Time Awareness is a secret passage to less stress. The iconic Benjamin Franklin stated, “ lost time is never found again”.Such a simple truth. Procrastination or mismanaged time may come at a high cost. No matter your station in life, no matter how successful or unsuccessful you may have been, time waits for no one. Your mismanaged time & energy may mean missed opportunities, lost deals, time with your loved ones but to name a few.
An important understanding between time and stress management is learning how to become more aware of how you are managing your time. This will ultimately result in more productivity which can lead to less overwhelm & avoid feeling stressed. If you know how to manage your time correctly, in the long run, focusing on tasks can be easier, resulting in a stress-free experience.
So let’s talk about time awareness instead of time management. When it comes to time, we aren’t controlling and managing it, that’s not how time works. Time awareness is changing your relationship to what you choose to focus on during certain times of the day. Time awareness is when you learn when your body and mind are at their best for specific activities at specific times of the day.
How you use the morning period should be different from the afternoon. Because your mind and body are affected by the time of day. When you learn to take that into account and to work with it, instead of against it, it’s amazing the productivity and results that follow. This means you don’t force yourself into anything. There’s flow.
Every person should incorporate a time awareness understanding into their daily routine. At the end of the day, your time is your most important valuable. Time is a commodity that you cannot buyback. That is true for all of us including Bill Gates or even The Queen.
Let me give you a practical example to illustrate the very importance of time awareness. A very successful entrepreneur and international business coach that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years summed it up very practically with an example from his own life story.
He decided to maintain a log for a month of exactly his hour-by-hour activities by breaking it into 15-minute sections. He was a smoker and when he turned back to check his log, he realized that his presumed 5-minute smoke breaks were in fact 15- 20 minutes. If you do the math on how many breaks a day and then week and months …. you start to get the picture and understanding of this time awareness. In fact, this led him to give up smoking because he realized just how much money he was losing because of his hourly billing rate – true story.
This is only 1 example of understanding the principle of time awareness and how important it is to understand how to reclaim control of your time. The log is a great exercise to track your time and to become more conscious and self-aware of what you are doing.
We all have the same 24 hours in the day, and we all of our own interests. Business, families, hobbies, relationships and so much more. So how does one keep track and keep control of their time? What you do today is going to improve your tomorrow. Your morale, engagement, productivity will all improve because you will be more effective with your time and therefore your results
In today’s workplace & education culture, the expectation is that we are conditioned to place stress & pressure on ourselves to always show up and push through until the end of the day. There’s a universal understanding and plenty of jokes about weekends & Mondays for a reason. There are so many TV shows and comics that directly poke fun at the stress of daily life
If you pull back and really look at the big picture of your day, what do you notice? Where is your true focus?
Here’s a set of reflection questions to ask yourself now:
- Do you have a consistent plan for how to use each hour of your day?
- What are the tasks that you know you use as a distraction, such as checking your email 20 times in 2 hours, or continuous cups of coffee?
- When are you feeling the most creative?
- When are you feeling the most social?
- Knowing that, when is the best time for emails, phone calls, meetings, studying, writing, and more?
- What life circumstances make it harder for you to focus? For example, conflict in your relationship, financial stress, family stress, exams stress, dating, and more?
- What do you do when you’re not feeling at your best and not focused?
A stressed mind cannot focus and get anything done efficiently. So learning how to deflect this stress with better time awareness may become a crucial strategy in your life.
Let’s explore some practical tactics and strategies that you can implement immediately to improve your time awareness, and get you started.
- Don’t shuffle & continually put things aside. Deal with it straight away or put it in its allocated place. People with a paper whirlwind all over never seem to be well organized. Clutter means stress.
- Avoid re-visiting – that means I will get back to you or back to it. It may never happen yet the average person will spend 20 minutes a day re-visiting open-ended issues. This can expand to around 100 hours a year or around 12 days or 2 weeks. This is another example of time awareness and how time stops for nobody. Procrastination comes at a cost.
- Only open an email when you are ready. Don’t open an email and then get distracted. Distractions too have a price. A suggestion would be to file and organize by category. Use clear headers on emails & folders. Train yourself to be uniform in this approach. It’s so much easier to go look in this or that folder rather than looking through tons of emails.
- And finally, make lists – this will create a time structure and increase productivity.
If you make a list every day you become more proactive instead of reactive.
When you have more time awareness, you become more in tune with your daily routine and focus. Challenge your mind to engage with time awareness. You will feel more accomplished, relieved, and less stressed out.
So go on, challenge yourself to implement some of these time awareness strategies, and enjoy more of the freed-up energy that brings you joy.
At Nourishment Vitality, our goals are to encourage you to experience a less-stressed day. Nourishment Vitality is a 360 health & wellness platform specializing in stress, anxiety & nutritional psychology.
Nourishment Vitality offers innovative, results-focused wellness programs helping your time awareness and stress management.