Do you ever wish that you had more time? Time to achieve a little bit more, do a little bit more, relax a little bit more?
Of course, we can’t have more time. Time is fixed. We know that every minute has 60 seconds, every hour has 60 minutes, every day is 24 hours, and so on.
We can’t make up time, we can’t buy time, we certainly spend time, but we can’t buy it.
So once it’s gone, we can’t ask for it back. We can’t replace it. But what you can do is do more of the right things for you with every bit of time that you’ve got. The right things to manage yourself within that time. And so this blog is looking at a couple of ways to help you with that.
Firstly, I’m going to talk about distractions. Do you find that you’re constantly distracted? Because in the world that we live in today, we are surrounded by distractions. You know, if you walk around with anything like a laptop, or an iPad, any kind of technology, then those kinds of things are constantly giving you distractions by way of a notification. Buzzing, lighting up, making a sound. Did you know that every time we get distracted, that it takes us 17 minutes for our brain to refocus on what we were doing before? So can you imagine when you’ve got things buzzing on your phone, popping up on your computer, people popping in to talk to you, the phone ringing all of those distractions that might be happening, and you give your attention to that continuously throughout the day, how little you’re able to focus on one given thing. Sometimes we have to be a bit deliberate about allowing us to not be distracted so that we can get focused.
My first tip for you is to turn off all of your notifications on your computer, and on your phone. Do it for a week and just notice the difference. What difference is it making to you to be more present in what you’re doing at any given time, be more focused with your time? It’s amazing how much more productive we can be when we are being proactive in order to be present. And when you’re being reactive, you’re reacting to a phone call, you’re reacting to a notification, you’re reacting to a distraction, it’s obvious that we’re going to get less done in the same amount of time. So have a think this week about turning all those notifications off, play around with it, give yourself a bit of a game this week. And if it works, then keep it going. Because you don’t actually need those notifications. You can organise your day in such a way that you deliberately and proactively go and look at the emails, you deliberately and proactively go and check out whatever it is you need to go and check out rather than it continuously bombarding you with things that are taking your attention away from what matters.
The other side of it is, do you ever find yourself saying, Do I have to be the one that does everything around here? Maybe this is you at work? Or this is you at home? Or it might be a bit of both? If you want something doing ask a busy person, right? Well, actually, you need to be asking yourself, Do I really need to be the one that’s doing that right now. So often we fall into the trap of doing things we don’t need to be doing, doing things that are way over and above what’s helpful to us and, and to others. Without doubt, you will have things that only you can do. There will always be things that comes down to you. But there will be many other things that you’re doing right now in your life, in your work that you don’t need to be doing. You could be delegating them, you could be sharing them, you could be deleting them. They don’t need to be done. We’re just doing them out of habit, because they’ve always been done.
As you know, I work with a lot of managers and leaders and I often find that managers, particularly stressed managers, overwhelmed managers, they want to feel in control. A way of doing this seemingly is to grab hold of everything and say, I’ll try and do it all. I’ll fix it all for everyone. And you might recognise that in yourself sometimes. It’s a classic signal that somebody’s feeling out of control so they try and do more and of course that makes the problem worse. Because when you do this, you’re becoming the bottleneck. You’re the bottleneck in your life. You’re the bottleneck in your business. You’re the bottleneck in your team. You become the person that’s holding other people up by making other people waste their time. It’s like a ripple effect in a pond. By you saying I’m going to grab it all, and I’m going to take take on too much, knowing that you haven’t got the time to get everything done, you prevent them from being effective in how they’re managing their time. It’s worth having a think about, Am I doing that? Am I actually taking on too much? For me, it’s all about getting clear, clarity first. My coaching is centred around clarity and confidence, for good reason. Clarity brings you focus. When you get clear on yeah, I’ve got this bad habit that I’ve learned allowed to creep him on literally looking at my phone every couple of minutes, the minute it pings or the notification and I’m clear about that now so I can do something about it. Actually, when I asked myself, I’ve got some clarity on the fact that yeah, maybe I am doing too much. Maybe I’m not sharing and I’m not delegating the tasks with other people quite so much. And and that’s creating a bottleneck. The more you get clear on these things, the more it gives you the power to do something about it.