ime management can be tough. What is urgent in your life and what is important to your life are often very different things.
This is especially true with your health, where the important issues almost never seem urgent even though your life ultimately hangs in the balance.
No, going to the gym today isn't urgent, but it is important for your long–term health.
No, you won't die from stress today, but if you don't get it figured out soon, you might.
No, eating real, unprocessed foods isn't required for you to stay alive right now, but will reduce your risk of cancer and disease.
Is there anything we can do? If we all have 24 hours in a day, how do we actually use them more effectively?
And most importantly, how can we manage our time to live healthier and happier, do the things that we know are important, and still handle the responsibilities that are urgent?
I'm battling with that answer just like you are, but in my experience there are three time management tips that actually work in real life and will help you improve your health and productivity.
Time management tips
1. Eliminate half-work at all costs.
In our age of constant distraction, it's stupidly easy to split our attention between what we should be doing and what society bombards us with. Usually we're balancing the needs of messages, emails, and to-do lists at the same time that we are trying to get something accomplished. It's rare that we are fully engaged in the task at hand.
I call this division of your time and energy “half-work.”
Here are some examples of half-work…
You start writing a report, but stop randomly to check your phone for no reason or to open up Facebook or Twitter.
You try out a new workout routine. Two days later, you read about another “new” fitness program and try a little bit of that. You make little progress in either program and so you start searching for something better.
Your mind wanders to your email inbox while you're on the phone with someone.
Regardless of where and how you fall into the trap of half-work, the result is always the same: you're never fully engaged in the task at hand, you rarely commit to a task for extended periods of time, and it takes you twice as long to accomplish half as much.
Half-work is reason why you're able to get more done on your last day before vacation (when you really focus) than you do in the 2 weeks previous (when you're constantly distracted).
Like most people, I deal with this problem all of the time and the best way I've found to overcome it is to block out significant time to focus on one project and eliminate everything else.
I pick one exercise and make it my only focus for the entire workout. (i.e. “Today is just for squats. Anything else is extra.”)
I carve out a few hours (or even an entire work day) to deep dive on an important project. I'll leave my phone in another room and shut down my email, Facebook, and Twitter.
This complete elimination of distractions is the only way I know to get into deep, focused work and avoid fragmented sessions where you're merely doing half-work.
How much more could you achieve if you did the work you needed to do, the way you needed to do it, and eliminated the half-work, half-wandering that we fill most of our days with?
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