Whether you work for yourself or you’re an employee, if you have your heart set on success then you are already familiar with the benefits of time management. You also have been a victim of one or more pitfalls along the way. In fact, from the moment you wake up, several of them are waiting to bite a huge chunk out of your productivity, if not swallow your day whole.
There’s social media, for starters. You reach for your phone or tablet just to check your Twitter feed, and before you know it you’ve been drawn into a vortex of mentions, replies, DMs, and trying to find out where this hot topic actually started from. The same thing happens with Facebook and Instagram, depending on which ones have the strongest hold on you.
Of course, there’s always that tweet or Facebook post that leads to an article you just have to read, which leads to another, and another. You honestly intended to read only the first one, but before you know it you’ve spent another chunk of your time reading interesting articles that don’t concern your core business directly.
Then, of course, you have the emails that never stop popping in. The desire to have “0 unread emails” can be so strong it literally helps itself to more slices of precious time that should be spent doing actual work.
Add to these the menace of friends with no respect for your work time (especially if you work for yourself, which they’ve interpreted as you having all the time in the world to chat on Whatsapp, “gist” on the phone, or even give them a couch in your office so they can pick your brain) and you’ll find yourself consistently performing far below your potential every day.
It takes self-control to set social media time and stick to it, to discipline yourself to sign in at the set time, catch up, and sign out at the appropriate time, or to invest time in creating Twitter lists so that you can read selected tweets only, instead of wasting time scrolling through your entire timeline.
It requires restraint to bookmark the articles, email them to yourself to read later, paste the links on a memo pad, or use an app like Pocket to save them so that you can focus on being productive during work hours. It takes willpower to factor email time into your to-do list and go through your email at that time.
Yet, that’s exactly what success requires of you: self-control, discipline, restraint, strength of will. No horse ever gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated and disciplined. If you fail to manage your time well, you do yourself a great disservice.
We say we waste time but that is impossible. We waste ourselves. ~ Alice Bloch
Joy Ehonwa is an editor and a writer who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a proofreading, editing, transcription and ghostwriting service. Email: pinpointcreatives [at] yahoo.com