10 Ways to Take Back Your Time

I've divided my tips into two sections - 5 ways to manage your time and 5 ways to take back your time. Both offer daily or regular practices to try out in your life right now.

The first section focuses more on easing the time pressures in your life, to deal with all of the things you've gotten yourself into ;)

The second section focuses on making overall changes to your life. When you take back your time you also take back your CHOICE. When we're feeling time pressured and stressed out it's easy to forget that we have any say in the matter. And we do!

5 WAYS TO MANAGE YOUR TIME

1. Choose specific times to look at email during the day - seeing emails as they come in can really distract you from what you're trying to accomplish and you'll end up losing time as you go back and forth between activities.

2. The 15-minute strategy. This not only helps motivate you by breaking down large jobs into smaller pieces, it also makes good use of your time. The strategy is to spend 15-minutes on a task and then move on the next. You can come back to the first one as many times as you need to until it's done.

3. Find a system that works for you for making and meeting deadlines and appointments - a calendar or day-timer. I use a Palm Pilot and have been really happy with it.

4. Plan and cook meals ahead of time. A huge time-saver and also makes it much easier to eat healthier. It could be as simple as cooking an extra portion of dinner and having it for lunch the next day, or you could plan out seven days at a time (which is what I do).

5. Keep up with things - whether it's tidying up your papers, doing the dishes or working on a report, doing things a bit at a time (see tip #2) instead of letting them pile up to the point of taking you all day, is much more manageable.

5 WAYS TO TAKE BACK YOUR TIME

1. Set and keep your boundaries - if you work for someone else, be clear about over-time and taking work home with you. If you work for yourself, establish the times of day that are no-work zones; good places to start are breaks for meals and deciding when you will start and stop work for the day.

2. Make one day a week "timeless" ? rise and shine when you feel like it, eat when you're hungry and let your inner child (or your actual child!) plan your day's activities. Warning: This may conflict with the tip below ;)

3. Cut your t.v. time - try limiting it to one hour per day. Or try cutting it out completely for one week.

4. Buddy up and find someone to take back time with. Whether it's your spouse, best friend, family member or work colleague, if you're both committed you won't let each other bow out.

5. Take your holidays! Whether you're self-employed or work for someone else it's important to take time off to rejuvenate. You will be more productive for it in the long run.

Where do you need to take back time in your life? Where do you need to manage your time better?

(c) Copyright 2005, Genuine Coaching Services.

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, is the author of "The Everyday Self-Care Workbook". To receive one of her free monthly newsletters, subscribe at http://www.genuinecoaching.com/newsletter.html

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