How to Become a Master of Time with 5 Effective Habits

Silvia Christmann

As a German national, it is often 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 – it’s important to get clear on what they are. Accept them and then find ways to get around them.

Don’t just ignore them.  Poor time management is a huge opportunity cost.

“Acting busy”, “being overwhelmed”, or “feeling 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 “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 it’s also a signal that I am not on top of my game.

It’s unproductive. It shows that my goals are not aligned with my values and I am busy trying to aimlessly grab at opportunities and getting lost in instant gratification, instead of focusing on long-term goals.

Time is the most valuable commodity we 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 for timing. Check in with yourself. Make sure you feel good about your decisions and what you agree to.
  5. Mean what you say. People will respond to you differently and stop cluttering your day with nonsense. Don’t fall into the trap of making vague promises to avoid setting clear boundaries.
  6. Drop the dead weight in your life. You don’t have to drag it 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 distracting, irrelevant, or negative. Time management is based on discernment of information flow.
  8. Communicate effectively. Every time there is a misunderstanding, try again and communicate better.
  9. Meditate to get back to your center before addressing any issues.
  10. Set boundaries and limit your accessibility to 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 your example.

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 them. Get it out of the way.
  4. Organize your inbox. Checking email excessively is the biggest time waster. Unsubscribe from anything you don’t need. I use Unroll.Me and  Sanebox.
  5. Web browsing can make you lose days. Try RescueTime 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 areas of your life? Do you feel enriched, productive, and fulfilled by the ways you spend it?  If not, then start taking steps to change it. 

Let me know how it goes!

Lots of love,

Silvia

 

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