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How to Make Friends with Father Time

How to Make Friends with Father Time

Do you have trouble managing your time?

We’re all given the same 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week and approximately 672-744 hours in a month (give or take a couple of hours, depending on the length of the month). Depending on how you look at those numbers, it might seem as if there is a lot of time available to you or perhaps it may seem as if there is a very small amount of time for you to use.

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While you can’t physically change the amount of time in a day, week or month, the good news is that you can change your approach and attitude towards time.

Learning how to better manage your time is as simple as learning to view time as a friend, not a foe.  

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Follow the below tips to improve your relationship with good ol’ Papa Time to make the most of your time and get more things done.

How to Make Friends with Father Time

1. Put time into your relationship.

It takes time to grow any relationship, even with Father Time himself! Devote time to research new time management skills and techniques. You’ll also need a healthy dose of patience as you improve your relationship to time. Take it slow as you grow into your new role.

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2. Take a break and spend some time apart.

It might seem silly for me to tell you to take some time away from time, but it can be helpful take a break from your time management efforts. Learning how to better manage your time is one thing; become so preoccupied with the task that you forget or fail to do your work is another. Time management shouldn’t overwhelm, nor should it overcome your life. Review your schedule, learn new tips and tricks to better manage your calendar, but don’t let it become the only thing you do over the course of a day, week, or a month.

3. Be there for the good times… and the bad.

Are you a fair weather friend when it comes to time? Do you only celebrate your schedule or calendar when you have all the time you asked for or a whopping amount of free time? Life isn’t always about smooth moments; it’s also about the bumpy moments and how you make the most out of those bumpy moments. Be creative, resourceful and ask for help in your time of need. Be grateful for the time you do have available at your disposal, no matter how little time it may seem is available. One thing’s for certain, that time won’t be around tomorrow!

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4. Don’t point fingers.

It’s not healthy to put the blame on time for all the things you know you should have done in a timely fashion, be it running errands, finishing a report or picking up supplies for a party. Pointing fingers and insisting on whose fault it was only takes up the valuable time that you have available to you. It’s fine to be frustrated and annoyed, but let the moment pass and move on.

5. Remember that time will always be there for you.

As I mentioned earlier, Father Time gives you 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week and approximately 700 hours in a month. That’s quite a reliable friend on whom you can count! Why not strive to make the most out of your friend’s generosity? If something in your life doesn’t happen when you want it to happen (no matter how much you try to make it happen) give it time, take a break or take a moment to rest and relax. You can pick up with your work soon enough.

After reading this article, will you start improving your relationship with Father Time right away?

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Rashelle Isip

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Published on July 17, 2018

How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

I’ve never believed people are born productive or organized. Being organized and productive is a choice.

You choose to keep your stuff organized or you don’t. You choose to get on with your work and ignore distractions or you don’t.

But one skill very productive people appear to have that is not a choice is the ability to compartmentalize. And that takes skill and practice.

What is compartmentalization

To compartmentalize means you have the ability to shut out all distractions and other work except for the work in front of you. Nothing gets past your barriers.

In psychology, compartmentalization is a defence mechanism our brains use to shut out traumatic events. We close down all thoughts about the traumatic event. This can lead to serious mental-health problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) if not dealt with properly.

However, compartmentalization can be used in positive ways to help us become more productive and allow us to focus on the things that are important to us.

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Robin Sharma, the renowned leadership coach, calls it his Tight Bubble of Total Focus Strategy. This is where he shuts out all distractions, turns off his phone and goes to a quiet place where no one will disturb him and does the work he wants to focus on. He allows nothing to come between himself and the work he is working on and prides himself on being almost uncontactable.

Others call it deep work. When I want to focus on a specific piece of work, I turn everything off, turn on my favourite music podcast The Anjunadeep Edition (soft, eclectic electronic music) and focus on the content I intend to work on. It works, and it allows me to get massive amounts of content produced every week.

The main point about compartmentalization is that no matter what else is going on in your life — you could be going through a difficult time in your relationships, your business could be sinking into bankruptcy or you just had a fight with your colleague; you can shut those things out of your mind and focus totally on the work that needs doing.

Your mind sees things as separate rooms with closable doors, so you can enter a mental room, close the door and have complete focus on whatever it is you want to focus on. Your mind does not wander.

Being able to achieve this state can seriously boost your productivity. You get a lot more quality work done and you find you have a lot more time to do the things you want to do. It is a skill worth mastering for the benefits it will bring you.

How to develop the skill of compartmentalization

The simplest way to develop this skill is to use your calendar.

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Your calendar is the most powerful tool you have in your productivity toolbox. It allows you to block time out, and it can focus you on the work that needs doing.

My calendar allows me to block time out so I can remove everything else out of my mind to focus on one thing. When I have scheduled time for writing, I know what I want to write about and I sit down and my mind completely focuses on the writing.

Nothing comes between me, my thoughts and the keyboard. I am in my writing compartment and that is where I want to be. Anything going on around me, such as a problem with a student, a difficulty with an area of my business or an argument with my wife is blocked out.

Understand that sometimes there’s nothing you can do about an issue

One of the ways to do this is to understand there are times when there is nothing you can do about an issue or an area of your life. For example, if I have a student with a problem, unless I am able to communicate with that student at that specific time, there is nothing I can do about it.

If I can help the student, I would schedule a meeting with the student to help them. But between now and the scheduled meeting there is nothing I can do. So, I block it out.

The meeting is scheduled on my calendar and I will be there. Until then, there is nothing I can do about it.

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Ask yourself the question “Is there anything I can do about it right now?”

This is a very powerful way to help you compartmentalize these issues.

If there is, focus all your attention on it to the exclusion of everything else until you have a workable solution. If not, then block it out, schedule time when you can do something about it and move on to the next piece of work you need to work on.

Being able to compartmentalize helps with productivity in another way. It reduces the amount of time you spend worrying.

Worrying about something is a huge waste of energy that never solves anything. Being able to block out issues you cannot deal with stops you from worrying about things and allows you to focus on the things you can do something about.

Reframe the problem as a question

Reframing the problem as a question such as “what do I have to do to solve this problem?” takes your mind away from a worried state into a solution state, where you begin searching for solutions.

One of the reasons David Allen’s Getting Things Done book has endured is because it focuses on contexts. This is a form of compartmentalization where you only do work you can work on.

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For instance, if a piece of work needs a computer, you would only look at the work when you were in front of a computer. If you were driving, you cannot do that work, so you would not be looking at it.

Choose one thing to focus on

To get better at compartmentalizing, look around your environment and seek out places where you can do specific types of work.

Taking your dog for a walk could be the time you focus solely on solving project problems, commuting to and from work could be the time you spend reading and developing your skills and the time between 10 am and 12 pm could be the time you spend on the phone sorting out client issues.

Once you make the decision about when and where you will do the different types of work, make it stick. Schedule it. Once it becomes a habit, you are well on your way to using the power of compartmentalization to become more productive.

Comparmentalization saves you stress

Compartmentalization is a skill that gives you time to deal with issues and work to the exclusion of all other distractions.

This means you get more work done in less time and this allows you to spend more time with the people you want to spend more time with, doing the things you want to spend more time doing.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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