Managing time is an odd concept. It makes it sound as if you can make more time, or that you have more time than there is. No matter how you stretch it, there are still only 24 hours in a day. We find ourselves overcommitting, getting busier and busier, and things don’t take as much time as we think they will — especially living in Los Angeles in “traffic.”Traffic happens. Doctors take longer than we expect. We get so enmeshed in having a great lunch with an old friend, that before we know it, we are late to our next meeting.
How to stay present and focused now, while keeping on track?
- In google calendar, you can set up calendar alerts to text message you, or email you, keeping you aware of upcoming appointments
- The iPhone has an app called “Reminders” to give yourself reminder messages to do tasks
- Set an alarm on your computer or phone to stop or start doing something (Leo Baubata, of zenhabits reccomends working in 90-minute intervals. I am going to take on this challenge, setting a timer when I begin a task, and only working on that task for 90 minutes straight, and then taking a break)
- Use a scheduling software, that sends both you, and your client, a confirmation, and a reminder a day in advance, so you don’t miss an appointment. There are plenty out there.
- Set up automatic payments for bills, or at least go online (which eliminates paper also) and set up alerts for a particular bill
- Meditate in the morning (also a new zenhabits challenge I am taking on today, in their Meditation Mini-Course. Start the day off well.
- Be realistic. We tend to push and schedule things together, leaving us stressed out and hurried. Allow enough overlap time between appointments and meetings. If you use an online appointment scheduling system, give 15 minute windows between appointments to allow time to be refreshed.
- Make sure to drink water and eat. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Keep a refillable water bottle with you at all times. I use this one
- Multi-task. Today, I ate lunch at my desk while listening to an audio presentation.
- Disconnect. Set a time where you will shut down your computer and read or relax, at least an hour before bed time (the one I am most challenged with)
To make good time, you have to take time to plan and commit. For me, if I don’t write it down in my calendar, it doesn’t exist. I put something in my calendar as I’m making a lunch date, or an appointment, so I don’t have to worry I’m missing something, or forget about it altogether. Your time is precious. Value your time.