Guarding Your Time: Just say “no!”

It’s so easy to get caught up in “whatever,” especially for those of us writer’s who are self-employed and set our own hours. Protecting your time, and staying on a productive path means that you actively embrace the art of saying “no.”  That’s right.  Here’s an example:

You wake up ready to take on the day!  You take a brisk walk around the block, come home, throw on a pot of coffee, shower, dress, grab some coffee and a light breakfast when “suddenly” the phone rings.  It’s your best friend and she/he is off work for the day and wants to go to lunch and maybe catch a movie.  After-all, matinee’s are cheaper.  You toil for a minute, and feel heat begin to rise up in your inside, while forming a slight sweat at the top of your brow.  Now, I promise you… you’re not feeling this sweaty, warm sensation because you are having a hot flash, or the temperature has suddenly elevated 10 degrees.  Au contraire… this is about the fact that you “KNOW’ you have work to do, and just entertaining the idea of doing lunch and taking in a movie causes you to break a sweat.  However… You justify the idea with thoughts like, “I never get to have a fun day.”  “I could use a break.”  “I haven’t hung out with this friend in forever.  It really is rude.”  “I’ll just go to lunch and forgo the movie (yeah right).”  “I don’t want to hurt her or his feelings.”  The list of justifications are endless, but they are rarely justifiable.  In truth, you should just say, “no,” and take charge of your time, however…

You DON’T!

Time management is a set of principles, practices, skills, tools, and systems working together to help you get more value out of your time with the aim of improving the quality of your life.
Time management is not just something that should be watched in business, but it is a useful skill for every aspect of life. From the moment you wake up in the morning, to the time you go to sleep at night, the outcome and productivity of your day is going to depend largely on your ability to manage your time effectively.

Part of the ability to manage time involves prioritizing the events of your day. Learning how to determine what to do first and do second, or not do at all. If you learn the skills of time management, you’ll accomplish more during the day, but you will feel a great sense of satisfaction about the control you have of your life. It will seem like you actually have more time to spare. If you don’t learn how to manage your time, productivity will be difficult, and people will drain you, because chances are you won’t be able to say “no.”
Avoiding procrastination is also very important in managing time for the simple reason that procrastination puts off what should be done now, and in the end when you wait to get something done that could be completed now, it makes it difficult to do the next thing because you’re always playing catch-up.
No one will ever guard your time for you. You alone can take charge of your life and calculate your day.


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