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Make Your Time Count

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Time

U know, of course, that there are only 24 hours in any day, and how U use them is totally up to U.  However, it certainly may not feel like that is the case.  It is very common to wish U had more time, and in most cases that wish can be granted by simply becoming more organized and following a few simple rules regarding the management of your time.  Below, we have listed several things U can do to give yourself more time or to get more done in the time that U have. 

Your time is yours, and U are given only so much of it.  That fact is very important to remember when U are working fervently on an activity that is not part of your life plan.  Think about what U are doing.  Does it add to your life long plan and story?  Many of us get caught up in “ruts”, and it may take a serious life event (such as the illness or death of someone close to us) for us to recognize that things need to change.  At that time, because of the event, we may be open to big changes in our lives. 

Have U ever sat down and thought about how U spend a weeks’ worth of your time (equal to 168 hours); from Monday to Friday and also Saturday and Sunday?  The short and easy task of quantifying what U do can tell U a lot about what needs to change.  LifeLongU™ has developed a time template in Excel™ format that can help U identify where your time goes.  It allows U to walk through your week and allocate time spent in different categories, and it helps U by adding it all up and showing U how U are using it.  This quick activity will show U how your time is being spent, and then it’s up to U to change the patterns.  U can find it at http://lifelongu.com/life-balance/time-spent/.

For instance, say U come home from work and sit down, and watch a couple of hours of TV, because the day was long and U needed a break.  If U do that every day during the work week, that is five days multiplied by two hours per day, for a total of 10 hours of used time.  What could U have done with better use of that time.  This little example becomes even more striking when U multiply it by 52 weeks per year, now U have 520 hours vested in watching TV.   How else could this time be used? 

It goes without saying that we all need a break to relax from time to time.  But too much time spent on activities that do not help U grow into that person U see yourself becoming in your future can be viewed as wasted time. Now if U decided to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike during this TV time, that would be different.  What if U replaced some of that TV time and read several books on things that interest U like a hobby, biography or something on your career.  What could U learn with better use of that time?  Time spent together watching a great movie or TV series can be quality time with your loved ones as long as U feel it is time well spent.  This is just one good example of an area where it is easy for us to get into a rut without realizing it and waste a lot of our time.

Your life, itself, is a special gift and the remaining time U have left, is also a special gift.  If U learn to use it wisely, your life will benefit greatly by doing so.  Make your time count!

 

Here is a short list of things that can lead to U having more TIME:

  • ¨ Set several main goals for each day
  • ¨ Prioritize those goals, and work on only the most important one until it is complete before starting the second-most important, and so on
  • ¨ Pick one goal, work only on it until complete
  • ¨ Check your email less often
  • ¨ Learn to say no
  • ¨ Delegate to others and let them help U
  • ¨ Understanding how U currently spend time
  • ¨ Automate as many things as U can
  • ¨ Understand that there really is no more time and that having “more time” is really a matter of how to use the time U have in better ways
  • ¨ Eliminate those things that waste your time

 

U can learn more ways to free up your TIME by reading these books:

¨ The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R Covey
¨ Time Management by Brian Tracy
¨ Time Management from the Inside Out, 2nd Edition: The Foolproof System for Taking Control for Your Schedule & Your Life by Julie Morgenstern
¨ 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students & 239 Entrepreneurs by Kevin Kruse
¨ Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, & Sharpen Your Creative Mind by 99U

 

To learn more about this and other pathways of self-improvement, download our Personal Development Pathways Volume I guide at www.LifeLongU.com

Gary Kiecker

LifeLongU™

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Happiness

Happiness

Happiness is really a mood or state of being.  It is a way U might feel at a certain time, and that feeling is described as positive, good and joyful.  Many people think about being happy or strive to be happy all the time.  But that really is not realistic all the time, for what goes up, must come down, right?  If U were always happy, that state of being would become your norm, and that level of happiness would start to feel average.  This would create a need to feel above average and a new level of happiness would be needed, and that could go on and on.  Experiencing the down times that come in everyone’s life as well as the up times helps each of us to know the difference and appreciate the happiness we feel.  Having said that, we certainly can program or arrange our days to have many things in them that do make us feel happy.  Just make sure U don’t keep doing the same things every day, or that “average” feeling described above might appear, replacing your happiness with feelings of monotony.

Keep in mind also that U are always the one constant whether U have or don’t have happiness.  If U always stay in the same places, work the same routines and visit the same establishments, it is very likely that your happiness will be low.  Try changing your routine, do a new activity or do some traveling.  Experience some new things and make some new friendships.  These new experiences increase your probability of more happiness while also making life more interesting.  It only takes one happy event to make U feel good again.  If U don’t plan for a little change in your life, U may realize one day that U are in a “rut” and doing the same things over and over.  The stability of that rut might feel comfortable, but if U allow for some changes once in a while, things in your life might really feel great most of the time.

Everyone’s version of happiness is also a little different.  Going out and socializing or having a great meal or conversation with family and friends can be good sources of happiness for many people.  Staying in good shape, eating healthy foods and getting plenty of sleep all can help U improve your mood and maintain a positive outlook, which all work in your favor to experience happiness.  But again, U create most of the happiness in your life and many times it does not take much effort on your behalf to be happy. 

Stay away from negative thoughts and negative people.  Negative situations and experiences do come up, and U must deal with them, but U should focus on treasuring your positive experiences and creating more of them.  Happiness is an emotion, and U can create emotions through activity, so do something U love and enjoy.  Look around, see what others do that makes them happy.  Give it a try, if it works for U too, so much the better. 

Being happy also means adhering to your value system.  If U are constantly going against your own grain every day, doing things U don’t really believe U should be doing, that type of activity can be a negative emotional drain on U and prevent U from being happy.

Finding your true purpose in life, sticking to your value system and working to develop yourself into the person U truly want to be in life can help U feel happier.  Working with a good life plan can help U do this and more.

 

Here is a short list of things leading to happiness:

  • Express gratitude on a regular basis
  • Practice being more optimistic
  • Engage in frequent acts of kindness
  • Savor joyful events
  • Practice forgiveness
  • Keep learning new things
  • Stay physically fit
  • Create goals and accomplish them
  • Be part of a group and get to know others

U can learn more about HAPPINESS by reading these books:

The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living: A Guide to Act by Russ Harris
Paths to Happiness: 50 Ways to Add Joy to Your Life Every Day by Edward Hoffman
The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by Chris Guillebeau
The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want by Sonja Lyubomirsky
The Happiness Mindset: 12 Strategies for Happiness & Success I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Younger by Brandon Stanberg

Gary Kiecker, LifeLongU™