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For the majority of us, time management is something we all struggle with at some point in our hectic work week. From emails to conference calls, yoga to pilates, there is so much to do with so little time. Don't freak out. Instead of orchestrating your day around your time, let's take this approach more as a focus management challenge.
We all do it. One minute we are zoned into the max. Nothing will distract me! The next thing you know, you're two tissues deep on some viral video you swear is the saddest, most inspiring video you have ever seen. How did this happen? I'll tell you how it happened. Focus. Whether waiting in a noisy airport terminal, your friend's stinky backseat, or that over-priced Uber ride, let's try and focus a little bit. Everyone needs more time, right? I disagree. We just need to focus during our time.
How many of you can relate to this? You have had a long day. You finally catch up on everything you need to get done today and plan out your strategy to take on tomorrow. You make your way to your car and head out when suddenly in the distance, you see it. TRAFFIC. No matter what you do or where you go, those red and orange lines are everywhere you look on your phone and you can't escape. It's a nightmare. Even worse, it's inevitable. Whether traveling to or from work, traffic is going to happen. So let's make the most of this time.
Now, let's use our common sense button on this one folks. Don't set up a personal docking station for your laptop on your dashboard, not was I was going for. I was thinking more on the lines of this type of focus -
I have never had to travel a whole lot for business. But if you do, the AIRPORT can be one of the most productive places if you focus. There will be people, noise, food and restaurants you may never even knew existed, I get it. But use this time for a purpose. This might help...
1.) Arrive to the Airport early. Instead of feeling rushed and unable to really make the most of your time between security and the terminal, give yourself some time.
2.) Best seat in the house. It can really help if you find an ideal chair or location to set up camp for a while before your flight. You want to be close to an outlet (ideally a charging station for your phone, laptop, etc.) Being able to actually see your gate will also help. Allows more time for you to work instead of allowing time to walk to the gate.
3.) DO NOT WORK ON THE PLANE. Some people will disagree with me on this one. And I also realize in some cases you must do some work on the plane. But if possible, avoid during a lot of work on the plane. Studies show the way you sit on the plane is absolutely horrible for your wrists when typing. Listen to some music (maybe an audio book), catch up on some shut-eye, and you never know who could be sitting right next to you...Network!
4.) What apps do I need? The specificity of apps these days is incredible. If you can think of it, there is probably an app for it. Check out some of the best apps to make sure you have downloaded fo...
Looking for a ride? You and everybody else it seems like. Let's give UBER a call. Now, many of you might be wondering how you can make the most out of a car ride with a stranger and his love for the scent of pine, but hear me out. Name another setting where you may have a 10-15 minute (sometimes longer) closed environment with someone you may never see or talk to again? This person doesn't know you, nor do you know them. A male. A female. They may have grown up a few miles away or thousands of miles away. The randomness of the setting is perfect. Now do something with it.
Ever had an idea you thought could be really great, but just never worked up the nerve to discuss it with a close friend or colleague? Or maybe wanted to ask that question to someone but just never knew who would have a genuinely unbias answer? You see where I am going with this...
We like to call ourselves "Social" when we don't take advantages of networking in situations like these. Nine times out of ten, that Uber driver has another job besides hauling around drunken buffoons all night. NEVER assume what that job could be. That opinion or outside perspective could be just what you need in your life at that time. Not to mention, time is usually limited here so things shouldn't get too deep (or weird). So dont be shy. Elevator pitch in 3, 2, 1...
Time is about the only thing not for sale these days. So instead of acting like you don't have enough of it, let's just make the most out of it. Plan ahead, be efficient, read a book, listen to a podcast, I even dare you to talk to a stranger. We can always be doing something to better ourselves either personally or professionally, but we have the choice whether or not to act upon that.
I'm not saying turn into a workaholic and always feel you have to be doing something. No. I'm saying use specific situations and environments to your advantage. Stuck in a traffic jam, delayed at the terminal, or riding shotgun with a total stranger, make the most of it.