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Productivity, Time Management, and Your Life

May Day, May Day We’ve Got A Slight Problem!

To some degree it feels like I had a few sleeps, woke up and suddenly we were in the 5th month of 2013. Yet the exhaustion from being in the trenches and working towards my goals forced me to sit here today and question the results thus far in an effort to justify that the energy invested during the last 120 days or so were well spent.

So the question really is was I busy or was I being productive? What changes can be made this minute that would yield greater results one month, three months or five months from today?

Time like money spent, is better understood when we can account for how it was used. As corny as this may sound I created a spreadsheet for my life goals appropriately naming it my Dream Tracker. Starting with the months of the year and ending with my Ultimate Goals. In between both points I have “life columns” categorized according to how I typically spend my time – from approximately how many hours I sleep, to how much time I honestly spend on social media channels. This kind of tracking isn’t always to find out what more I need to DO, but can be helpful in making me more aware of what I need to do less of, the sneaky time wasters and the energy zappers.

While I was cruising along each day after work on 4-5 hours of sleep and spending just as much of my awake time focused on the latest breaking news story, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, what I was giving my dreams and pouring into my purpose was the left over time. I form my lips and thoughts to belt out the excuse that there are just not enough hours in the day, but there are. My priorities are just not always aligned to serve me best. And from the scraps, I expected a masterpiece and life said, really now. True enough I have been busy, but the jury is still out on how productive I have been. Did I show up or was I present? I learned the difference mostly when I am at the gym. Some days I am physically there, but the effort I invest in that time qualifies only me to say I showed up, but my effort was not present. If I had a ‘roll call’ column on my Dream Tracker, how many days would I have been marked present? And how many sick days did I have, i.e. those days when I didn’t feel up to it, or I didn’t FEEL like it or just plain lazy: I’ll do it tomorrow – and that day never came? Time will tell. It really does.

What is stealing your time from being more productive? What time have you scheduled for yourself? Would you be willing to change your routine today, to step out of your normal at the risk that you will become steps closer to where months of the same o’ same o’ didn’t take you? Just as when we’re committed to toning our curves, we’re directed after a few weeks of a certain workout plan and food intake to change our routine a bit so as to not plateau and potentially yield greater results, I think the same can be said for the way we live our lives and strive to reach greater heights. It’s not always that something is wrong, but even a good thing can be worn down and it’s once powerful effect no longer felt. Change is indeed at times our very best friend.

Interrupt the routine. Inject the new. Get a change in perspective on a thing or two. Go ahead…dare yourself, to do one thing slightly differently and see how much that opens your eyes to “the new”. Exposure is your other bestie.

*Don’t forget to keep track of your time. Sacrifices are greatly rewarded, but wasted time can become a source of great punishment.

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