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Better Time Management Can Save Lives And Limbs

Better Time Management Can Save Lives And Limbs
    From magnusfranklin on flickr

    I was still in bed when I heard that big bang this morning. Since I already heard that similar type of sound a few times this year, I knew that it was another fender-bender of a car crash outside.

    My house faces a street intersection that can get quite busy during rush hours even though at other times, the traffic is quite low to moderate. Fortunately, my house is separated from the main street not only by a pedestrian sidewalk but also a steel fence, garden area and a front lane. So the traffic is still quite a distance from my front door.

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    I went to the window of my home office which faces the street and sure enough, there was a car stopped just past the intersection and another one that was actually off the road right on the corner pedestrian sidewalk area. This second car must have been hit with enough force to send it off the

    road. Fortunately, no pedestrians were on that corner at that time. If this was during the school year, this could have been very different.

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    What amazes me is that this is about the fourth or fifth such traffic accident at the same intersection this year. It’s usually when one car is trying to beat the traffic lights and another one is turning into the intersection. The times of these car accidents are always either morning or evening rush hours.

    Always in a rush is a symptom of poor time management

    The drivers of the speeding vehicles who tried to outrun the yellow (or even red) lights were likely in a rush to get somewhere. They are the ones who feel extra frustrated especially when it seems that each time they approach a traffic light, it’s turning amber or red. I know the feeling because I’ve been late for appointments on the road too (although not recently).

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    The need to rush somewhere especially during rush hours is a symptom of poor time management. These folks just did not factor in adequate extra time needed either in the morning or right after work when traffic is the heaviest.

    Some time management tips to avoid the need to rush

    Since I’ve been down this road before so to speak, I’ve learned a few things to avoid the need to rush. Here are some useful tips.

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    1. Factor in additional travel time in the morning, especially during snow days if you live in winter zones
    2. Wake up earlier in the morning and go to bed earlier the night before so you are alert
    3. Prepare as much as possible during the night by setting out your work materials and wardrobe (do this for kids too)
    4. If possible, schedule appointments and travel outside of rush hours
    5. Relax during driving knowing it’s better to arrive late and safe in one piece
    6. Enjoy music or an educational audio while driving
    7. Do not try to beat the traffic lights and drive defensively especially through intersections

    As far as I know, none of the car accidents outside my home this year resulted in any loss of life but there have been injuries requiring ambulances and vehicles requiring tow trucks. I’m sure that we have all seen on the TV news, other accidents where the circumstances were much worse.

    These types of fender-benders, as with most car accidents, are totally preventable. If only individuals learn not to be in so much of a rush, a lot of damage, injuries and grief could be avoided. This is always a very expensive lesson for those who were the offending drivers as they not only put themselves at risk, but also other innocent drivers, passengers and pedestrians in danger.

    We have all heard that by improving our time management habits, we will become more productive. But now we also know that better time management in terms of advance preparation can also possibly save lives and limbs.

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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