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44 years of success - Established 1974

44 Years of Success
Established in 1974

"Helping you gain
.control of your career"

Why do I never have enough time?

 

Many of us feel that we don’t have enough time in the day, it’s a very common problem. Luckily it’s one that can be addressed easily with a little organisation and planning. But first you have to investigate why you never have enough time – you need to find your ‘time-stealers’.

What steals your time?

In this modern life filled with gadgets, it’s not surprising that there are lots of ‘time-stealers’ out there. And, I sure you’ll also not be surprised to hear that three of the worst are:

  • Surfing the internet:

    How it steals time – we all start off with good intentions, but soon enough we’ve started to check Facebook or clicked on that interesting link. And, once you become engrossed in the internet, time starts to pass quicker. The next time you look up, an hour has passed and you’re to do list is still as full as it was when you started.

    Tips to manage it – the most obvious solution, if you don’t actually need the computer to carry out the tasks on your to-do list, is to switch it off. If you do need to use it, for research for example, be super strict with yourself. As soon as you have the information you need, switch it off or move away until you need it again. If you love to surf the internet for pleasure, why not use it as a reward system for yourself at the end of your day?

  • Sending and Reading emails:

    How it steals time – notifications of new messages are great, but each time one pops up it attracts your eye and distracts you for a moment. All those moments add up to a lot of lost time

    Tips to manage it – switch off the ping! Unless you are waiting for a really important message, it is possible for you to go a whole day – yes really! – without checking your email. Set some time aside at the end of the day to check your messages.

  • Mobile Phones:

    How it steals your time – checking your texts, taking calls, playing games and surfing the net on your mobile is another obvious time stealer.

    How to manage it – if you have a lot of friends who call to chat on a regular basis, it might be worth letting them know that you plan to be working at certain times of the day and they you would prefer it if they didn’t interrupt you. If they can’t keep to the schedule, simply switch off your phone. Treat other mobile distractions the same as you would the internet and give yourself some time at the end of the day to check your messages and call people back.

Procrastination!

However, by far the biggest stealer of time is the dreaded procrastination! This usually occurs when there’s something on your to-do list that you don’t really fancy doing. This might be because it’s something that you find unpleasant or overwhelming or maybe just because you find it boring.

Very often procrastination leads you to participate in the activities detailed above, but it could quite easily manifest in you deciding to clean your house from top to bottom, prepare dinner, re-arrange your CDs into alphabetical order or mow your lawn. In fact, you’ll do just anything to put-off starting the task you are dreading – ring any bells?

Dealing with Procrastination

So, how do you persuade yourself to do something you really don’t want to do? Well, you can break the work into smaller tasks and complete it through the day or week, rather than all at once. You could employ some psychological tips to spur you on. Often it’s best to complete the bit that you assume you’ll like the least first as you’ll probably find that it’s not as awful as you thought. Once it’s done, your mind will be clear and you’ll be able to carry on with the rest of the task with ease.

If you work better knowing someone is going to check what you’ve done at the end of the day, why not ask someone to do this for you? Even if it’s just your Mum or Dad. Or, and I think this is probably the most popular solution, offer yourself a reward. The thought of a treat at the end of the nasty part is a great procrastination beater.

If you need further information about effective time management techniques and how they can help you see our Effective Time Management course.