Spend more time on things that matter
We all know our lives will be over one day. All of the things that we love and hate doing, will come to an end. We know we are not immortals and that we have a limited time on this planet. So the question is How much of that time will you spend on the things you value? How much more will you spend complaining, being around toxic people, doing things you don’t enjoy, or wasting time on habits that don’t move you towards your goals?
We’ve all got an endless list of stuff we could be doing. The more we get done the more we have to do. We have to focus on what matters the most and spend more time doing that.
Especially these days when the boundary between different aspects of life has become so blurred, it’s so important to take care of where our time is going. If we don’t stop and look at it, we could miss it and time may slip out of our hands like sand.
Lives today don’t make it easy to spend time on these bigger things. The distractions that surround us, the endless choices we’re bombarded with, the constant pursuit of success. Even the genius, Einstein quoted “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”
We always strive for better time management and finish our tasks on time. But what makes it all go wrong and that we are rarely able to manage time? One of the major reasons is spending time on things that don’t matter.
Here’s how you can get better at managing time and spending more of it on things that matter:
1. Know your Priorities
Many of us don’t even know where we’re going. We live by default and react to whatever comes our way. Being clear on your priorities allows you to live by design, to respond to life’s distractions, and to set goals that are aligned with your values.
2. Busy vs Efficient
Sometimes we feel like we’re running around SO MUCH but at the end of the day, we can’t even count on one hand what we accomplished. Here, we’re spending time being “busy”, not Efficient.
Start spending more time on things that matter the most and you’ll get much get done without being “busy” all the time. This will bring balance, productivity, and happiness to different areas of your life.
3. Don’t say YES to every task
So you’ve decided to spend more time on things that matter, now it’s really important to protect that time. This means doing the uncomfortable task of saying NO. It needs a shift in perspective, self-discipline, and practice. And the good news is, Saying NO becomes easier when you remind yourself that it means saying YES to things that matter. This will also help to silence the ‘People Pleaser Monster’ that lives inside of each one of us. Say NO when needed, but remember to say so politely so you don’t hurt their feelings.
4. Minimize Distractions
So we’ve prioritized your work and learned to say No. The next thing we need to do is minimize distractions and remove time-wasters.
The biggest distractions are phone, email, and stress. Yes, stress — When we’re busy we are more likely to have a shorter temper than when we are more relaxed. In situations like these, little things are more likely to make us feel stressed or angry. Stress and anger will waste even more time, alongside damaging our health. Stress is a completely different topic, here we are talking about distractions. Our workplace can also be distracting for us. Clean out your workplace — even if it’s just a desk and a laptop Clear the space, cancel out the noise. You’ll feel much better.
5. Schedule breaks and Clear your Mind
Rest is important so make time for it. Along with rest, check on your mental and emotional state.
Get hold of your emotional world, because there’s only so much time we have to fill it with fears, grudges, and other negative emotions.
Start with accepting the fact that you’re feeling some negative emotion, and that you need rest. The first step to solving a problem is accepting that the problem exists. And then, replace that negative emotion with a positive one. Negative emotions won’t go away, but this is happening because we’re giving such emotions the attention they don’t deserve. Bring your attention to some positive thing in your life. Give yourself fully to it. Clear your mind and give yourself the rest your body needs.
Seneca said, “It’s not that we have a short time to live, but we waste a lot of it.”
We have so much going around in life and time is something we definitely don’t have control of. But we do have control over how we choose to utilize that time. Where we chose to devote that time and energy.
Right now, start eliminating the things that don’t matter and start taking action on things that do.