Do you need more time in the day? Here’s something that may be sucking time right out of your life….
How many times has someone said to you to not worry about doing something and you’ve replied ‘Oh it’s fine, it only takes five minutes’ or your boss has asked you to do yet another thing on a particularly busy day and when you protest they say ‘It’ll only take five minutes’
I’ve worked with many people over the years (usually women) who have too much on their plates and are running around like headless chickens trying to keep up and avoid drowning. And they have something in common….they have bought into the 5 minute myth.
When I look at energy management with my clients we go through an average day and work out where the ‘time-sucks’ are. By this I mean the little jobs and habits that seem to take only a few minutes, but can actual de-rail a whole day of being efficient and productive.
Once we’ve identified them we go through a process to eliminate, automate or delegate them and this is where the sticky point appears……That’s when I get ‘But it only takes five minutes’, ‘But if I spend five minutes doing it now, I won’t have to do it later’
Many times this quick and easy ‘five minutes’ turns out to be more like ten or fifteen plus it’s usually something that takes you out of your flow so you have to spend time getting back into your flow again – every time a five minute job or habit pops up. This can add an extra hour or two to the day – which is why you’re so knackered by the end of it!
These ‘five minute’ jobs or habits may look like:
- Ironing your work top as you get dressed in the morning
- Having a sneaky peak at social media whilst you’re working
- Formatting another spreadsheet for your boss ‘because you’re so good at it’ (and they are too busy!)
- Having a text or messenger chat with your friend
- Putting a load of washing on just before you head out of the door making you late for work (and getting stressed about it)
- Watching TV whilst you have a cup of tea (so not five minutes!!)
Looking at these you may be thinking ‘What’s the issue? They all need doing’ Of course they do but if you are doing them out of sync with the rest of your day and they are causing you to feel like you’re constantly trying to keep up, stressed, anxious or annoyed, they need sorting out.
As women we don’t put a high enough price on our time – and I don’t mean just financially, I mean emotionally too.
I invite you to take a Time Audit to find out where you may be spending time without even realizing it. Set an alarm for every 20 minutes through the day and each time the alarm sounds, write down what you’ve done in that 20 minutes and do this for seven (yes seven) days. By the end of the week you’ll know exactly what needs to be eliminated, automated or delegated.
Now I hear you…you think you don’t have time to do this time audit thing, but trust me, if you want to get extra time and space in the day, make time and space to do this!
If you need any help with this, let me know and let’s see if I have a solution for you.