Time management is important. I think we all agree on that. But I am getting the sense that maybe we are viewing this in a wrong way. For example, we see time as something to be ‘managed’, because we say ‘time management’. That gives the feeling to me that it is something and/or scarce, which it is not. Maybe we can say something like ‘time utilization’, something to be used in the best way possible because it is given to us for good reasons. In that sense, time is a blessing. We can also come up with other terms that indicate that time is a blessing (if anything comes to your mind, post it in the comments).
How do we utilize a blessing? For example, a good friend is a blessing. We try to have good quality time with this person because we appreciate their existence in our lives. We do not want to waste this opportunity with pointless fights and misusage of friendship. Also with time, we want to be with it in the best way possible and we should appreciate its existence in our lives. We also do not want to misuse it.
Then, how should we use time in the best way possible? The answer will be subjective, as it depends on what works best with everyone. But what I found is good for me is to make sure that I finish all work by 5-6 in the evening and have the evening to myself (and family and friends). What I mean is like this: if I get an urge to do any work, I will not do it, even for ten minutes. I will not even let myself think about work. This made me psychologically healthier. Because I know I will not do any work in the evening, I make sure that I do everything during the day, which made me wake up even earlier. I am a morning person, so the earlier the better for me anyways. This made me both productive and also able to find time for myself, the two most important signals of time used well for me. Otherwise, I would work intermittently during the day and the evening, so my brain just did not get a proper rest. I think we all need that rest.
PS: I fall back on my old patterns at times, but I try to stick to this as much as I can.
This way of using my time allowed me to enjoy time even when I am working and certainly when I am resting, which is when I started seeing it as a blessing.
How do you use your time? Did you figure out what works well for you? Let’s discuss time today.
35 thoughts on “Time Utilization”
Reblogged this on To Write or not to Write and What to Write.
I like the idea of time utilization. It’s more whole and complete than “time management”. I also like the idea of completing projects, errands, exercise and other work during the day and relaxing with family or alone in the evenings. It helps to motivate me during the day.
So have you been applying the work-during-the-day method?
Yes. definitely. I set realistic goals for each day. I usually complete them, and it is much easier to relax knowing I’ve done all that I can for one day. And then there are deliberate goof-off days too!
That is a great way to organize yourself!
Thank you for this Betul. Your words about working intermittently throughout the day resonate with me. I need to refocus, and today is the perfect day to do so. I start a new contract tomorrow, and my commitment to myself (and to my family and friends and pets) is to be finished by 5pm every weekday, and to not think about work after that. Wish me luck!! 🍀🍀
^ intermittently through the day AND evening
My brain really never gets a proper rest !!
I got you, don’t worry:)
Good luck! It might be hard at the beginning, but eventually the brain obeys. Be persistent!
“How do you use your time” is an interesting question, something I’ve been struggling with right now. PTSD and anxiety are raging: staying on task is nearly impossible. I bounce. I decided to stop fighting it. The goal isn’t to stay on any one task, it’s utilization so that by the end of the day, things have been done, even if it looks piecemeal and haphazard during.
I believe we have ebbs and flows in our abilities to manage our time and how we’re able to focus. When we’re in super productive focused mode, great! A lot will get done! I have those days too where I struggle to keep focused on one thing, so I give myself permission to do what I can on what I’m able to do. Even baby steps are good steps because they’re still something!
It’s the permission part I keep forgetting. Easier to fall into the self-criticism habit 🙂 I’m working on that.
Keep practicing! It does take patience and perseverance! I know it doesn’t feel natural in the beginning but the results are soooo worth it! So are you!!
I have to say, I struggled with that a lot too. The feeling of guilt.
I agree! I also get those ‘bad’ days, but we just have to roll with them. It happens. I think once we accept that, we make peace with time.
I think I would suggest that you read the book ‘A Liberated Mind’. It talks about not fighting anxiety. I think you made the right decision there. You will get there in time.
I don’t use my time as well as I’d like, but I am working on it. I try to be productive every day even if it’s only one thing. I am a writer, but I also suffer from ADD so focusing for hours at a time is hard for me. I have learned to do everything in spurts no longer than an hour at a time. I like to leave my evenings open for family and friends as well as most of the day on the weekends. So far, this is working for me
It sounds like a good system you have there, actually! If it is working, keep it!
By doing things my way, it works. I have a second novel whose second draft is almost done by writing in spurts. Other writers do the same thing so I don’t feel bad doing it, It works for me and for others so I’ll keep doing it.
Yeah, whatever works. Keep going!
I think time utilization is a better way to view it than time management. I keep track of my productivity throughout the day. I track what I DO with my time.
We should be aware of our actions. Time is a blessing.
Great thinking. I like the way you changed it to time utilization. For me, I try to get up earlier and finish work by 5 pm. That way I can work on my freelance writing in the evening. Since I am working from home due to the pandemic, I don’t need to worry about commuting back and forth to work.
I assume that has been working for you?
It sure has 😀
Betul, this is a very relatable topic for most of us, I think. I have been retired for ten years, but find I am still the driven workaholic with life out of balance that I’ve always been, and now, as I grow older, more trouble sleeping.
When I can’t sleep, it’s usually because I have ideas for something I want to write, so I write. If not, I turn on a documentary or movie and watch until I fall asleep. This is probably not a good plan, but when I can’t sleep, at least I can sleep late the next day. I have also been known to paint late into the night!
I am working on taking more frequent breaks from the computer to get a little exercise and spare my eyes, My intention for the new year is to find more balance in my life. I am not finding that so easy!
Finding the balance is hard work and keeping it is even harder. But it is all worth it at the end even if we get just a little bit better. If the schedule you have now works ok for you, that is great! But you should not be getting less sleep because of it.
Time is endless, yet we (human existence) are limited in time. We cannot make more time, we can make more of the time we have.
How about this:
“priority management ” instead of time management, meaningful above purposeful…. this will contribute in feeling more of how you want to feel and will make time “better used”.
These are really nice suggestions! Wording matters a lot.
I read in 7 habits of highly effective people that we don’t need to manage time, rather we much learn to manage ourselves
That is a good perspective too! I like this!
I agree with your ideas on How to utilize time rather than manage it. Been struggling a lot with ‘time’ during the pandemic and working from home these days and it’s also very depressing but eventually one has to get up and work on it. Thank you, i enjoyed reading and refresh my mind on ‘time’.
Thank you for visiting and sharing your ideas! The pandemic has been harsh on us all and we faced with challenges in terms of time utilization. But we are all getting there, hopefully.