Time Management: Make Every Moment Count

Time is too precious to waste! Even if you just grab a few spare minutes, here's how to use them efficiently and productively.

We do not manage time. Time just keeps on passing by whether we are there or not. For anywhere from a few minutes to a bit over one hundred years we are on this earth passing through time. Each of us has the job of managing ourselves during our pass through time. When we begin to talk about managing ourselves we must talk about how we think to ourselves. What we think profoundly influences what we feel and what we do. Thinking has everything to do with how you decide to manage yourself and your time.

"Decide" is the key word. There are literally hundreds of times each day when you decide how you are going to spend your time. For the most part, however, these decisions flash by in an instant and you are not ever aware you made the decision. That is because most of your thoughts are automatic. The thoughts have been programmed through days, weeks, and years of repetitions. So when you want to change how you are going to manage yourself you will need to take a look at these automatic thoughts.

Now don't for a moment think you are going to change ALL your automatic thoughts. It is really not possible. Imagine what would happen if you tried to rewrite every line of programming in your computer at the same time. The computer would crash and so would you. There is no need to rewrite all your automatic thoughts because most of them serve you very well. They let you tie your shoes, drive a car, and do hundreds of other useful things "automatically." There are usually just a few you need to change. The trick is finding and replacing them.

The easiest way to find them is to find the situations that trigger the thoughts. Look back over your daily schedule and be honest with yourself about how you spent your time. Find the periods of time that were wasted and take a hard look at the beginning of that time period. What were you thinking in the moments before you started to waste the time? For example, thoughts like, "I can't get anything done in 15 minutes, I will goof off instead." Next, come up with thoughts you could think instead. Something like, "I can get at least one good paragraph of an article written in 15 minutes."

The next step is to actually catch yourself in the moment and replace the time-wasting thought with the more productive thought. If you are like most people, the process of learning to catch yourself using time wasting thoughts and replacing them with productive ones will be an effort. But a little time and effort applied every day will pay huge dividends in the future.

Dr. Kevin Polk is a goal and time management coach, writer and speaker. Do you need to get rid of that frazzled feeling and have more time for fun? Drop him a line at doc@timedoctor.com or visit http://www.timedoctor.com. For a FREE subscription to his monthly "Time Saving Tips & Tricks" put SUBSCRIBE in the BODY of an email to timesavers@oaknetpub.com


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