“I don’t have enough time” or “This does not fit into my schedule”. You probably said one of these sentences before and still haven’t figured out a way to remove them for ever from your work life.

Time in hours vs real time

Time management classes and books, electronic or paper-planners might have helped you to organize, schedule and organize your day to day work, but sometimes you still feel that you could have done more. The reason for this is that you do not differentiate between time in hours and real time you have.

Time in hours is the clock time. You have 24 hours a day and 365 days in a year. For everyone, this time passes equally.

Real time is the time you feel. Sometimes time flies by so quickly, you don’t realise what happened during these hours/days. Other times everything feels like time does not pass. It all depends on what you are doing.

In your private and business world time in hours is irrelevant. You live in real time. A time which is mental, where time flies if the activity you are doing is fun or time drags when you are doing something which bores you.

You can spend your real time in three ways:

  • You are thinking about things

  • You are doing things

  • You are having conversations

Regardless if you are a housewife or own your own business, your day to day life consists of these 3 types.

Focusing on your professional life, you will be interrupted during your work-hours, which will limit your actual time fulfilling the tasks you intended to do. While you cannot stop the interruptions happening, you can decide when these will happen to you.

Using the following hacks will make you the master of your own time:

  • Starting the mastery of getting control over your own time, it is necessary to understand how much you can get done during a normal work day. Therefore, keep a journal with you, where you record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for one week. It will help to give you a general overview when you spent time producing results and times where you do unnecessary stuff.

  • To-do lists are great for keeping an overview of the tasks ahead, but these lists get longer and longer till it is impossible to check them off. It is smart to prioritize the tasks, which are important to be successful in your job, by assigning a time to them. Schedule when they will begin and end, and try to keep these appointments

  • A hack you can use for the interruptions mentioned beforehand is to set timeframes. Let your colleagues know that in these hours you have time for anything they need you for. For all the other hours, when you want to be working on your tasks, put up a “Do not disturb” sign on your door or somewhere visible (and do not forget the skype account).

  • Practice to turn off any distractions. This means:

    • Not answering phone calls and emails

    • Not opening your mail

    • No instant messages popping up

    • No form of social media (unless it is a tool necessary for your company)

    • No conversations with team members

Schedule a time to return phone calls and answering emails and other messages.

Remember that it is impossible to always get everything done. So be happy that you used your real time as efficient as it was possible for this day. Not every day is the same, so maybe tomorrow you can check off all the tasks on your list.