Thursday, July 26, 2012

Time Management Class Part 4: Bad Habits

Of all the Time Management Thieves mentioned here, ‘Bad Habits’ are probably the Element you have the most Power over. We’ve talked before how you can take back Control of your Day when Meetings or the Telephone interrupt you, and now it is time to face your own inner Troublemaker - your Bad Habits.

When we are honest with ourselves, we all can admit that there are hours of Time in our Week wasted through Bad Habits. To establish Self Discipline and Efficiency are rewarding lessons we all need to learn, and it can truly be a Challenge to do so. I have to admit, that if I am not carefully about installing positive Habits into my Day, I can still waste hours on cleaning my Desk, surfing the Internet, watching YouTube, writing emails to Friends or seeing who is online on Skype. You might have different bad Habits, however we all have them and they can take over and steal the Day away. Then later, when we need the 60 Minutes at the Gym, the 30 Minutes to pick up Groceries or spend some quality time with Family, we fall short and feel stressed.

Here are some Bad Habits you could have right now:
  • Spending time on easy Tasks instead of difficult ones, therefore not getting important Projects done
  • Spending Time on the Internet, loosing temporarily Track of Time
  • Spending Time going through YouTube Videos
  • Spending Time answering personal Emails throughout the Day
  • Spending Time looking at Newsletters or News Pages
  • Cleaning your Desk to avoid starting uncomfortable Tasks
  • Spending Time chatting on Skype or other similar Sites
  • Spending Time on Facebook or other social Sites

This is why it is so crucial for you to admit and limit your Bad Habits. Those hours wasted, when you are unable to recall what it was you did exactly, can only be hurtful to your Family Life, your private Time and your Career. 
It takes 10 Weeks to establish constructive Habits and eliminate the ones that hurt your Day. What are the Habits you would like to eliminate? How good are you about limiting your internet time to 30 Minutes a Day perhaps? Are you able to reply to business related emails without worrying about private ones yet? Think about the one or two Habits which cost you a lot of time throughout the week. What structures or limitations could you find to limit the destructive Habit?

Of course it makes sense to want to zone out or relax when some Projects seem too overpowering. This is  why to-do Lists with manageable bite sized tasks are so important. When we don't make it easy on ourselves to be productive, we will continue behaving the opposite Way, wasting time through destructive Habits. Be honest with yourself and calculate realistically how much Time each week you are wasting due to bad Habits. Those Habits don’t do anything for you in terms of increasing your quality of life. Whenever you drag out time somewhere that doesn’t add to getting work done, you waste the time you could use for all the fun and relaxing activities you say no to at the moment.

Sometimes we say NO to the Gym, NO to visiting their Children at School, NO to starting a new Hobby or being artistic, all because we don’t think we have enough Time in the Day. This is why it is so crucial for you to start thinking about the Bad Habits which take the Hours away you could be spending doing what it is you really want.

  • Clean your desk in the Morning and only keep what you need for the Project at Hand
  • Create To-Do Lists that seem doable, only with 3-4 Bullet Points at a time - otherwise you can easily get overwhelmed
  • Put your To-Do list next to your Computer right when you start Work - this doesn’t allow your Mind to drift
  • Disconnect your Internet during Projects and reward yourself with limited Internet surfing for 10 Minutes
  • Answer your personal emails right before you have Lunch, this helps limit the time you spend on your Email Account
  • Exercising in the Morning - I am a big supporter of Morning exercise because every single Time I work out in the Morning and increase my Pulse, I have a faster Tempo during the day, an easier Time completing Tasks and more Focus

What are your bad Habits costing  you right now? How can you be proactive? What are the Hobbies, Sports, Arts or Quality Time you could spend if you would get rid of bad Habits?

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