If there's one thing we know, it's that time is a commodity that can be spent but never returned. When we think about our day and all that time that it constitutes, we seem to believe that there are never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we wanted to. Whether that's work, house chores, family time, or just some time to be by yourself, we solely can't juggle and crunch them into one single day. But perhaps the problem lies deeper than time management alone.
Making the Right Choices
Yes, managing and organizing our tasks helps chart out everything we need to achieve in the day, but maybe it's time we step back and ask ourselves if what we are doing is worth the time we spend on them.
Certain times, we fall into a bottomless pit of working on everything that comes our way- an impromptu meeting, a series of intertwined house chores, last-minute call-ins for favors, and the list goes on. It's important to realize that although these may seem harmless at first, they take-up not only our time but also the energy we could put to use in more valuable places.
For instance, if the impromptu meeting could be an email, replying becomes much quicker, less time and energy-consuming, and leaves you room to complete your set tasks with the least amount of cognitive switch. The energy and time you save from various identical tasks strategically collect to now work on personal goals, like the skill-building lessons you keep rescheduling.
Learn To Say a Positive No
The high of being a yes person can easily crash when we start letting the tasks control our lives. It is an accomplishing feeling when we can sweep in and help our friends, family, colleagues, but it is also critical to know where and when to draw a line. By practicing the use of positive nos, we can avoid stringing into too many yes that push away what matters to us.
For instance, an employee given to run an impromptu deadline agrees to do it but sacrifices their daily and more valuable deadlines. Supposing the employee says yes to meeting both effectively, they now are saying no to personal time, relationships, rest, recreation. If this becomes a habit, the employee is now saying no to well-being and health in the long-term. We need to realize the detrimental effects of over-committing on impulsive yes to habitual call-ins, only fearing to displease them, and allow ourselves to say yes to things that deepen value within us.
Specific tasks can call for undivided attention, while others can bundle together to add value. The world seems to have complained about the commute hours, but on the contrary, those same hours had more potential than given.
For instance, on the very commute, you could listen or read a book, hear an insightful podcast, or even have a conversation with your friends and family, all depending on what the commute takes place on. But regardless, the time spent on that travel can bring light to more than just that one activity.
To take another instance, we can easily combine our fitness activities with entertainment. A workout routine to a complementing music playlist, or treadmilling while watching tv, or maybe even doing the dishes while listening to an audio playbook. In this way, we begin to add more value to the tasks itself, bringing better satisfaction and quality.
Once we see the potential in blending activities, we can easily space out time to do more than we anticipate.