Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Time management

A couple or weeks ago i was really annoyed with myself - i hadn't followed through on some tasks and it became apparent that i was going to miss deadlines. I was beating myself up and asked 'how do i stop wasting my time?'

Immediately, I thought - well, for a start.... i could loosen the definition of what i call a 'waste'!

For me, a 'waste of time' has been something that doesn't deliver anything - doesn't add anything more or further progress my hopes, dreams and needs. I've always looked for a concrete output as a sign that time has been used efficiently. But if I spend a couple of hours watching cool clips on youtube and feel in a great mental place afterwards: refreshed, inspired, creative and good-humored. Is that really such a waste?

Perhaps I should bring the youtubing session down to one hour. Better still, bring it down to one hour AFTER I've done something that does produce a concrete output (a piece of work, sorting out post, a chore, an email to someone important to me, etc).

But, if you look at your 'wasteful' activity objectively and the decide that what you're doing adds value to your life on a regular basis - then don't ban it/ or chastise yourself up for succumbing - just put some perimeters around its use - use moderation and balance. Conversely, if you play video games and always end up in a rage of engulfing fury because a fictitious, pixelated monster keeps killing your own fictitious, pixelated character, then what does that bring to the table?! This is a waste of time that puts you in a negative state!

People often slip up on their achievements, get infuriated with themselves. Ask themselves loads of awful questions, like: 'why am i so useless? Why am i so lazy? Why can't i manage my time properly?' and then search the web for the panacea for all their habits and nuances. People are in a bad place when they do this. But do not hate yourself! And remember that the aim isn't to become a nazi- time-managed achievement machine - it's to become 'happy' and i wholeheartedly believe that happy comes through balance.

For a long period of my life i was so achievement focused, i could turn anything into a demonstration of discipline and achievement. At exercise, i had to beat previous running records. With friends, i'd have to be the best, earn the most, look the prettiest, have the most sought after date! This was so exhausting and it just made me feel like a shell. You can never 'stand down' from this sort of behavior, it was like i was constantly on a hamster wheel to fuel my ego. When you rediscover your natural, god-given equilibrium - you find a deep, inner confidence that elevates you to high above these 'try hards' (like i once was!) You start treating yourself like you treat others - with respect, compassion and inspiration.

So find some things that you really love doing and build them into your life - even if they do not deliver a tangible 'thing' right here, right now - be totally guilt-free. Because, when you're happy you'll have greater clarity, greater clarity will lead to a great plan and the plan will happen because you have confidence in it.

If you want some really practical tips on time management - go to these fabulous websites: