Updated: Dec 1, 2021
I remember when I was growing up, the days, months, or even years felt like they lasted forever. The school term seemed never ending, and there was always this wait for some special occasions like summer holidays or Easter break.
Back then I didn’t think much about time. So, it was January, or Christmas, or my birthday again, but somehow, I didn’t see the time passing.
And now, all I think about, hear about, talk about is time. The most precious resource we will ever have. And also, the one resource we are very cavalier with.
Try this little experiment: throughout the week count how many times you say that you don’t have time for something. Or try to count it during the day if you know you say it a lot.
What did you get?
I know! Surprising, isn’t it?
Don’t you find it peculiar that you don’t have time for anything, yet you cram every possible task into your day?
If you feel like there is never enough time to complete all you want to complete or to spend more time with those you love, or do some activities you always dreamt of doing, I have to tell you something: the lack of time is not a problem here, but the way how you manage it, is.
Today I want to show you the 7 most common mistakes you make when it comes to using your time. Once you know where the leaks with your precious resource are, you’ll be able to do something about it. But I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed, so I created a special downloadable 5 planning strategies to manage your time better so you can achieve more and feel in control of your day cheat sheet for you! This way you not only discover the mistakes which cost you time but also a simple strategy on how to manage your time wisely!
Let’s dive in!
Why it matters how you spend your time
The bottom line is that whatever time you’ve got, is not enough. So, the way how you spend your time matters. We often act as we have an unlimited supply of minutes and hours in our days, but you know as well as I do, that we don’t.
Time becomes a very touchy point especially when you are stressed. It seems like you definitely have no time for anything. You’re stressed because you think you don’t have enough time to complete that project or meet your deadline. So, you obsess about it, even more, making yourself feel overwhelmed.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You just need to correct the mistakes you make with how you use your time.
You want to do it all
Life in the 21st century is not easy. Not only for a woman, who is expected to be everything to everyone but also for a man. Our traditional roles have shifted, and you’re trying to find your own place in the chaos. And this means you’ve got to do it all. So, you let the pressure suck you in. After all, do you have a choice?
With so many choices to make, it’s hardly your choice how you use your time. Most of the time, you just do the things which are thrown at you, because you feel this is the way it has to be. After all, all your girlfriends have careers, throw family get-togethers every Sunday, care for their kids, and well, do other things, but you’re not sure what else because you haven’t seen them for a long time due to lack of time.
But have you ever stopped and asked yourself what it means to you to do it all? Or even more, why do you feel you need to do it all?
You may find it surprising but there are not that many of us who really find enjoyment from doing it all and robbing ourselves of that precious time which you could use on doing something that really matters to you.
Why do you want to do it all?
You’re not prioritizing your time
With so many tasks occupying your days, it’s no wonder you feel overwhelmed. Your days are mostly to-do lists like your grocery shopping, rather than days with happy events you want to remember. Maybe you are even at the point where all days seem the same to you, and you honestly don’t remember what you did yesterday.
The brutal truth is that there will always be something to do because there is an unlimited supply of tasks to be completed. We, humans, have an instinct to always do better, to evolve, to grow. So, it’s inevitable that there will be the next, and then the next thing on your to-do list.
That’s why you need to introduce prioritising of your time. Pick what really needs to be done today, or what really is important and has to be completed today. And do only that.
Prioritizing tasks and matching them with the time you’ve got, will help you to stress less and feel less overwhelmed. But above all, at the end of the day, you will have a feeling of accomplishment. And that’s a game-changer when it comes to thinking about how you use your time.
So, how are you going to prioritize your day today?
You’re engaged in activities that you dislike
I get it. I really do. Sometimes there is no other way than doing something you just, simply dislike. Life is not all roses as they say. It would be great if you could stop doing all the things that drain your energy, steal your time and make you feel uneasy. And unless you’re super rich, super popular, or incredibly lucky, this may prove to be difficult.
But cutting out even one task you dislike from your day can elevate your mood.
I’ve recently started placing grocery orders online, so instead of shopping in store, I simply pick it up. I know you may say that’s not much, and it won’t change my life 180 degrees, but I’m going to tell you that I feel much better, and I found some extra time to focus on the things I do like. And shopping for groceries is not that.
How about you? What is that small activity you dislike that you can either cut out or reduce?
You don’t seem to be important
Our focus is always pulled in many different directions. There are many projects to choose from, and you are a master at prioritising all of them, leaving taking care of yourself for the end of the day. And we both know, how the end of the day looks like for you.
So, be honest, when was the last time you spent any time on yourself? It’s true what they say: you can’t give from an empty cup. Do you know that you would be more productive, more energetic, and have more time if you put yourself first from time to time?
The happier and well rested you are, the more time you will have to spare.
Are you putting yourself as the most important thing for the day?
You’re saying too many ‘Yes’
Human’s deepest desire is to belong. Our ancestors created tribes to stick together for survival, but the underlying motive was to belong. Today, you act the same way: you dress as your friends, you speak the lingo they do, and you listen to the same music. It may be that you don’t care that much for the way your peers dress, but you want to belong to a group. That strong desire to be a part of something often forces you to say ‘yes’ even though you would rather say ‘no’.
But for every ‘yes’ you say, you also say ‘no’. You say ‘no’ to something else. And most likely that something else is you.
What do you think would happen if you said ‘no’ to that dreadful task you know is meaningless? Or instead of fulfilling somebody else’s expectations, you say ‘no’ to a task that drains your energy?
I’m not saying you should start rudely saying ‘no’ to everything. I’m saying stop being a people pleaser and see how much time you’ve got now for yourself.
What can you say ‘no’ to today?
You’re lacking boundaries
Your time is yours truly. But do you use it in a way that suits you? Or are you letting others to monopolise your time, so there is nothing left for you?
If you’re a classic people pleaser, creating boundaries may be hard. But the steadier boundaries around how you use your own time you have, the more vote over your time you will have.
Don’t get me wrong. There are moments when creating boundaries with your close ones is simply impossible because if you have small kids, your time is not really yours, right? But something is telling me that you love spending time with your kids as much as your partner, their grandparents so why not have one day a week when you can create some boundaries around your time?
You’re suffering from FOMO
I’m sure you’ve heard of FOMO – fear of missing out. This phenomenon is extremely strong in today’s world. There are so many shiny objects to chase after that the fear of missing one out paralyses you.
I’m a big time FOMO member. And although I’m doing much better now than even a year ago, I still catch myself more often than I would like to admit that FOMO steals my time.
Because you are so afraid you will miss out on something, you chase it all: all projects, all parties, all travels. But the more things you add to your day, the less time you have for, well anything really.
But let me tell you this: you don’t have to chase after every possible shiny object, there is. Not all of them will be important to you and not all of them will bring you joy or move you forward.
So, what’s going to be? Which shiny object can you stop chasing after and let go of?
You don’t have an unlimited supply of time. Actually, your time is well counted for you already. So, if you can’t add more hours into your day, you need to make do with what you’ve got.
Those are the 7 most common mistakes you make when it comes to using your time:
Mistake 1 - You want to do it all because you feel the social pressure of feeling like you matter, so you pile up more things to show others that you can. But I’m here to tell you that you can do it all, but you need to ask yourself as to why you feel you need to do it all?
Mistake 2 – With so many different tasks competing for your attention, you’re not prioritizing your time wisely. You need to focus your attention on one priority a day, so you can have a feeling of accomplishment.
Mistake 3 - You’re engaged in activities that you dislike more often than you should. By spending time on things you dislike, you have no time for the things you may like to do. Is there any way you can cut out or at least reduce the duration of the activities you dislike making room for the activities you like?
Mistake 4 - You don’t seem to be important, but everyone else and everything else is. You need to make yourself important to you, and this means to take care of yourself, so you have the energy to show up every day as the best self.
Mistake 5 - You’re saying, ‘Yes’ too often, which means you’re saying not enough ‘no’. Every ‘yes’ is a ‘no’ to something else. Make sure that the ‘yes’ you say are important to you and you’re doing it to please yourself not others.
Mistake 6 - You’re lacking boundaries around your time. Creating healthy boundaries around your time can make you feel like you matter (because you do) and that you too can enjoy the little things in life because you’ve got the time!
Mistake 7 - You’re suffering from FOMO and it’s a real fear. How could you not feel fear when so many shiny objects, well are so shiny? But not all of them are as shiny as you may think. Pick the ones which are the shiniest for you.
Don’t feel overwhelmed by the mistakes. Now you know the hidden truth, so why not put your knowledge to use and start managing your time like a Pro?
I created this special downloadable 5 planning strategies to manage your time better so you can achieve more and feel in control of your day cheat sheet to help you do just that! Don’t waste your most precious resource you’ve got.
Having problems with managing your time? Go on: www.annadoktor.com.au to find out more about Anna Doktor Wellness Coaching and how I can help you to beat the overwhelm once and for all. Alternatively, send me an email on email@example.com or call to have a chat to see how we can work together tel: 0498016440.
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