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Do You Wish You Had 28 Hours A Day?

My phone is a Blackberry and I love it! It is a combination touch screen and QWERTY keyboard with great functions. It is a great device for anyone in business, with its contacts settings and software that never crashes (at least in my experience). One of the best features of the Blackberry is its organiser. I love the way it is set out so you can view it daily, weekly or monthly, and the personalised features such as alarms. The only problem with the organiser is that it’s useless if you don’t use it!

Without planning we are fighting against the clock.

Being organised is a great characteristic in anyone, no matter what you do. It saves time and helps you to feel like you’ve achieved so much during the day. But if you’re like me, you’re not a natural talent, falling into the trap of ‘whatever is making the most noise gets your attention’. Recently I have been run off my feet! I’ve been so busy with the end of the financial year and various other time consuming business activities. It has felt, at times, like I’m chasing my tail, my head spinning from the various tasks trying to get my attention and then suddenly I remembered my Blackberry organiser! I decided I needed to sit down every night and plan the next day to make sure the schedule was a coherent, logical, sensible one that allowed me to focus on the truly important ‘stuff’, while letting the little things slide by, or be scheduled in for another, more convenient, time.

Time is our most precious possession and we’re all blessed with the same amount each day, 24 hours. No one is time poor, we’re all time rich. Accepting that we’re all allotted the same 24 hours a day, how do we explain the people that seem to get an extraordinary amount done each and every day? They have the same amount of time as the rest of us; the only difference is they know how to utilize it. They plan their time instead of running around half the day like a dog chasing its tail. They have purpose, a plan and they work that plan. It’s not magic, anyone can do it, so why is it only the successful few that organise their day? One word; DISCIPLINE!

It hurts having the discipline required to plan and organise your time so that you get the most out of your day, until that is, it becomes habit. That’s the good thing about discipline, if you can do it consistently for 21 to 28 days (according to research) it will start to be habit and habits are hard to break, making planning your time easier. However, research also tells us that if you miss even one day, you have to start again.  So you must do it every day, including the weekend. I won’t lie and say I’ve mastered this, my personality type struggles with details, and so planning can be a real challenge, but when I do I see and enjoy the benefits.

Another side effect of planning is that you see your time in a linear sense. By that I mean as you write down things you need to get done, and the time it will take, you realise that some things just won’t fit! The feeling that we’ve consistently failed is demoralising, leading to all sorts of negative thinking, even depression. When we set ourselves unrealistic goals, with no format or plan, we begin to feel like failures because we have set ourselves an impossible task. But when we start to get organised, allotting specific tasks time (assuming we’re realistic about the time it will take to achieve the goal), we start to feel like champions as we get ‘stuff’ done.

All the evidence tells us that planning is the better, more profitable way to spend your time. Now is the time to get started. Sit down with a diary, or an electronic organiser, and plan your day. Start seeing the benefits of more productivity, less time wasting, and that amazing feeling you get when you achieve everything that you’ve set out to achieve.

Planning really does seem to create the 28 hour day!

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