How to Keep Motivation High When Practicing Time Management Strategies
Effectively managing your time can sometimes be overwhelming. According to Earl Nightingale, the dean of the personal development industry, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or worthy ideal.” His definition doesn’t confine achievement to a fixed point but instead presents success as a journey. Like most goals, mastering your time-management skills isn’t something that happens overnight.
Throughout the process of working to improve the way you manage your time, you’ll occasionally encounter points where you start feeling disappointed, wondering whether your efforts are paying off. Whenever you hit those lows — and you will — remember to give yourself credit for every step you make in the right direction. One great way to stay motivated is to link incentive to inducement: In other words, reward yourself.
For example, if you complete certain actions that tie to your goals, give yourself Friday afternoon off. Or savor an evening on the couch with a good movie or dinner at a favorite restaurant. Do whatever serves as an enticing reward.
Take motivation to the next level by involving others in the reward. Let your spouse know that an evening out awaits if you fulfill your week’s goals before deadline. Tell the kids that if you spend the next few evenings at the office, you can all head for the amusement park on Saturday. This strategy is a surefire way to supercharge your motivation.
As you work through this difficult but worthy bout of self-improvement, keep your mind on the positive side and remember two simple truths:
- You’re human.
- Work always expands to fill the time you allow for it.
No matter how productive you are, whether you have just a few things to accomplish or a sky-high pile on your desk, and whether you leave work on time or stay late, there’s always something that doesn’t get done. So don’t get hung up on those things you don’t accomplish — just keep your eyes on the goal, prioritize accordingly, delegate what you can, and protect your boundaries carefully so you take on only as much as you know you can handle while still remaining satisfied with all parts of your life.
When you start to get frustrated about the never-ending flow of work that comes your way, remind yourself that you’re blessed with more opportunities than time — and that’s not a bad place to be.