Friday, September 12, 2014

5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Now

     For my 1 month Anniversary of launching my blog and The Purpose Pages FB blog page, I think it's only proper to go back to where it all began…in the front passenger seat of my husband’s car during a road trip to Virginia Beach for family vacation.  In between opening juice boxes, grabbing wires to recharge iPads, breaking up disagreements between my 2 year old and 12 year old, and listening to my husband enthusiastically tell me stories ranging from work to deaths in the Grand Canyon to his storm watching skills and of course he wouldn’t be him without adding in a few jokes, I managed to write my very first blog post!

     My Daddy told me years ago, in reference to an old boyfriend, who clearly wasn’t making me a priority, “People make time for what they want to make time for”.  This life lesson has resonated with me for years now and I have applied it to so many areas and situations in my life.   Let’s face it.  He was right! If we are really honest with ourselves we all make time for the things that are important to us, no matter how busy we perceive ourselves to be.

     It all comes back to two words that most of us struggle with…TIME MANAGEMENT.  Here are a few tips that have helped me to improve my time management.

1. BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR GOALS - I live by a Things To Do List.  Writing my goals down for the day helps me to stay focused and on task.  Plus I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I am able to cross something off the list.  

2. PRACTICE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE - Be grateful for the time that you do have.  Each morning you open your eyes to a new day is a new opportunity to get it right.  Stop wasting time complaining about the time you don’t have.  Ironically, you are using up valuable time. Instead, as you move about your day say thank for each thing you get completed on your to do list.  Magically, gratitude increases your productivity because it motivates you to tackle that next thing on the list.

3. SEIZE THE MOMENT - When you are clear about your intentions for the day you are also more readily available to seize the moment when time is unexpectedly freed up.  For example, I set the intention to make it a priority to connect more with friends. Because I was clear about my goal, it was in the forefront of my mind. One day my husband calls out the blue to let me know that he would be bringing home dinner. I was able to seize the moment and use the time I would have been cooking to catch up with a friend on the phone. It was time well spent!

4. UNPLUG - I have finally set boundaries to all of my technology devices.  They are good in so many ways but for me they can also be the ultimate distraction.  I’ve recently put my phone on silent at 9:30pm.  Any text, email, Twitter, or Facebook notification will have to wait until tomorrow.  Allowing myself those few minutes before sleeping without the distraction of technology, gives me the chance to reflect on my day and set the plan for the next day.  Because I set priorities the night before each morning I am ready to tackle the new day first thing in the morning.

5. USE WAIT TIME - Five minutes waiting in the check out line, 30 minutes waiting for a doctors appointment, 1 hour waiting for your kid to finish up their music lesson or 6 hours trapped in a car headed to Virginia - waiting time adds up, so plan accordingly.  Have what you need with you to use that time wisely.

     I am still a work in progress and I am always open to new ways to improve my time management.  Building on the words of my Daddy, I truely believe and understand the quote, 
Time is a created thing. To say, "I don't have time," is like saying, "I don't want to."                               -- Lau-Tzu  
What tips do you have to ensure that you spend your time on the things you want to do?

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  1. I, too, have never forgotten Daddy's words of wisdom "People make time...." and have shared this with so many people over the years! It's a true game changer!

    1. Yes!!! It all comes down to prioritizing!