Do you often find yourself saying, “I never have enough time,” “I’m always so busy,” or “I can’t keep up”? When we constantly worry about feeling overwhelmed or not having sufficient hours in a day to accomplish everything, we succumb to thoughts that shrink our perception of time and hinder our productivity. Today, we will help you identify your limiting beliefs about time in order to regain control over your schedule once and for all.
Distinguishing between Time-Shrinking and Time-Expanding Thoughts
At some point, we have all experienced the sensation of being overwhelmed by numerous tasks, with a persistent feeling that time is insufficient to complete them all. While it’s natural to have periods where we are busier than usual, constantly living in a state of overwhelm indicates that we are trapped in a cycle that requires a change in our time management behaviors.
When we fret about not having enough hours in the day, we give in to thoughts that diminish our perception of time, making it more challenging to be productive. So, I encourage you to challenge yourself. Every time you catch yourself succumbing to such worries, shift gears and replace those time-shrinking thoughts with time-expanding ones instead.
For instance, train yourself to think, “There is always enough time to get this done” instead of “There’s never enough time in the day,” or remind yourself, “I know how to prioritize my time effectively to accomplish this.” Remember, your thoughts and beliefs are choices – they only become facts if we allow them to. By changing your relationship with time, you will unlock the path to healthier productivity while banishing feelings of overwhelm and negativity.
Train Yourself to Monitor Your Time
The most effective way to gauge how much time you are losing throughout your week is by tracking your time. Over a period of ten days, carry a log book with you and record how you spend each day in 15-minute intervals. Use categories and colors to code and highlight each activity. This visual representation will help you identify where your time is being allocated during the day. You will likely notice time-consuming distractions such as social media, instant messaging, and email. Becoming aware of unproductive patterns related to your time management is the first step towards reclaiming valuable hours each week.
This brings us to the concept of time blocking. By allocating specific time slots for creative planning, client interactions, personal relaxation, and other activities, you can plan your weeks, months, and even years in advance. When you reflect on how you spend your time in the moment, you become better at discerning which tasks can be delegated or eliminated from your schedule.
While we cannot directly control time itself, we can manage our behaviors and habits surrounding it. Understanding this distinction is the first step towards transforming your approach to scheduling and reclaiming your time.
When you’re ready to take your design practice to the next level, explore your expert coaching and training options with Melissa Galt. To catch the entire podcast episode LISTEN HERE.