Julie Morgenstern, during our interview on managing your time, shares 4 obstacles to be aware of when trying to manage your time wisely. Listen to her explain these in our conversation about time management here.
1. Our perspective of time.
You may be looking at time in an intangible way. Do you see it as something that slips away or disappears? When we don’t think of time in a concrete way we can’t manage it well. How do you see time?
Think of time as tangible. Manage your time like you manage your stuff. Sort it out, make decisions about where your activities and tasks will live, decide what you have room for and get rid of the rest, etc.
We now have so many points of entry for distractions to impede our focus. Our days are dominated by distractions. If you don’t have an anchor plan distractions will overtake your plans. 80% of our days are often filled with distractions and 20% will be planned and productive.
Build a schedule and a structure that you LOVE = an anchor plan. Create a satisfying, meaningful, chunky plan so that you can proactively carry out your plan. You will find that your distractions will become flip flopped: 80% of your time will be planned and productive and only 20% will be filled with distractions.
3. Failure to look ahead and plan ahead.
If you don’t know what is on your plate for the day you will lose so much time and efficiency causing you to make bad decisions.
End every day by planning tomorrow plus two. See the blank spots and fill them with the things that are most important. By doing this you will make better decisions.
4. Time estimating.
Are you a time optimist or a time realist. You can be as optimistic as you want but it will take as long as it will take. We resist the truth. We deny the truth.
We deny the time reality to avoid making the hard choices. We don’t want to disappoint ourselves or someone else. We probably won’t get to the most important things. Gather the courage to look and then you can make far better choices. Ask yourself, “If I am going to run out of time what are the most important things I should do?” Don’t get caught up in your own impulses.
Time yourself doing a task and then map it out. Do the math. Remember Julie’s brother’s story? If not, listen to the interview here. He timed himself while reading a chapter of his med school study material then he did the math and figured out how many hours it would take him. Then, he calmly followed his plan and took his exams fully prepared.
What is your biggest obstacle with time management? Commit to changing one thing this week.