Why You Feel That Way
If I'm not mistaken—and I don't think I am—there are 24 hours in a day now just as there were when you were a kid and your parents were kids. Your folks may have had stressful days at work, yet they were still able to get home at 6 p.m. to have dinner with the family, to take both Saturday and Sunday off, to get away occasionally for real vacations. Why can't we?
In our parents' generation, stay-at-home moms were the managers of family time. Today, more of us are in dual-career families. When both spouses work, that function becomes more difficult to maintain. And when both spouses work as long and as hard as many American couples do today, it flies out the window.
So we try to multitask, and that becomes the biggest time suck of all. Recent studies in Neuroscience, the Journal of Experimental Psychology and other publications have concluded that if you stop working on a particular task and pick it up later, it takes your brain 15 minutes to get back to the point where you left off. If you're constantly stopping and starting because you're trying to do too many things, you're losing hours a day.
How to Get Over It
In order to conquer this time conundrum, you have to approach it in a bigger way. You have to understand that poor time management is an issue in your life and that there is so much to gain by getting a better grip on the clock. And then you need a way to make it happen.
In the world of time management, simpler is better. To get the most important things in your life done and still have a little time for things like money management and fun (yes, I believe in fun!), you need to know (1) what is important to you, (2) how to move those things to the top of the to-do pile (and get rid of the things that are lower priority), (3) how to accomplish well what you need to accomplish, but in as little time as possible, and (4) how to prevent things from slipping through the cracks. If you learn how to do those four things, you'll eliminate time management issues from your money—and from your life.
What else can you do quickly, cheaply and easily?
- Shop for groceries online. It's safe—as is all online shopping as long as you're using a secure website—and it's fast. Once you have a running list in the computer, the actual act of shopping takes about 15 minutes.
- Learn to delegate.
- Turn off the e-mail and let your voice mail pick up calls. When you think about it, e-mail and voice mail are intended to receive messages meant for you when you're not available. You need to see for yourself that the world won't implode if you don't check your e-mail every 10 minutes.