A Most-Wanted List of 5 Major Time Hijackers
Mindfulness of that which knocks you off course can keep you productive and cognizant of your most precious moments
A time hijacker is a behavior that steals your seconds and blocks your productivity, often leaving you overwhelmed, frustrated and exhausted.
How often have you found yourself at the end of the day with several items on your to-do list, left undone? How about when you wake up in the morning full of motivation, only to find yourself mid-day exhausted. The clock keeps ticking as you grip tightly onto a few crumbs of energy and focus.
Too often you begin the day with the best intentions to get’er done. With a skip in your step, you seize the day with eager anticipation that your next step will be your best step … then boom … one shiny object catches your attention and knocks you off course. Two hours later you realize your time has been hijacked along with that pep in your step.
Use your focus and take control of your time. First and foremost, acknowledge what has crashed your party. As soon as you identify the behavior that is hijacking your time, you are then in a position to run it up, as we refer to in Sherpa Executive Coaching, “Weakness Mountain.”
The first step when climbing your summit and reclaiming wasted time is to acknowledge the behavior. The second step is to observe the behavior. How specifically does it show up? Where does is happen? When and with whom does the behavior show up?
Once you have recognized and detected the time-hijacking behavior, you are then in the position to change the behavior. For example, let’s say ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts: Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, Dr. Daniel Amen) get the better of you, these little ANTs come in and crash your positive thinking, rendering you in a state of stress and frustration. The next behavior that shows up is procrastination.
The solution in the above example lies in your ability to tune into a behavior that will shift your mind into forward action. Consider asking yourself: “What has specifically worked out for me in the past 24 hours?” Next ask: “What is one forward action step I can take now that will support my desired end result?”
In order for the brain to source the answer, it must leave the limbic system and step into the pre-frontal cortex, which will give you instant access to solution-based thinking. The ANTs can’t follow those crumbs.
The final phase of Weakness Mountain is to evaluate whether the change behavior has been successful at regaining control over the time hijacker.
To sum it up: Tap into your awareness around the specific behavior that is hijacking your time.
Explore five time-hijackers that are on the most-wanted list.
- RUSHING THROUGH YOUR DAILY TO-DOS.
This often leads to mistakes that take more time to fix. Take your time to showcase your best work upfront. This behavior of rushing also walks hand in hand with impatience and demanding behavior.
This is a time-sucking behavior that prevents you from celebrating and expanding what you do have. A few specific behaviors that crash the party with envy include gossip and bullying.
- HORDING NON-ESSENTIALS
Positions and possessions in life, clear out the clutter at home and at work. For example, you accept a board position and it takes up a lot of your time, examine your motives for this choice and explore if the position aligns with your mission or is it just a shiny object to keep in your trophy case? Time is often hijacked by organizing non-essential items. Release and focus on the now and what has a positive impact on your business and personal life. Simplicity leads to productivity. Less is more.
- WORKING INTO YOUR SLEEPING HOURS
Let’s face it, when you are exhausted, you are less productive. When you put productivity over your basic need for sleep, you risk other below-the-line behavior to keep up with the crazy, sleepless schedule you are imprisoned to.
This is the action of putting off something and is often linked to the belief: “In order to feel compntent or enough, it has to be perfect.” Many times the belief that “it” needs to be perfect, thwarts forward momentum. Do your best with all of your available resources and honor your deadlines. Get over yourself, no one is perfect. Effort, accountability and a willingness to go for it ultimately override flawless execution. Be willing to delegate and ask questions that bring clarity around what you are specifically accountable for and what belongs to someone else.