If you compare this era to the previous, it’s obvious how many more responsibilities and different elements of life we now juggle daily. The list is never ending: from work, to personal, to family, friends, and relationships; it’s no wonder a work-life balance remains an elusive dream for many.
The bad news is that we continue to take on more; but the good news is you can juggle everything in life, get a lot done and still have fun. We are taught so many important things in school, but who taught us to manage our time and get everything done that we really want to? Unless your parents did, probably no one. Yet it is one of the most important skills to have, not only to have balance in your life, but to be successful in everything you do.
The ironic part of it all is that even though what you do with your time is what gives you your results in life, most people don’t give enough importance to it, until it becomes chronic and they have no choice.
Here are my top 3 warning signs that say you have a time management problem and what to do about them:
1. Life always feel like a rushDo you feel like you are constantly rushing around like a headless chicken putting out fires or jumping from one task to another without a break? If you don’t have time to sit down for 5 minutes and do nothing, then you seriously need to explore this more.
If this sounds like you, you’ve got to start planning your days better. Take out your calendar, write in your non-negotiable tasks for the day and block off the time it will take. Then looking at your remaining time, what is the best use of this?
Take items from your to-do list, prioritize the most important and then fill up the rest of your day with those tasks. And always, don’t plan more than 75% of your time, because things will come up. If you just can’t get everything done – start delegating, including your personal tasks.
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler
2. Making excuses constantlyIt’s a fact that even though it takes time to plan, you save more time by planning than when you don’t. Be honest with yourself, how often do you find yourself saying ’I don’t have time’? The fact is, we all have 24 hours in a day, it’s not time that is lacking, it is your ability to manage it effectively.
Let’s agree, the super successful individuals always find a way. They don’t entertain the excuse of ‘I don’t have time’, they find the time. If this is you, firstly, there is nothing empowering about excuses.
So, what needs to change? What do you need to change about the way you are being and doing things to have more time? And a good place to start is by identifying your time thieves and what you can do to eliminate them. Nothing holds us back in life more than the lies we tell ourselves – called excuses.
3. You’re getting negative comments from othersThis one really hurts sometimes, because you just don’t want to hear it. How often do other people make comments like ”you are always stressed out” or “you are always late” and worse “I’m really concerned and worried about you”. Sometimes it’s easier for others to see where we need to improve than it is ourselves. When it gets to the point that other people start to say things, you have to stop and take notice.
Don’t commit to plans that you know you might not be able to follow through with. Overcommitting and always saying ‘yes’ are huge contributors to stress. How much can you realistically commit to? You need to take responsibility for the stress you have in life.
The worst part of having time management challenges is not only do you feel stressed and cranky, you often miss important deadlines and opportunities and feel mentally and physically exhausted. Ironically you are actually making the choice to live this way.
“This is the key to time management – to see the value of every moment.” – Menachem Mendel SchneersoThe fact is when you manage your time, you manage your life better. You achieve more in months than you could in years and you can have the elusive work/life balance and achieve all your goals. Life becomes more fun when we feel on top of it and not under it.