It’s a new world and a new day. We are inundated with more distractions and more to do. This is nothing new to you but it must be said. You must learn to take back your time. The way to do that is to get offline.
People are searching for answers! You’re searching for answers, or you wouldn’t be here. (And I’m so happy you are!) You search online, get on the phone to ask your friends, heck, you even buy self-help books to read. This all takes a lot of time away from doing daily tasks that make for a more organized life. Add in social media, and you get drawn into the biggest time-suck of all.
The Internet, computers, social media, and cell phones we can put in our pockets were supposed to make our lives easier. In some ways they do, but in many ways, they have only made life harder.
One or all of these:
You’re being asked to do more than you can possibly do.
Notifications from your electronic devices are pinging at you throughout the day.
When you check your computer or phone, you get sucked in and lose track of time.
Other people’s needs or problems become your emergency.
It happens to the best of us and it is causing you not to get things done such as business, money-making activities, cleaning, organizing, or even grocery shopping.
How many times have you opened up the refrigerator or cabinets to find that you don’t have enough food items to make a complete or healthy meal? What about the days you open your underwear drawer to find that only the ugly underwear or the ones you don’t like are all that’s left? (By the way, toss those now.) How about the friend who calls with an emergency that could have waited for another day or time? All of these issues are causing chaos. I know because I regularly hear about it from clients and friends.
You need to take back your time…
It’s simpler than you think, yet may be difficult to implement. When you pull out a daily, appointment, or weekly planner page and use blocks of time to group and plan tasks, (without getting online) you’re more likely to accomplish them. It’s important to also have specific online and offline time.
Electronic calendars can be incorporated into the plan. Calendar alerts are different from notifications. Notifications come from social media apps, email, and other apps you have running on your phone or computer. Calendar alerts, alert you to appointments with yourself and others. Whereas the others are chiming at you with everyone else’s information.
Schedule shopping and housecleaning. Sounds like a no-brainer. Sadly, readers tell me it’s their number one problem. I found that my husband and I end up shopping on the same day almost every week. So, that day is now our shopping and prepping day for groceries and meals.
The Best Idea
Turn your phone to Do Not Disturb. Often times a friend calls to talk or they have an emergency that has nothing to do with you. I bet this is why someone coined this phrase: Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine. Also, use Do Not Disturb to squelch app notifications such as Facebook.
Plan more offline time. Block and schedule a limited amount of time online.
It sounds easy, but, I know for some it is not. Even I struggle with it. Someone I admire who does it right is my mentor. She schedules three times during the day to check email and reply. One of her jobs is to check our contracts, so she blocks time for it throughout the day.
Here’s the point: You don’t have to accept chaos. You are in charge of your schedule, so start taking control of your time.
1. Block times throughout the day that you are OFFline and actively working on your tasks.
2. Create a daily habit to turn off and on the Do Not Disturb. To do this, you’ll use Do Not Disturb mode on your phone.
You can even write an auto-reply. Mine says, “I’m either driving with Do Not Disturb While Driving turned on or I’m unavailable. I’ll see your message when I get where I’m going or come up for air. If it’s urgent, call again and my phone will push through your call.”
3. Live in your planner. Have it where you sit first thing in the morning, check it before bed, and make sure to put it back to where you sit first thing in the morning.
4. Have a command station where your office items reside.
5. Check your plan throughout the day.
6. Be realistic in the blocking of your time. Most people don’t give enough time to each task.
7. Get online. Get what you need. Get offline.
8. If need be, schedule unplanned fun time online to get your fix.
Think about it. You could have more time to get things done without electronics buzzing around you all day long.
Here’s what you need to do:
Get offline and just do it!
Get fed up enough to take control of what you do with your time.
You CAN have the productive life you’ve been striving for.
Susie The Busy Woman
P.S. Here’s another post with other immediate steps you can take to make it a great year: