Those who make the worse use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness.
– Jean De La Bruyere
There are three key resources that we have available to create the action within our lives: Time – Energy – Money. As hard as it might be to accomplish, money and energy can be replenished. Time, however, is a different animal. We fritter away our precious time by allowing ourselves to become distracted. This way we don’t have to deal with confrontation, performing a mundane task, or stepping up to the plate by being proactive when having to conduct business in unchartered waters out of our comfort zone. This type of behavior is often given other names, such as procrastination. It can create feelings of guilt and worthlessness which propagate over time. And in the long run it generates a lot more work which you eventually have to tackle if you want to get to where you are going.
If you don’t have a process in place to effectively manage your time, let me suggest some helpful ideas for building a more efficient, proactive and doable process that will allow you to use your time in a more productive way.
- Even a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. The first step to becoming more successful in managing your time is to evaluate where you are right now as far as accomplishing your goals for the day are concerned, which will give you a benchmark against which you can track your progress and evaluate your success at the end of each day. In other words, make a “to do” list, just for today, and check in at the end of the day to see if you put too much, too little or just the right amount on your plate. Ask the question, “Will having accomplished step “A” today actually take me to step “B” which I know I can tackle tomorrow?” This allows you to make any necessary adjustments until you are able to find the right balance. It’s doing these small steps each and every day that will eventually get you to where you want to go – your end goal.
- Do you fall prey to dream stealers and time bandits? Do you spend too much time on Face Book, Texting or Tweeting, perusing your favorite singers on YouTube, listening and downloading music, taking to friends on the phone, spending way too much time playing virtual games? Make a list of these “Time Bandits” and post it where you can easily see it. This will help remind you to use your time in a more productive manner by focusing your attention on where and how you want to spend your precious resource of time.
- Take the time to organize a designated work space to take care of your singing business. Don’t waste your time looking for the essentials needed to take care of business. Redo whatever needs to be done so you feel organized to the point that you can quickly lay your hands on whatever requires your attention to carry out your needs of doing business.
- Have any unfinished tasks that keep appearing on your daily or weekly “to do” list? If so, create a special new list to transfer these tasks to and call it something like your “Baffled and Bewildered List”. Add a note to each task as to why honestly you have been avoiding it. Example: fear of failure, dreading confrontation, boring, difficult task, don’t know where to start, etc. Take on just one of these tasks at a time to add to your daily, weekly or perhaps monthly “to do” list and write down how getting it done will make you feel more in control of your life by giving you the option of taking your power back. After having figured out what was keeping you stuck and the best method for you to resolve your fear of completing that particular task, you will gain more confidence in your ability to solve problems.
You might notice that using this ongoing process will help you develop new tools and skills for dealing with whatever was holding you back or might hold you back in the future. And by further developing this type of positive experience you continue to strengthen your tenacity and creativity in solving problems and getting “unstuck”.
And, no matter how organized you are, there are still only 24 hours in a day. Because the clock is always ticking, all you can actually take charge of are your own habits, thoughts and decisions about what you choose to do with the time that you have. The objective is to increase your productivity while decreasing your stress by getting rid of the distractions. And, for heaven’s sake, do take your power back by being responsible for and owning your very own personal action process that gets honed over time by trial and error. Get what you need by learning how to take charge and stop wasting your most essential resources, time, energy and money, but especially your time which can never be replaced.
Don’t wait for the right time to start, do it now! If you don’t make something of your own life, someone or something else will and that is a fact. I shared what I think. Now let me hear what you think?
Avanti and ciao until next time, Carol