips for Tips Management

how to take control of your time
Reduce your commitments and prioritize what’s important.
How many people and things rely on you? Now how many are really important? I am NOT suggesting you become a flaky person and bail on all of your commitments, but you DO need to stop yourself before you pile on any more. If you are a people pleaser and tend to take on more than you need to, start to perform “commitment triage.” Decide what is truly important in your life and start doing what you need to do to get to where you want to go. I highly recommend Today Matters by John C Maxwell.

Minimize distractions so you can focus on what is important.
Do you have the TV on and Facebook open while you’re talking on your phone and trying to make your grocery list? Multitasking is a myth that only leads to inefficiency. When you have something to do focus on it, and you will get a lot more done in a lot less time. I recommend The Power of Less by Leo Babauta

Set a time limit for tasks.
We’ve all gotten lost in our email inbox, or sucked into Facebook. Setting a timer for fun things like internet browsing as well as work tasks will help you to stay focused. When it’s time to work, work. When it’s time to play, play.

Stay organized.
Have a place for everything. Your shoes, your keys, your purse, your incoming mail, your bills, your laundry- EVERYTHING. Yes, it takes time & effort upfront to get systems in place. Some will work and others won’t, but keep trying until you find a system that works for you and then use it. The time and stress you save yourself will be well worth it in the long run.

Keep separate lists for tasks and projects.
Whether you prefer physical notebooks and a filing cabinet or something more high tech like Evernote, keeping your TO DOs for various projects separate will help you to remain organized. Getting Things Done by David Allen is a must read for anyone who is busy and has many responsibilities to manage.

Ask for help & delegate things that you do not need to be doing.
There are some things that only you can do, and then there are things that you can delegate. This may be as simple as asking your spouse for help around the house. You can not do it all, so stop trying to.

We all fall short of our goals from time to time, but continually working to improve our time management will keep you growing both personally and professionally. Keep working at it, we are all in this together.

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