Spring is on its way with the pinky promise of everything new and fresh. It’s a time for growth and renewal. It’s also the time for a redo.Out with distractions and time traps that create havoc in your life and in with positive ways to honor your time. Click To Tweet
There’s one brilliant solution. Give yourself the time of your life.
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Time Traps Cause Way Too Much Disorganization
Some of the first clients I worked with, when I started my business years ago, were people desperate for help in managing their time and life.
Things haven’t changed that much.
Whether it’s clutter, closets, conference calls, crayons, cat shedding or cubbies. When you’re disorganized you waste precious time. Time that can add up to years and years that you can never earn back again.
No one has time for this. No one has time to waste. Once you have the hang of organization and time management, you can just let things roll while you sashay out and enjoy your life.
Doesn’t that sound like the best pinky pact promise you can have with yourself?
18 Tips to Avoid Time Traps in 2021
Be Your Own Goalie
Take some time this week to sit down and create your vision for the rest of the year and beyond. The best way to dodge time traps is to get clear on where you’re going and what you want to achieve – it keeps you focused.
Create a Personal Navigation System
Create your own personal navigation system and start every day with a daily plan. Spend at least 30 minutes every morning (or the night before) sorting it out. Use your day planner, the whiteboard in your office, or even your phone to note down your plan – it gives you direction.
Keep a Beady Eye on Your Time
If you don’t know where all your time goes then track it for a week. The reality will shock you. I bet a lot of it will be spent going down the social media rabbit hole (massive time traps) or doing something similarly unproductive. When you track your time you become more conscious of how precious this commodity is – it will help you spend your time more wisely.
Make Prioritizing Your Bible
Keep your priorities in mind, right up front, so you get the most value from your time. Not being able to distinguish between regular tasks and priorities will create overwhelm and challenge your focus. If you’re not sure what your priorities are, ask yourself, what’s the most important thing for me to do right now? What must get done and what can wait? Then watch how your priorities come to mind.
Be Mindful of Deadlines
Be aware of deadlines and start there. This gives you a starting point but also allows you to create a timeline for getting important things done. This is especially important if others are relying on you to complete a task – it will keep you on top of things.
Turn Off Distractions
This one is vital; especially in this age of distractions we live in. Between phone calls, texts, social media notifications and our many alarms or reminders, our concentration is constantly switching between tasks. Doing several things at once is not productive and we need to focus on one thing at a time. Temporarily switch off anything that distracts you – it will allow you to concentrate.
Wipe Out Time Wasters
Arm yourself against time traps. There are numerous time wasters in our modern era, such as waiting for others to do something before you act, checking emails constantly, spending all your time on social media or just saying “yes” to everything. Notice what you waste the most time on and then systematically arm yourself against these – it will give you more time.
Make the best decisions you can with the information you have available to you. Learning how to be decisive and to make smart decisions is a valuable tool when it comes to organization – it will keep you from wasting time on indecision or unnecessary mistakes.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Be aware of personal limits and don’t take on more than you can do. When you overload yourself you are at risk of burnout which will waste even more of your precious time. Set healthy boundaries, become acutely aware of your personal limits and allow yourself to say “no” sometimes – it will prevent you from feeling overloaded.
Multitasking won’t get the job done and is actually an unproductive endeavor. Switching attention from one task to another is a big time-waster, not a time saver. Tasks then don’t get your full attention which means they aren’t done properly and take longer than needed. Focus on one task at a time – it will help you do things well.
Stay focused on the task at hand when you’re tempted to switch gears. It can be easy to get distracted and switch to another (perhaps easier) task when you’re right in the middle of something. Focusing on the task at hand will help get the job done – it will leave you feeling accomplished.
Work in Time Slots
I suggest the Pomodoro Technique which is a time management method that uses a timer to break down work into intervals. According to this technique, you should work for 25 minutes at a time and then take short 5 minute breaks in between. Working in slots of time helps you to work more efficiently.
Break Up Projects
Work on parts of a project at a time to avoid the feeling of overwhelm that comes with a large agenda. When overloaded, it’s challenging to know where to begin. By breaking up a large project to smaller tasks, it becomes more manageable – it makes your job easier.
A Perfect Trap
Pay attention to details but don’t let them bog you down. Although attention to detail can be useful, it can also be your downfall. Allow yourself some detail management. It will give you the space you need to get things done.
Delegate or Outsource
Delegate the right job to the right person to free you up for the tasks that you need to do. Sometimes there is just too much for one person to do, so the best way to manage is to outsource some of the work. Focus on your zone of genius (what you’re best at or only you can do) and then hand over the rest to someone else – it will free up a lot of your time.
We live in a wonderful world full of technological luxuries that can help us out. So, use your mobile phone to set reminders and keep track of your calendar. Having something on hand that reminds you of the important stuff can be a lifesaver. Make use of what you have available to you – it will give you the tools to better manage your time.
Plan Ahead & Finish Early
Plan to finish up or get to where you need to be earlier than expected. Always over calculate the time you will need to give yourself some wiggle room. You won’t have that rushed feeling as if you’re running late – it lets you get ahead of schedule.
Schedule “YOU” Time
You can’t spend all your time doing obligatory things or things for others and expect to manage your time effectively. After a while, it will wear thin and things will start to slip. But when you actually schedule some time for yourself to read a good book, take a walk in nature, pamper yourself with some beauty treatments at home, you’ll feel refreshed, like you can manage anything.
How We Spend Our Time
With an average life expectancy of 79 – 80 years you’d think that we actually get a lot done during our lifetimes. But what if I told you how much time we spend on the most unexpected things.
Would you do things differently this year?
Here’s what the average person spends their lifetime doing:
- 33 years in bed (26 years sleeping and 7 years trying to sleep).
- 13 years and 2 months are spent working.
- 11 years and 4 months are spent on screen time.
- 4 years and 6 months are spent eating (66% of people eat and work simultaneously).
- 3 years and 2 months are spent on holidays (not enough if you ask me).
- 1 year and 4 months are spent exercising.
With 18 positive ways to avoid time traps, and take control of your life, you have the tools you need to spring ahead and stamp this year, “redone.”
What time traps do you struggle with most?
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