I am no hero in time management, nor do I pretend to be. It is only this year that I am succesfully-ish managing to not overstuff my day. I am a writer, in my world time is nothing more than a relative concept. How true that might be, even I only have 24 hours in a day, which is a fact I cannot get around even do I have tried. Believe me, I have tried. Seeing that my time management skills are still on ‘’ish’’ I had to find different ways to manage my time properly. Surprisingly I found it in quitting. Who would have thought that to improve my time management all I had to do was quit trying.
I can just feel your eyebrows joining your hairline. It doesn’t make sense at all does it? I know, I am completely aware of that. Well I found that in this life very few things make sense yet everything runs smoothly. So let’s go back to the quitting. There are three types of quitting you can do to improve your time management;
- Actually quitting
- Quitting and Replanning
- Quit your way of doing it.
Everything in the previous sentences bulldozes over everything I have been preaching for the past year now, but as I always say bear with me while I explain it. Here we go.
1. Actually quitting
Some activities are just asking to be walked away from. You and I both know what kind, even though they are different for every person. Different activities, still the same feeling. You feel drained, it’s sucking the life out of you and you keep asking the same question: ‘’This is good for what exactly?’’. That is the main question here. ‘’What function does it serve?’’ if the answer is next to nothing, may I suggest quitting? I bet that once you do, you feel lighter and have more time to dedicate to things that actually matter! Remember it is not because you have always done it that you still have to do it. Your time is not infinite, which is all the more reason to improve your time management skills.
Now if you find that the activity sucks the life out of you but it is imperative that you do it, then you should use tip two.
2. Quit it and Replan it
Technically this isn’t really quitting. It is more like walking away for a while to return at a better time. Why, you ask? Because no progress was being made. Let me give you an example. I am a student and sometimes when I am studying I have the books in front of me, I am reading the pages but at a pace that a turtle will turn the page before I do. If I choose to continue said task it will probably take me twice or trice as long than if I go find something my mind can bear to focus on. Now I know this goes against motivating guru’s who tell you to stick with it, and when you don’t feel like doing it is exactly when you should be doing it.
I personally think these people have not realized how precious time really is, if you don’t know either then find out here. Honestly, the sooner you realize how precious your time is the better, I can’t stress this enough! With that being my opinion you can hopefully understand how ironic I find that the motivational guru’s do preach about improving your time management. Either way by leaving the task I get time to clear my mind and time to do something else, which is a time win. If I were to sit on the task all day, I risk not getting anything done at all. So walk away but not indefinitely.
As the task is important you have to get back to it at some point. You have to replan, this is the another crucial step in this tip. I recommend getting back to the postponed task on the same day, else you have to adjust all your other plans which will take up a lot of time again, which is counterproductive, that is if you make planners at all. If you don’t I highly recommend that you do. I reached levels of productivity I hadn’t known before by making planners.
I recommend making a planning so much that I have made a planner that is specially optimized to help you not fall in the classic planning pitfalls. Help yourself to it here.
Now what to do with the time you are not using to stare at the walls? One thing you can do is continue with the next point on your to-do list. This works in your benefit when you are replanning the activity that you quit at the end of the day. I don’t think I have to tell you that moving everything to the end of day is a terrible idea that won’t help you improve your time management at all. In fact it’ll make life generally harder for you. This also works when you are planning the activity for later in the week. In that case you could make a swap. Do the later planned activity now instead of day dreaming and do the original activity that made you day dream later in the week at the spot of the activity you pulled forward.
Another thing you can do to use your time productively is to start using productive distractions. This is something I am personally doing now as it helps me free up time that I can add to other activities. You can read all about how exactly I use productive distractions when I can’t focus here.
3. Quit your way of doing it
We all have a certain way to do certain things. Such as putting your left shoe on before the right or carrying your purse on the left side. It is a comfortable routine, however there might be more than one way of doing things. I can only properly explain this with an example.
When I started writing for My Story Of I I tried doing my writings on the computer, for all obvious reasons. Writing then usually takes significantly longer than when I do it with pen and paper. I know this because when I am abroad I write with pen and paper and I can put down a post in half the time it takes with the computer. It may not seem efficient but it is to me, because I am getting things on paper and typing something over takes less time than writing a complete new post. Get what I am saying? I am still getting the same result, I just get there in a different way. A way that works better for me. Instead of standing still and using what seems to be the most efficient and practical way, I am using a way that not seems but is, to me at least, the best way of doing things. Sometimes practicality loses.
I hope this helps you the way it is helping me.
Quitting is right when it is the right kind of quitting.