Being in the moment is one of the magic tricks you need to use in time management. Let me explain…
Has this ever happen to you?
You are working on an important task and you start to think about something else.
Here is a fun example you might be able to relate to: Your kids are talking to you and as they’re talking, you start thinking about other things like the dishes that need to be done, an outside chore or having to call your girlfriend, which means you are not focused on what your kids are saying. That is NOT being in the moment.
In this example, being in the moment is actually forgetting about everything else that needs to happen or what you think has to happen and solely focusing on what your child is saying to you in that moment of time. And yes, I understand. A child can talk a lot and say a lot of unneeded words in order to get their point across.
Tasks are like children
There are some tasks where you don’t need to do all the work you think is required, but it’s essential to do all the work you think is needed to simply get to the end result.
For me, when I’m working on a file for a client, I am solely working on and thinking about that file. I am not scrolling through social media like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I am not doing laundry. And I am not taking phone calls. I am also not answering emails and hanging out with my kids. I am solely focused on being in the moment with that file.
That is one of my magic tips for making the most out of the time I have. When you are working on a project and your mind begins to wander somewhere else, it drifts away and starts thinking about all these other things that you need to do or want to do. Better yet, you go into a conversation with yourself about something someone said. It’s the “she said this, he said that, and my kids said XYZ.” Better yet the, “I have to make supper” or the “I didn’t take anything out for supper” conversation starts to take over.
When your mind starts to wander off the task at hand, you’re no longer being in the moment. So the energy that you could be putting into that project or into that task is now divided into all these different paths. These paths all become different energy suckers. All the different ideas start to take your energy and mind off the task at hand and you are no longer able to put all that energy into that task, so you are slowing down your movement. You slow down the process, which means you are having to invest more time into this task. This leads to bumping other items on your list and then essentially falling behind in your schedule.
Here are 5 tips on keeping your mind on track
Set a Timer
I am extremely competitive. So, one of the best ways I can stay focused and get something done is to ‘beat the clock.’ 8 times out of 10 I win! Take right now for example; it is 1:00 am as I write this and I am giving myself 25 more minutes to wrap this up. Can I do it? We shall see! I will post my results at the end of this blog post.
Book a Call, Task or Event with Another Human
If I am working on a task that needs to be done asap, I will schedule a call or an event with another human right afterwards. Meaning that if I am working on a project and I want it completed by 4 pm that day, I will book a conference call for 4 pm. This way there is a sense of urgency on the current task and I cannot prolong the task because someone else is counting on me to show up.
Change the Due Date
Let’s say your project is due in 5 days and, if you are like me, you are a procrastinator. Then you would probably start thinking about the task today, and tomorrow and the day after. But in the afternoon of day 4 you start working on the task and on day 5 you are frantically working through it to get it done. So, what if you change the deadline to day 3 instead of day 5? This will help you to think less about the project, while you are working a different project, and it will help you to get it done with time to spare.
When you are working on a long project, it is important to schedule breaks within your project schedule. This will help you to stay focused. The is no magic timing of the break and what works for me may not work for you. In my world, I take a 10 to 15-minute break every 3 hours. I will use the washroom, grab some food, and surf social media. Set a timer, especially if you are on Facebook or Instagram or your 15-minutes may turn into 15-hours! I am kidding, but you get the point. Test the waters and see where your breaks best suit you and your schedule.
Remembering That You Will Never Get Time Back
Keep in mind that time is non-refundable and that every moment is either invested in something or someone amazing, or it is spent on wasted things. When you truly realize that every minute you get is a gift, a blessing and that you can never get a do-over, you will begin to operate your time differently. Make sure you remember that you will never get those minutes back. So, how you are investing those minutes?
The graphic below is from my dear friend and mentor Simon T. Bailey. Please take a moment to read his words. But do not just read them, think about them. Allow them to penetrate your innermost being and realize that when you are in the moment, you own that moment.
That exact moment creates momentum and that momentum creates monumental results. Remember, do not compare your results to what others are doing and the results they are getting, because it does not matter! Do you hear me… Other people’s results DO NOT matter nor do they relate to your personal results.
It is time to Be In The Moment!
P.S. It is officially 1:23 am! I did it, my friends! And with 2-minutes to spare. Why? Because I set a deadline and stayed focused as I placed bedtime at the end of my due date. You can do this too, I promise you!