Shuga walked into the office complex and without a word of greeting to anyone including the receptionist (which is typically unlike her), went straight to the elevator with her head buried in thoughts. “Where did time go? How did everything suddenly become so complicated and the tasks, bulky?”. The elevator stopped at the third floor and breezed past every single living thing, marched straight to her desk before letting out a big sigh as she slumps clumsily on her seat.
The pile of files and papers laid half-harzardly on her desk. She needs to clear this all up as soon as possible, run to the mall to pick up deliveries for her mom who just got into town, pick up the 1week old laundry from the drycleaner. There was no way she was going to finish attending to all these documents/clients in time and pass it on to the Director’s secretary. Half of these documents were long overdue yet………..”urghhhhhhhh“….
So many of us are like this. Initially, it seems like we have got everything under control…….”well, until you realize that you have run out of time and don’t have a clue what to do at the moment. Where exactly did time go o?”
Relax. Breathe in. Breathe out. In, again. And out.
Let me give you a few reasons why you keep losing track of valuable time and what you should do instead. Remember that you can always share your thoughts on this in the comment section below this post.
WHY YOU KEEP LOSING TRACK OF PRECIOUS, VALUABLE TIME
1. You try to do so many things at the same time, in one day: There will always be things to do and there will not always be enough time to do all these things as we want to. What you should do INSTEAD is to select one thing that ‘needs’ to be done according to their order of importance. Don’t rush yourself. Focus on one task first. Finish it then move into the next task.
Being busy is not the same as being productive.
2. Making The Same Mistake Repeatedly:
No one is above mistakes. Mistakes are meant to be made yet not for it to keep you fixated at a spot or circumstance for too long. You should learn from your mistakes. 5 errors teaches you five ways ‘to not’ do that thing or achieve that goal on your to-do list.
3. Making Every Darn Thing A Priority:
Everything is important but not all things are necessary. This means you need to focus on what’s necessary. One way to measure what needs to be done while doing away with the others is to ask yourself this question; will this thing still hold as much importance as it does now in the next 2, 3, 5 years? Will it add any value to you now or later? If the answer is no, then you should put it aside and attend to more pressing things or better still, trash it.
4. Letting Other People Hijack Your Time:
You know that moment when you just want to be on your own in order to work on that million dollar project idea then a message beeps on your smart phone. It’s your friend or that acquaintance you have been looking forward to hang out with and deep down, you know the project is important yet who knows the next time you would be opportune to meet with these people again. So you close the cute little journal and head straight to your wardrobe because….
“Hey! Come back here! This is exactly what you did the last time and you almost never got back to that other project that was forced to die a miserable death.”
Go back and read no. 3 above! After prioritizing everything, allot a time for it each day. For example, at 3pm-4pm, I’ll rehearse my scripts. So when anyone tries to talk you into their ideas, you’ll be able to say no or reschedule it for some other time!
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5. Buying Things Because You Like Them Only To Return/Abandon Them Later:
This. Is. A. Bad money habit and it’s called impulsive buying. Before you buy anything, ask yourself if you really need this thing. What would happen if you didn’t buy it?
There are times when it’s perfectly okay splurge on whatever tickles your fancy or makes you happy. I preach self love all the time on my Twitter and Instagram handles so by all means, go ahead. BUT then, too much of everything is bad. The Bible still teaches moderation.
Buying or investing at the slightest impulse is wasteful because sooner than later you’ll realize that you would have been better off without it. Even why you have to buy or invest in things, ensure that you truly need those things and that they will add value to you in one way or the other.
Don’t indulge as a result of the emotions that bedevil you at a particular time either – not because you’re angry, depressed or tensed. You’ll regret it later. And you will be wasting precious time doing the right thing at the wrong time. Too much problem I don’t want you to go through.
6. Indulging In Cheap Merchandise
Funny how I have to write about this one because I’m what most Nigerian market women will call ‘alaroro‘ (in Yoruba) or ‘araha (in Hausa)’…hahaha. I can bargain. I love to bargain. Don’t we all love to get value for every penny that goes out of our pockets? I thought so too until I came to the realization that it’s actually a stupid behavior most times; especially when it’s got to do with anything other than food.
I have seen people buy second hand phones instead of the new one (tear-rubber…hehehe) simply because it was cheaper at the time. Then end up spending twice the cost of the actual new phone in repairs and maintenance……… “Now that’s what my mum calls – penny wise, pound foolish.”
Invest in very good things. It doesn’t only save your time, you get to save some money as well.
6. Not Reflecting On Each Day’s Events
If you truly want to be successful then there are habits you need to imbibe in your every day life.
At the end of each passing day, you can take all the time you want to catch up with your friends online and offline. You can watch your favorite TV shows or programs as soon as you have had dinner. We all have a routine of things we do right from the moment when you step into the door of your house. By all means, do them. But just before you go to bed (it could even be those few minutes when you keep staring at the ceiling wondering when that cute little fairy would appear and sprinkle sleep dust – or whatever it is honestly called…lol – on your face for you to drift to sleep.
Reflect on your day. Things that happened, people you met, conversations you had, productive things you achieved and so on like that. Check for the high and low moments. What could you have done better? What was your reaction and emotion in each situation? Did you achieve anything tangible today? (Even as cleaning up your room and entire closet… that’s progress too). What were the things you couldn’t do today?
Then pick out your lessons from the day and make a mental note of the things you would like to do the next day. It works even more magic when you write down these things you intend to achieve the next day.
Pyschologically, mother nature will bring those things back to your mind as soon as you wake up the next morning. This will make you confident and conscious of your laid down goals throughout the day.
MORE WAYS TO MEASURE HOW YOU SPEND YOUR TIME
Answer these questions and be sincere to yourself because we must smash those goals…
7. Do I set a specific time for returning calls and emails?
8. Do I focus on doing things right or doing the right thing?
9. When last did I reduce clutter and throw out all the junk?
10. Do I have more on my to-do list than I can possibly do?
11. Do I spend more time building relationships or mending them?
12. Should I settle for excellence or strive for perfection?
13. Must I start everything from the scratch?
14. Do I ask all my questions at once or go back again and again?
15. How much time do I need to spend on low priority items?
There are but you can definitely start from here.
The two greatest time-savers are saying, “I was wrong” and “I don’t know”. It is important that you say no to some people order to say yes to others, and the right people.
REMEMBER: If you can’t find the time to do it, it’s not important.
Leave your comments below……