“Hey, have you got a minute?…” This little question will throw the average person into a paroxysm on a daily basis. But why? And when did we become so busy that we can’t spare one minute?
I’ve experienced first-hand the misleading nature of this question as it’s often used to mask a larger, more serious issue. But, we should have enough control over our lives – in which work is just one aspect – to accommodate a single minute or more, as the situation calls for it. Unfortunately, most of us feel that time is NOT on our side (sorry Mick). Even when we try to “unplug” it just stresses us out more. Researchers continue to uncover that just the thought of taking vacation or time-off make us “anxious” and elevates our stress levels.
So what do we do? Unless we can conquer time travel, and fast, we need a back-up plan. Consider this: To manage your time, shift your mindset. Serial entrepreneur Kevin Kruse does a great job of simplifying this to remind us that “time is our most important asset.” When lost, we can’t get it back.
The first step is reconsidering how you approach time and knowing what is truly important. This includes your life priorities in addition to work priorities – as maintaining a healthy work-life balance is more critical than ever. Harvard Medical School found that sleep deprivation costs US businesses $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity. So take some time to really unplug – the work will always be there when you get back. Don’t respond to emails when you’re sitting at the dinner table or reading to your kid. Focus on the task at hand, whatever that is and fully commit yourself to it.
A slight mind shift could be life changing – take control and take back time.