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« Is It Hammock Time? | 10 Clutter Solutions »
Tuesday
Jun052012

5 Biggest Time Challenges

You’ve heard it before. The playing field is level. We each have 24-hours in a day. That’s a big number, isn’t it? In addition, we have 365 rounds each year. That’s 8,760 hours per year to make our own concoction of work, fun and relaxation. With all this time, why do we feel unproductive, overwhelmed, stressed-out, and time poor? Here are common time challenges and some strategies for overcoming them.

1. Overscheduling – Life is not dull. There are so many meetings, extracurricular activities, and social events in addition to the regular responsibilities that you feel perpetually frazzled and busy. There is never any relaxation time, other than when you sleep.

Tip: This might be the time to introduce “no” into your vocabulary. What can be removed from the schedule to give you some downtime?

2. Ambitious List Making – Massive doesn’t even begin to describe the length of your lists. You are overwhelmed by your ideas, projects and to dos. How and when will you accomplish everything?

Tip:  Adjust your expectations. As items are checked off, new ones will appear. Don’t let that de-motivate you. Instead of focusing on completing the entire list, shift your perspective. Work your list by selecting the two or three items that you will get done that day. Reframe what completion looks like.

3. Lack of Planning – You prefer to just “go with the flow” and not plan your time. This isn’t working for you. The day ends and you haven’t accomplished what you wanted to. Consider the good enough method of planning.

Tip: Don’t plan every minute. Instead, create large time blocks in your schedule that are devoted to certain types of activities like returning phone calls and emails, doing errands, spending time with family, and “me time.” Yes…block out time for just you! Review the loose plan before the end of each day. Adjust as needed.

4. Not Focusing – Distractions . . . Let me count the ways. There are children, pets, phone calls, TV, email, texting, Internet searches, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Don’t get me started about Pinterest (my personal new favorite social media addiction, oops I mean site!) The supply of distractions is endless.

Tip: Two words: Establish boundaries. Whether the distractions are digital or human, it’s essential to set parameters. Remember those time blocks I mentioned above? Incorporate into those time blocks some “tech-less time” or whichever distraction needs the boundary. Experiment with effectively using parameters to maintain your focus.

5. Under Appreciating – You’re doing a lot. You’re moving through the days at lightening speed. You’re done and on to the next thing before pausing to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished. This exacerbates your frenzied feelings.

Tip:  Gratitude is powerful. It shifts our thoughts to a positive place. Allow yourself to slow down long enough to reflect and appreciate. That can include acknowledging our accomplishments, being grateful for our loved ones, or enjoying the sweet scent of spring.

What is your biggest time challenge? Is it one of these or something completely different? I’d love to hear from you. Come join the conversation.

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Reader Comments (9)

Linda, wonderful post and always a great reminder to recheck, regroup and move on.
With so many activities - from family to work and learning - it's easy to get overwhelmed and I am making it a point to work towards balance even if it means less work. It's not an easy choice, but I am grateful is one available to me right now.
I will keep your advice fresh in my mind to remind me that I'm on the right track.
Have a wonderful day!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHelena Alkhas

Fabulous post by Linda - love it! Such a great way to look at 5
of the 'Typical Time Teasers' & sprinkle on a seasoning of perspective
with timely tips to help us right back on track. Thanks for sharing your
enlightened experience with us Linda! :-)

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrant Willcox

@Helena- Balancing work, family, and personal development is not easy, but it sounds like you are listening hard to figure out what that right mix wants to be. You are open to what's possible and I know you will make it work. It's always great to "hear" your voice. I appreciate you for stopping by and sharing with us.

@Grant- Getting back on track can be done at any moment. That's the good news. So great to have you join us. I always enjoy hearing your point of view...Mr."infectiously positive success coach." Your description says it all!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Powerful! Love that you have my favorite "under appreciating" on the time challenges list. It is really true that appreciating takes time.

My biggest time challenge is making the most of rejuvenation time. When an opportunity to just enjoy the moment comes, a few other ideas dart into my head. After reading this post, I am ready to be grateful for the moments of spontaneous rejuvenation time that come my way!

Thanks for sharing!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Hi Ellen! Thanks so much taking the "time" to join the conversation and for your feedback about appreciating time. You mentioned that your biggest challenge is rejuvenation time. I can see a shift in your perspective about it from your comments. Sometimes even a small moment of pause and reflection can give us that much needed "ahhh." Looking forward to hearing more.

June 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Wonderful post. Am printing this out for my office wall as a reminder. Thank you Linda for posting.

Very cool, Heather! So happy you found this post helpful and that it gets a "wall spot" in your office. It's an honor. Thank you.

June 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

My biggest challenge is getting to things that take me away from my computer. Today I am pleased that I made a point of vacuuming my entire apartment and hanging three pictures in my office - two things I've been putting off. As a bonus, these activities led to others: changing the vacuum cleaner bag, taking a bunch of pictures and frames that had been stuffed in a plastic bag which is now torn and packing them in a box which fits on the shelf, and throwing away an unfinished craft project that I've been moving around for years. Oh, I also found a home for the wonderful pet first aid kit which Heather sent me this week!

June 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Hi Janet- We do so much at our computers these days. Getting away from them is essential...not just because of the other things we need or want to do, but also for our mental well-being. Congratulations on all the non-tech things you accomplished today! It must have been something about today because I spent much more time doing non-tech things and really enjoyed it. That screen can be downright captivating if I'm not careful.

Thanks for joining in the conversation and for sharing your biggest time challenge.

June 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

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