Time Management: Why You Need To Stop Stealing

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Back in March I wrote a post that was pretty popular on Forbes Work in Progress blog called How to Catch a Time Thief and Get More Done. The essence of this post, as you can imagine was how to reclaim your time, and more importantly put it to better use.

As we know everyone has the same amount of time in a day, a week, a month and a year, yet some people are much more adept and effective at using it wisely. I’m talking about the amount they achieve both work wise and personally.

I recently read a statement that really resonated with me:

TIME doesn’t make you do something. YOU do.

People often say “Oh I don’t have time to do X, Y or Z by a certain date.” What they’re really saying is “I am not giving priority to this thing as I am not sure it’s really something I want to do, or that I am willing to what it takes to get it done.”

You see, your progress is a product of your actions and your attitude. I think I’ve always realized I feel on the top of the world when I’m taking positive action. Over the last few weeks I’ve been travelling and attempting to run my business at the same time.

When I was in Graz, Austria I managed to base myself in one place for just one day and as a result made a ton of progress. I cleared my entire inbox, set up new systems, got important client work done, wrote a blog post that went viral and made some “fantabulous” connections with women as a result.

Did I make progress on my eBook? No. Why not? I know it’s going to be a big piece of work that requires a lot of effort, time, creativity and dedication.

I will however MAKE time this week, otherwise I will be one of those people who say “I don’t have time to [insert excuse here].”
I also have learned to not underestimate how much time it takes to do the little things. I watched with disbelief as the clock kept on ticking ferociously during that day and that even after seven hours my focused to-do list was only 60% complete.

That said, I did beat the clock in the end and felt pretty damn proud. How?

Firstly by focusing on deliverables, not “nice to do” activities like being everyone’s best friend on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I had my to do list right by me so I’d come back to what I intended to be doing and make it happen.

Secondly by having this great tip at my side:

Tell yourself you only have 30 minutes to get your task done. Once you do, your brain takes over and finds a way to get the job done!

Thirdly by giving myself a pat on the back at regular intervals when I did great stuff, and yes, reading blogs and commenting is actually a vital part of a bloggers strategy and anyone wanting to build a community. So acknowledge what’s useful and what’s not and you’ll know where you want to spend your time and how.

If you’ve found yourself overwhelmed with work recently and tight on time then please stop before you say, “I don’t have the time to…” and admit to yourself why you are the chief time thief right now, and what you’re going to do to stop stealing from yourself!

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This guest post was written by Natalie Sisson. Natalie is a Kiwi Entrepreneur and Adventurer passionate about getting more women into business. Her blog WomanzWorld.com is the Ultimate Resource for Female Entrepreneurs. It’s almost as cool as She Takes on the World and aims to provide insight, intelligence and inspiration for women in business. She’s a contributor to Forbes Work In Progress blog, a mentor and featured blogger at the Visa Business Network and a social media addict. Come say hi.

[Editor’s note by Natalie MacNeil: While we appreciate Natalie’s cute quip about how cool She Takes on the World is, we think WomanzWorld is pretty cool too.]

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5 thoughts on “Time Management: Why You Need To Stop Stealing

  1. Well done! I live by something I read: “Buy out the opportune time.” That means I have to buy time from some other activity to achieve the task at hand. (By the way, that quote is found in the Bible).

    Saying what we don’t have time to do is so easy. “I don’t have time to comment on blogs.” Or, “I don’t have time to write guest posts.”

    What I’ve done to counter the “I don’t have time…” excuse is reserve all of this month to work on commenting on other people’s blogs and building relationships. For the next two months, I plan on vigorously pursuing writing guest posts for other blogs.

    My associate, Jael Strong, and I have been charting our progress. Can you tell I’m excited? It forces us to create time to build relationships with other bloggers. We need to help each other out.

  2. Hi Terez

    That’s great to hear. I too block out time to read blog posts and comment and get my writing done in the morning. Now that I’m doing more guest posts (an amazing opportunity) I want to ensure I’m producing quality content.

    It’s all a juggle but as we know, each of us has the same amount of time – it’s how we use it that counts.

    Thanks for your comment.


  3. I think this is great advice! I’m guilty of making excuses for why something can’t get done. I guess now I can stop making excuses and just admit…”it’s not my priority right now.”


  4. Hello,

    I am new to the conquer kit tools. I just purchased “Conquer Your Year” today. I’m exited to get started! As I was reading the planner, I came across the following words that I need clarified please: deliverables and receivables. Thank you! I’m looking forward to the growth I’ll make in my personal life & business.

    1. In the introduction of the book, you’ll see a link where readers can go to get samples and a workshop that takes you through it. 🙂

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