How to become a Master of Time with 5 Effective Habits.

As a German national, it is often automatically assumed that I am an expert in time management. Could be true! It might be in my genes or it might be a learned behavior. I am indeed very good at managing my time. I am, however, not very punctual, which is very ‘Un’-German of me.

We all have our weaknesses – get clear on what they are. Accept it and then find ways to get around them.

Don't just ignore it.  Poor time management is a huge opportunity cost. 

“Acting busy” or “being overwhelmed” or “overextended” all stem from an inherent inability to manage time and priorities.  They are driven by procrastination and a need to avoid tackling the “hard stuff”.

All too often, I see people ‘act busy’ or fall into the it’s ok to use the "I’m so sorry I did not do ….x,y,z,…. because I’ve been busy" excuse. To me, this translates into: "Oh I’m sorry, I am disorganized, can’t set priorities, am lazy and lack integrity."

I have been guilty of using this excuse myself but let’s just be clear on what this really means. It is, in a way, a socially acceptable excuse, but is signaling that I am not on top of my game.

It’s unproductive. It shows that my goals are not synced with my values and I am busy trying to aimlessly grab at opportunities and getting lost in instant gratification over long-term goals.

Time is the most valuable commodity all of us have. Use it wisely!

12 tips to think about: 

  1.  Make sure you say no without resentment and yes without regret. You don’t have to do it all – commit only to what you can actually do.
  2. Be in touch with who you are and what you really want to accomplish. Communicate from that place.
  3. Make to do lists. Schedule your life. If it’s not on a list, it does not exist. If it’s not scheduled it is not real. Good intentions without actions mean nothing!
  4. Follow synergy. Allow intuitive energy to set the tone in timing. Check in with yourself. Make sure you feel good about your decisions and what you agree too.
  5. Mean what you say. People will respond to you differently and stop milking your time with nonsense. Don’t fall into the making vague promises trap to avoid setting clear boundaries.
  6. Drop dead weight in your life. You don’t have to drag them around. If it’s not elevating, then don’t make time for it.
  7. Learn to ignore stuff. Selective ignorance is bliss. Seriously! Ignore everything that is irrelevant, distracting or negative. Time management is based on discernment of information flow.
  8. Communicate effectively. Every time there is a misunderstanding and something did not get done right, try again and communicate better.
  9. Meditate to get back to your center before addressing any issues.
  10. Limit your time to be accessible for time wasters.
  11. Lead by example with extreme kindness, thoughtfulness and positive energy.
  12. Get excited about establishing new and healthy habits: explain why and others will respect and even follow.

5 EFFECTIVE HABITS:

  1.  Set timelines, deadlines, and agendas. Avoid meetings that have no clear  purpose or objective and schedule everything. I like calendly and the new google calendar self scheduling tool
  2. Your workspace is your temple: do not allow casual visitors. Do not let people interrupt your workflow
  3. Stay focused on three tasks per day that move you forward and finish it. Get it out of the way. Try this productivity tool
  4. Organize your inbox. Checking email excessively is the biggest time waster. Unsubscribe from anything that you don't need. I use Unrollme and  Sanebox
  5. Web browsing can make you lose days. Try Rescue Time and Do nothing

I will leave you with this:

Feeling like we are in control of our time and being able to spend it on the things we love is vital to all of us. How do you spend yours? Are you spending it effectively across all aspects of your life? Do you feel enriched, productive and fulfilled by the way to spend it?  If not, start to now and change it. 

Lots of love,

Silvia