Managing Your Time
Time: everybody has the same amount but nobody has enough. Sometimes it flies, sometimes it drags, and it always passes at the same steady rate. We talk of ‘saving’ time and ‘spending’ time as if it was money (and of course, there is the common phrase, “Time is money!”) but in fact with every hour that passes we are using our time, hour by hour. The only valid question is whether we are using it to do the things we want and need to do.
It may often feel that you have too much to do in the time that you have: job, family, housework, shopping, holidays, etc. Think positive; here are some hints and tips to help you manage your personal time effectively.
Lists – very useful for keeping track of what you need to get done. However, writing it all down can feel like more progress than it actually is: you need to take action before you can cross an item off your list.
Priorities – work out what is important and/or urgent to you, then consider any other relevant concerns, then decide in what order you will do things.
Deadlines – set some, otherwise it is too easy to put it off until tomorrow.
Reminders – there are a number of ways to alert yourself to appointments and commitments: pocket diary, mobile phone; Google calendar; notes on the fridge door; pick your favourite and use it.
Distractions – notice when you procrastinate, when you put off doing some unpleasant task. If you distract yourself with fun then do the task first and then give yourself the fun as a reward. If you distract yourself with ‘easier’ work (such as laundry or sharpening pencils) then prioritise: which task is more important or urgent; do that one first.
Postponements – when you’ve put something off three times, it is probably time to just do it and get it out of the way!
Direct Debits – if you don’t already pay your bills this way then consider it; it’s easier for you and you may receive a discount.
Internet shopping – save yourself the trip to the supermarket by buying the month’s non-perishable groceries online and having them delivered at a time that suits you.
E-mail – you don’t have to check it every five minutes; and when you do check it, it is a rare message that requires and instant response!
Telephone – you don’t have to answer it just because it rings; if you are doing something important or complicated then let the caller leave a message and return their call at a time convenient to you.
Sleep – give yourself the recommended amount. Sleeping less may give you more waking hours but you’ll soon be too tired to use them effectively.
Leisure – make sure that you build in some time for some fun; whether it’s going to a movie, doing a pilates class, playing a video game, whatever; all work and no play is not good for you.
So the next time you are feeling overwhelmed by your ‘to do’ list, think positive and use some of these tips to give yourself more control over your time. Looking for New Positive Opportunities
Have you ever caught yourself thinking or saying “I never seem to get lucky.”, “I always miss out on opportunities.”, “I have no other options.” and other such expressions of limiting beliefs?
Well it is true that in a slow economic climate opportunities can be hard to find BUT that is different to there being no opportunities at all. Many people have their greatest successes in times of recession. Exploring how they do this will help you use new positive opportunities to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.
“How many opportunities present themselves to man, without him noticing?”
− Arab Proverb
So how can you train yourself to ‘think positive’ and spot more opportunities? Knowing how you have trained your brain to actually miss opportunities is a good place to start.
All our sensory input is filtered in various ways by our central nervous system. This filtering mechanism limits our input via a set of neurological filters: deletion, distortion, and generalisation. Without them, we would be overwhelmed by a deluge of irrelevant information, but whilst these filters make it possible for us to function they also restrict the information that is allowed into our conscious awareness. This explains how we can come to miss various aspects of our daily experiences, including opportunities.
So, if our perceptions – the way we see the world around us – is controlled by our deletion, distortion and generalisation filters, understanding how they work and adjusting them to allow more input is the key for improving our opportunity-generating potential.
Deletion – this is about deleting memories or experiences which would contradict a current belief or view; e.g. people who have made some poor decisions recently can find it hard to access memories of good decision-making, effectively deleting their history of having made some good decisions. This has a negative influence on their current ability to assess and seize opportunities.
Distortion – this is when we distort meaning to fit with a current belief; e.g. responding to an opportunity by saying “Sounds like an opportunity, but with my luck it will never work.” distorts the opportunity into something negative, which is therefore easily rejected.
Generalisation – this is applying a single rule to all situations, using language such as “always” or “all”; e.g. saying “whenever I have taken a risk it has always gone wrong” which generalises the situation and prevents the person from looking at the current opportunity on its own merits.
To adjust your filters:
- Develop your awareness of distortion, deletion & generalisation;
- Notice your limiting language, are you using words like all, always, never, everyone, nothing, no-one, etc? Challenge yourself to think of a time when the opposite was true and stop your limiting generalisations;
- Create a list of times when you have been successful, made good decisions, spotted opportunities, taken risks, etc. Use this to jog your memory when you catch yourself slipping into Distortion or Deletion. Use your positive history and positive thinking to reframe negative thoughts created by Distortion or Deletion.
“Once you realize that you can alter your thinking and beliefs, it changes the way you behave.”
– Richard Bandler (2010)
Think Positive and create better and multiple opportunities for you to achieve your goals