Let’s face it. Information is coming at us faster than ever before. We are constantly receiving a steady flow of emails, text messages, phone calls and voice mails. The downside of communication technology is that it is making everything URGENT. It takes real discipline to determine the difference between what is really important from what is just urgent. But it’s this difference that gives you the ability to be really productive, as opposed to just really busy.
The 5 key steps to gain control and mastery of your time include:
Identify what you want to change. You’ve got to be honest with yourself about what you are doing that’s keeping you from mastering your time. The more you recognize about what you are doing, when and why, the easier it will be to recognize what you need to do differently.
Determine the new habit you want to develop. One of the best ways to do this is to ask yourself “What’s the one thing that I’m not doing now or could do differently that would have the greatest impact on how I manage my time?” Once you’ve recognized what that is, develop a realistic action plan that includes specific steps to be taken.
Practice. Start with one action plan that is within your control, not overly difficult and you feel confident in your ability to accomplish. Then take the actions necessary on a consistent basis. Research shows it only takes 21 days to change a habit. Set yourself up to succeed.
Ask others to help you. Few of us make significant changes in our lives without the help and support of other people. Ask for assistance when you can and where possible, make yourself accountable to other people for following through on your action plans.
Reinforce, celebrate and start again. Once you’ve accomplished your first time management goal, feel good about it! Reward yourself or celebrate. Then pick a new goal and keep going. Time mastery is not a one-time event. It’s a continual process.
Once you’ve followed these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a greater sense of control, personal freedom and a lot let stress. You’ll feel as if you really can manage it all, and this greater sense of expansion will enable you to accomplish more in less time and with less stress in the process. All the best to you!