A Different Way of Thinking About Time Management

It seems that as human beings, we are always in a battle against time. Everywhere we go, there are clocks reminding us how much time we have remaining to finish our assignments, projects, and tasks.

There are hundreds of things we need to get done in our weekly lives, and much of the work, especially for home business entrepreneurs, is revolved around finishing the work on the time that we assign ourselves to finish by through due dates or time management.

However, because we constantly obsess over time, sometimes it affects our work in a negative way. Hopefully, this article will show you that to manage your time well, you really don’t need time management, or time at all.

One of the things I realized is, the more you try to control time, the worse your work turns out to be. Have you ever been given an assignment which takes one hour to finish, but the due date for it is a week?

What most people say is, “Okay… I have a week to finish this, I’ll do this later,” then head over to the couch and turn on the TV.

When the day before the due date comes, they realize the assignment is harder than they thought and since they put if off until the last second, they just worry about finishing it on time.

Once they get their assignment back, they realize that the grade they wanted wasn’t what they expected because the quality of their work wasn’t that great.

Or, have you ever been given an assignment where it takes like one hour to finish, but the due date for it is actually one hour? What do you do? To get rid of the worry, anxiety, and stress, you do everything you can to finish it on time.

Great! You’ve finished it on time, but the quality of work isn’t so great. Who cares you say, at least you finished it. When you get the grade back, it’s not as good as you thought it would be.

Finally, have you ever tried to plan out a full day schedule for yourself? You made up something that looked like this.

6:00 Wake up.

6:00 – 6:30 Eat breakfast.

6:30 – 7:00 Take a shower and get dressed.

7:00 – 10:00, Work on task #1 which must be done.

10:00 – 11:00 Watch two episodes of TV.

11:00 – 12:00 Work on task #2.

12:00 – 1:00 Have lunch.

1:00 – 4:00 Work on task #3.

4:00 – 4:30 Take a break.

4:30 – 5:30 Work on task #4.

5:30 – 7:00 Take a break and eat dinner.

7:00 – 9:00 Work on task #5 work.

9:00 – 10:00 Check email and get ready for bed.

10:00 – 6:00 Sleep.

You tell yourself, man if I could follow a schedule like that, I would be able to get a lot done during the day. On paper, it looks great and so does the productivity of it. So you write it down, stick it on the wall, and tell yourself that you will stay committed to it everyday.

Then something starts to happen when you actually go through it. You start becoming more aware that it becomes harder and harder to try and maintain with these time limits. Not only do see do you start to seeing the system breaking down, but you start see yourself break down as well.

I used to also think that these time management plans rocked, but then I would see the same thing happen over and over again.

The 1st  day goes well and I give myself a pat on the back, then the 2nd day goes by but I accidentally missed an interval by 5 minutes, then the 3rd day goes by and I accidentally didn’t do a project or didn’t want to do it, then the 4th day goes by and I decide that it is okay to wake up 30 minutes later because I more tired than usual, then the 5th goes by and I decide to spend an hour hanging out with my friend who called, then the 6th day goes by and my entire schedule is pushed back by 2 hours, finally when the seventh day hits, my entire schedule is ruined.

What happened is we become so obsessed with following our time management schedules to the second that being on time that it becomes our main concern or priority rather than the work itself.

We try our hardest to follow these strict time schedules, and even though the thought of being perfect feels great, inside following a schedules turns us into an automated robot and makes us feel miserable.

Even worse, when we fail to achieve our schedule we feel like we have failed and also feel like a failure. This is what time does to us if we try to control it.

A better way to deal with time is not to control it, but be with in sync with time. By being in sync with time the better your work will turn out to be and you won’t have to be constantly wary of time’s presence.

For example, have you ever done something where or you’re so into it that time flies by?

Sure, we all have.

These would include things such as watching an inspiring movie, talking to a friend about a deep subject, or even studying something you thought was interesting. If you think about it, one of the best ways to be in sync with time is simply just to enjoy what you’re doing.

Here are some of the benefits I found with enjoying what you’re doing.

1. Time is there but it doesn’t really affect you.

2. You’re completely focused on what you’re doing.

3. You don’t realize how fast time flies by.

4. The quality of your work becomes better.

5. You get things done on time.

Finally, when you enjoy what you’re doing, you become happier with yourself and your work.

If you don’t like you’re work, you may have to fake it at first. But if you keep on believing in your work, focusing on your work, and practicing your work, you’ll be so engrossed in it that eventually, as ridiculous as it may sound, you’ll learn to like it.

I used to hate AP US History and Pre-Calculus in high school, but towards the end of the year, you get to a point where you so deep into the subject that it actually becomes interesting for a change, or maybe I’m just crazy.

The point is, whatever your work is, don’t obsess over finishing it within a time limit but rather learn to be interested in the subject, want to learn more about it, and finally just enjoy it.

In conclusion, realize that time is just time. There’s conflicting theories about whether it exists or not, but that’s not the most important thing.

What’s important is that it is here to stay and will remain there forever. You can’t add more time, you can’t decrease time, and you can’t change the way time acts.

But you can change the things you do. Don’t be constricted within the limits of time’s world, but let time be a small factor that exists in your world. With that said, just try to enjoy what you do, and the rest will fall into place.

How to Stay Insanely Focused

There are 24 hours, or 1440 minutes, or 84,000 seconds in a day. How much of that time do you spend focusing on what needs to get done? I believe that focus is one of the most important concepts in achieving any type of goal. I’m sure you’ve heard that to stay focused on something, you should write down a plan, follow a schedule, check off the tasks that you have completed, and so on.

Although these are some good tips, I see focus somewhat differently. Focus, to me, means being conscious of your thoughts at all times. Your mind is sort of like a “thought slate.” Whenever I’m conscious of my thoughts, I’m aware that either I am thinking about nothing, many random thoughts are going through my mind, or there is only one set of focused thought(s) that are going through my mind.

I believe that to stay insanely focused, you must be completely focused of your thoughts at all times. By doing this, you’ll be in a moment or mental process where nothing else around you can bother you.

This however, is a very hard thing for many people to do.

I ’m still not a master of it yet. It’s hard to stay in this conscious phase of mind for a long time, but I’m getting better and better at it, and whenever I implement this strategy, I feel like nothing outside of my mind can bother me, allowing me to get anything I want done really quickly and efficiently.

The longer I can implement this focus, the more I can get done. So I wonder what if you could stay conscious of your thoughts 24 hours a day.

If you had this power, you would be more alert, you would view things different, your state of life would completely change, and you would be able to get anything done two, three, four, five, maybe ten times faster than you normally do. It definitely feels different to be in a stage where you are always conscious of your thoughts.

But due to human nature, we let other emotions and feelings influence our thoughts. And once we lose conscious of our thoughts, and start drifting into other thoughts that are unproductive, then we lose our focus and return back to a state of a weak, lazy mindset rather the move towards developing a strong, disciplined mindset.

To prevent this from happening, I’ve figured out some ways that can help you maintain your focus and use it to a full advantage.

Don’t Allow Other Emotions, Feelings, and Thoughts Bother You

The first thing you need to be aware of is blocking out anything that may take down your conscious awareness.

Think of your conscious as two walls. Between these two walls are your thoughts. Anything that is outside of these two walls is trying to get in and invade your thoughts.

Your walls are rather weak starting out and can be easily broken through stronger forces such as things that produce high emotions, feelings, and thoughts. These things can be as subtle as just sitting on your chair, not be conscious of your thoughts, and letting your mind drift into space.

Other things can distract you depending on what type of mood you’re in, from other people talking, the music from the radio, the television being on, or any your five senses of touching, seeing, hearing, tasting, and smelling.

When you’re focusing on doing a task, whether it is boring or not, if that thought does not provide you with a high level of feelings, then it’s going to be harder to be conscious of it, and as a result, can be easily remove by other higher feelings, such as the ones that can be produced by any of the actions listed above.

If this happens, your initial focused thoughts will be completely replaced by other non-productive thoughts. This is the essence of procrastination or failing to get things done once your “walls” are broken.

Thus, not only is it a good idea to work in a place where other feelings and thoughts cannot distract you from your focused state, but you have to consciously block out these temptations that will subconsciously come at you, each time by putting up a new and stronger wall.

In the beginning it will be hard, but to help you from maintaining better focus, be conscious of your very moment. What is going on? What are you thinking about?

Then, when you subconsciously start think of something that isn’t related to what you’re supposed to be doing, do your best to catch yourself immediately. The more conscious you are of this habit, the stronger your walls will be at blocking out temptations and the easier it will become for you to work at a steady flow of pace.

Lack of Energy

If you’re at your full energy level, you will always be able to be conscious of your thoughts and block out other feelings, emotions, and thoughts. People take their state of energy for granted.

Energy is like a rechargeable battery. Every second that passes by, your energy level drops. Once it gets to zero, your body will tell your mind to shut down making it almost impossible to block out other feelings and thoughts, no matter how disciplined you think your mind is.

When you are tired, your body wants to go to sleep and your thoughts want to wander freely. Being completely conscious of your thoughts would be the opposite of dreaming. You want to be at the part of the spectrum where you have the most energy to be in control of your thoughts, not being at the part of the spectrum where you have no energy and your thoughts are running loose.

Being tired drags you down to that spectrum.

But many people take this for granted because being energy conscious is not a big deal to them. A person with full energy would have a huge advantage over a person with a lack of energy because even if a person with full energy is having trouble focusing, they still have the potential to do so, rather than letting something physical like tiredness influence their thought process.

So make it a must to get enough energy throughout the day, whether it’s getting enough sleep during the night, hydrating yourself with water, or providing your body with nutritious food, because being “thought conscious” also heavily relies being “energy conscious.”

Focusing on One Thought at a Time

When you learn to block other thoughts, emotions, and feelings that distract you and have a full set of energy, you need to learn how to create what thoughts you are having in the moment.

Do this simply by having a thought in your head or the process of doing so.

One example is already having a visual image in your mind, such as seeing yourself with a slimmer, fitter body or the thought of successfully approaching someone and talking to someone new.

Another example is focusing on the material that is already presented to you. This is like reading a book, doing math problems, or reviewing paperwork.

Then there is focusing on creating material. This is when your mind is blank and when you’re in the process of creating a thought. Doing this may be harder for people that lack imaginative skill because you start out by focusing on nothing.

The key here is to insert thoughts that may lead you to your desired outcome and throw away thoughts that don’t. But never allow unproductive thoughts and feelings to tempt you and distract you from your focus.

So, if you’re having trouble focusing, first start with one visual image in your head (any thought you want), be conscious of it, and keep it there.

Changing Thoughts at Will

Depending on what you need to get done, most of the times you’ll need to change through multiple thoughts while not doing much “action.” This requires more effort than having one thought in your head and doing lots of action like having the thought of a sculpted body while your stretching, running on the treadmill, then doing sit ups.

Something like this would be easier to do than doing a little bit of action, such as typing or writing, but constantly needing to going through multiple thoughts in a period of time. It’s a hard thing to do to have to separate thoughts at the same time in your “thought slate” or between your “two walls.”

If you were studying for a math test, having the visual picture of getting an A on the test along with focusing on the actual problems itself, would divide your focus in half. That’s why it’s important to have thoughts in your mind, but be able to change different thoughts at will.

Our brain naturally processes hundreds and hundreds of thoughts per day. You need to learn to keep the ones that you need and quickly discard the ones you don’t need.

Think of it like using a remote to change the channel. Be able to have a thought in place, but also be able to switch them quickly like switching a channel. As you are focusing on your thoughts, be conscious of them.

Whenever you are thinking, ask yourself what it is exactly that you are thinking about. When you answer that question, ask yourself if that thought is productive. If not, discard it.

When you’re focusing on searching for answers, sometimes your mind will come up with no thoughts and that’s okay.

As long as you repeat the process of using the thoughts you need when one comes up, and then discarding the ones you don’t need, then you will get things done faster.

Following Through

Following through is basically following your thoughts with the actions of your thoughts. If your actions are congruent with your thoughts then not only are you using focus, but you are now applying focus to use on productivity.

So ask yourself, are your actions congruent with your thoughts?

For example, you are thinking about checking something in the online dictionary but when you go online, you immediately check your mail. Your thought and actions are incongruent, and if you are conscious of this, you will be able to catch yourself while doing so.

You probably do this many times a day. I know I do.

That’s why you should try to limit yourself of these mistakes. The more you can follow through your actions with your thoughts, the easier you will be able to get work done at an efficient rate.

When you’re conscious of your thoughts, when you’re in the moment, and you follow through, your actions will be able to just flow like water.

Time is Irrelevant

If you’re truly focused on whatever it is that you need to get done, time shouldn’t even be part of your thoughts. Yes, time management is important but it should be the least of your priorities.

Most of the times, people have really stressful schedules. They use all their focus and obsess about time. This just harms them because their focus is on time, rather than on whatever it is that needs to be done.

Time can be a negative factor when dealing with focus.

Too much time given to finish a task and you won’t even focus. Too little time to finish a task, then you’ll focus part of your thoughts on time, rather than the task.

Time doesn’t care when your thoughts are drifting away; it just continues to move on.

Don’t let the feelings or thought of time break through your two walls; instead, continue to be conscious of the things you need to get done.

Letting Your Mind Rest

To be conscious of your thoughts all the time takes a high amount effort, energy, and self-discipline. When starting out, you may not be able to maintain focus for that long.

Let your mind rest longer between your focused states. It’s important not to fry your brain by constantly being conscious of your thoughts, but give your brain a “treat” by giving it short breaks where it can freely wander to whatever you want.

When you do this long enough, those “breaks” will actually be more meaningful to you.

Most people allow their minds to rest and wander freely throughout the entire day.

But if this time is limited, then something as simple as these thought breaks will be something to looking forward to during the day. Also, you’ll look forward to going to sleep and dreaming as this will be the biggest state where your mind can rest.

Once you’re done letting your mind breathe and relax, you can then go back to your focused state of consciousness again.

In conclusion, there are many good mindset techniques out there and focus is among the most vital of them all. If you are consciously aware of your thoughts at all times, not only you will get stuff done quicker and more efficiently, but your state of mind will seen from a totally different perspective. It’s a hard process to start at first, but if you keep practicing at it, you’ll soon be able to master how to be conscious of your every thought and have a deeper ability to stay insanely focused on anything you want.