Follow these tips to change your perception of time and create more time in your life. You will become much more peaceful and productive…
Prioritize – We often fill our days with duties that we don’t really want to do. Why is that? It is because we are unclear about our priorities. Try this… think of your top three priorities in life. (Spend some time thinking about this.) Once you have narrowed it down to three, write them on a post it note and put it on your bathroom mirror. Now pay attention to the things that fill up your time. Are they directly related to one of your three priorities? If not, stop doing them and gain more time.
Schedule – Once a task is in the schedule, just do it. Do not think about the task until it is time to do it. If the task takes planning, put the planning time in the schedule, too. (For example, I will do grocery shopping on Saturday at 11:00, but I schedule it from 10:00 – 12 because I want to plan a few meals, check my kitchen inventory, and make a list before I go). The more you rely on a trustworthy schedule, the less time you think about everything you have to do. You trust that you have enough time to get everything done. This allows you to stop going over your to-do list in your head, which is the biggest time waster and energy drainer there is. There it is! More time!
Don’t think – Thinking is the number one thing that prohibits progress and productivity. Stop thinking and just do it! When the alarm goes off in the morning, you hit snooze. You think about your day, your to-do list, what are you going to make for breakfast, that meeting, your kid’s library books, etc. Before you know it, you have hit snooze two more times and now you are running late. Instead, when the alarm goes off, catch that first thought, stop it, and put your feet on the floor. Guess what? You just got more time!
Exercise – Do not think of it as another thing to add to your to-do list, but rather, a way to create more time. Exercise gives you more energy. It allows you to think more clearly. It puts you in a good mood, which helps you have a better attitude. Exercise is a must if you want to be happy and productive.
Meditate – Meditation changes your perception of time. It helps us live in the present moment with acceptance and non-judgement. It allows us to be an observer of our selves. It allows us to be active instead of reactive. It brings to light the fleeting nature of our feelings. It allows us to be more calm during stressful, busy moments. If you want to learn more about meditation, check out this amazing video series from Tara Brach for an introduction to meditation.
Eliminate filler – TV, cell phone, social media, news, gossip, email, text. Learn to be quiet. Learn to be comfortable with quiet. We do not have to fill every second with noise. By eliminating filler, you will create so much more time!
Say no – Get comfortable with saying no. You do not need an “excuse”. You have the right to manage your own time. When you are asked to do something. Check in with your priorities (from #1). Is this in line with your priorities? Is this something you actually want to do? Do you actually have time to do it? Realize that you do not have to say yes or no right away. Ask for time to think about it, check your schedule, and get back to them. But most importantly, stop feeling guilty!