Do you find yourself saying you just don’t have the time? It may not be that you are out of time so much as you are not using your time effectively. “Time blocks” are all the misconceptions we have about how much time we need to accomplish a goal, as well as how much time we have available to accomplish it during the day. They are the reason that you don’t start a big project, and the reason you accumulate such long “to-do” lists. Whether it is because you don’t want to do it, or because you fear you do not have the skills needed to finish the task it is usually perception, and not reality keeping you from “just doing it”.
A few common forms of time blocks include:
Starting too many projects at once – Everything looks like a good idea when we see it on television or social media. Access to expert advice and tutorials are at our fingertips. Just because we have the knowledge doesn’t mean we need to use it.
Drowning in clutter - Emails, junk mail, even those popular clothing and makeup subscription services can increase feeling of overwhelm. It takes time and energy to week through new items coming into your home, and decide what to keep and what to throw away or send back.
The Need to be done now mindset – If I don’t get it done now it will never get done! Maybe, but is it really a priority then? Does it deserve your time? Is their something more pressing or that you would get more joy out of if you used your time for it instead?
Too many time sucks – The average American spends over eleven hours per day interacting with media according to the market research group Nielson. That is 11 hours you could be working out, scrapbooking, learning a language, or having lunch with a friend. Figure out what you are doing that is sucking the time out of your schedule and get rid of it!
Saying yes to everything – Best laid plans can start to overlap when you fill up your calendar. Even if it looks like you might have the time think about putting some wiggle room on your calendar. Unexpected events like playdates, birthday parties, and schedule changes can wreak havoc on an otherwise only slightly stretched schedule.
Procrastination – Maybe it’s the weather or lack of money but we can always find a better time to do something than right now. Even when all we are doing is wasting time. There is no time like the present to get something done. A good rule of thumb is if it will take less than 3 minutes to get something done, do it now.
Since time blocks are mostly in your own head getting a handle on them is easy as changing how you think. Here are a few easy of ways you can start to get a handle on your time blocks:
Keeping an accomplishment calendar- Seeing what you have accomplished in a day can help you feel good about your use of time. It can also help you see what tasks feel like they take forever and while others, though enjoyable, might take more time than you think!
Using a timer – Combat the fear of not having enough time with an egg timer, or the timer on your phone. Set aside a specific amount of time for a project and set the timer. When the time is up you are done. If you still have more to do than just schedule some time the next day to finish.
Kick the clutter – Mom was right when she said there is a place for everything, and everything should be in its place. Get rid of extra papers, half started projects, and anything you have outgrown physically or emotionally. It’s easier to organize once you clear the clutter.
Unsubscribe from anything you don’t need - Email newsletters, junk mail, subscription products and magazines. Some of them cost money, but more importantly it costs time. Going through what to keep and what to get rid of and then actually getting rid of it could be time used to do something you actually find rewarding!
Remember, you are your first line of defense. If you are finding you can't get yourself back on track Northeast Ohio is rich in resources to help you feel better and improve your outlook on life. For mental health or emotional health needs feel free to give us a call at either 330-331-5800 or 216-455-5571.