61% of working Americans say they don’t have enough time to do the things they want to do. Everyone is always busy, and books on effectiveness, increased personal productivity and time management have been a constant fixture in bestseller lists around the world in the past few years. Maximizing the effectiveness of using our time – quite often to achieve better work/life balance – has become a common theme of the age of now.

When it comes to time management one of the biggest problems seems to be that most people tend to overschedule their time, according to neuroscientist and musician Daniel Levitin. In a short video he provides some tips for managing your time so that you can free your mind for more enjoyable activities. He advises to take the pressure of the mind and put things into the physical world.

One of his strategies to do so is to write all tasks on index cards and shuffle those according to urgency. That helps to prioritize tasks. Levitin also wants you to calendar everything – even if an event is still a year away, schedule it in along with important milestones.

I agree with him – we should all free up time or headspace for things we enjoy. If you’re not into index card writing here are some of my personal tips on time management.

1) Make technology your servant – not vice versa

2) A fast game is a good game – don’t waste time procrastinating

3) Delegate – don’t do stuff you don’t like

4) Don’t worry!

These four tips can help you to free up some of your time and concentrate on things you enjoy doing. The last one – don’t worry – might seem banal to some. But the fact is we all worry too much. A few years ago a study estimated that we spend 6.5 years of our lives worrying. Another study shows that 85% of what we worry about never happens and persistent worrying is unhealthy. It makes you 29% more likely to die of a heart attack and 41% more likely to die of cancer according to stats by Mercer. If that’s not reason enough to stop worrying I don’t know what is. Concentrate on things you love doing, stop wasting time with what you don’t.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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