21 Factors That Speed up Your Sense of Time

21 Factors That Speed up Your Sense of Time

21 Factors That Speed up Your Sense of Time

We’re already into the second month of the new year! Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to have it not fly by so quickly?

One of the most common complaints I encounter when speaking to groups at conventions and conferences is, “I don’t have enough time. It seems to fly by.”  

In my research, I have identified 21 common factors that speed up your sense of time during the workday. By recognizing the following issues and managing them, you will be able to better control your day. Here are the first seven:

1. Over-committing – Today, with so many choices, we tend to say yes to too many of them. Learn to say no and recognize what’s important.

2. Working in front of the clock – When you do this, your perception of that time is that it goes by quickly. Hide the clock and work at your own pace. You’ll accomplish more in less time than if you monitor yourself.

3. Having an unrealistic time frame – Often, the more accomplished a person happens to be, the more he tends to have an unrealistic time frame. Normally, if you think a project will require one hour to complete, it might actually require two hours. Examine the contingencies and allow enough time. After estimating the time it will take to do something, multiply that estimate by 1.5 and you’ll usually have a more realistic time frame.

4. Working under pressure – Any time you’re facing a deadline, time will seem to run faster. In some cases, you can’t do anything about deadlines. Try to arrange your time, however, so that you’re not facing them as often, and you’ll gain a greater sense of control over your time.

5. Maintaining low self-esteem (i.e., what I do is unimportant, so I’d better work faster). If you're always comparing yourself to others, or have low self-worth, then what you do will never be enough, and the clock will always be racing.

6. Comparing yourself to others – Are you intently looking at others’ cars, houses, and material possessions? This tends to accelerate your sense of time because you’re working for material things, and you want to get them NOW.

7. Working without the right equipment – If you’re not using the right equipment (especially when compared to your competitors), you’ll be at a loss.

Years ago, I knew a coworker who refused to acquire an item because the company wouldn’t pay the $200 that it cost. I asked him how much time he’d save if he bought it himself, and he figured about an hour a day. That’s 250 hours a year, a return that would yield benefits many times over! At the end of one year, with his added productivity, he'd probably receive a raise.

Too often, we’re penny-wise and pound-foolish. Acquire equipment as the need becomes apparent and when you can comfortably absorb the cost. Maintain pace with the standards of your profession, or, if need be, become a pacesetter within your industry.

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Jeff Davidson

Work-Life Balance Expert

Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" and the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com or call 919-932-1996 for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars.

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