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"Don't be a breather miser!"

Trying to manage time, just like people, is not the way to get the most out of it because we can only manage ourselves.

Yet, we can certainly learn to manage ourselves and big part of it is building trust towards ourselves. For example, successful leaders say that the head or the heart are not complete without the gut instinct. Let’s explore a few ways how to listen to our gut instinct better and develop that sense of trust.

1. What is the gut feeling or intuition? It’s not some kind of esoteric faff. It’s all the knowledge you have accumulated on the less subconscious level so far in your life. The fact we aren’t aware of something or don’t understand it fully doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or isn’t important.

Normally, we distrust the unknown and worry. However, worry, no matter what intention, brings stress. Don’t let your fear decide for you and drive you. Trust brings calm.

Your intuition can manage your time much more effectively than your mind can. It takes more factors into account and is also more flexible. The more you trust your intuition to be a good manager, the better it will work. To be able to serve us well, our intuition needs to have accurate information about all of our time commitments. That’s why we need to take time to understand them and run a diary. That’s one of many reasons why written planning is so important.

The fact we aren’t aware of something or don’t understand it fully doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or isn’t important.

2. Our inner rejection of things we see as unpleasant or distractions causes us stress. Have you ever thought how much energy resisting it costs you? You may want to address the issue and resolve the problem which will release the pressure and return the headspace and time you will be able to invest somewhere else.

3. If you want clarity and calm in your life, do only one thing at a time. Multitasking simply doesn’t work and we have been duped, especially women, into thinking that’s what we should be good at. All that multitasking really does is decreases the effectiveness and quality of the activities you are trying to juggle and stresses you out, sometimes to the point of paralysis. It’s a bad habit.

If you tackle only one task at a time, the outcome will be executing your tasks with a natural attention. You want to aim for feeling satisfied not only when the job is finished, but especially when you’re working on it. Also, enjoy the fulfilling experience of doing something from the beginning to the end.

4. Stop trying to manage your tasks in your head, manage them on paper or in an electronic form. Release that headspace that’s being used up by processing the information you’re trying not to forget. There is technology to help is here – try Notes on your phone, or Wunderlist.

5. Create breathers between activities. They will mark the beginning and end of an activity, let you enjoy the sense of achievement after a completed task, and reset and refocus for the next task. Did you know that taking a breather every 45 minutes while you work actually saves time? You have more energy to continue work after the breather. The benefits of taking a breather are in fact multiple, but it has to be a physical activity that doesn’t require you to think. Such as a walk or loading the washing machine. What happens during the breather?

· You assess the task you’ve just completed and remember any things you’ve forgotten to add / do

· It relaxes you. If it doesn’t, your breather isn’t appropriate or long enough

· It organizes your thoughts for the task you’re going to do later and makes you more efficient and effective

In short, don’t be a breather miser!

6. Slow down. It can sound counterintuitive, mind it has to come from you rather than be imposed.

How do you slow down? Learn to observe, which will naturally slow you down. Observe tension and observe your thoughts and let them pass by. Yes, practicing mindfulness will help you achieve it.

7. Brain dump (this is what pen and paper are for again) to get more headspace and freedom.

8. Emotions are data. Emotions guide us to come to terms with the current situation, whether good or bad. We need to give them a chance to be experienced and processed which means feeling them, not resisting them.

We can’t stop our thoughts, but we also don’t have to give them special attention when they are less than helpful. Learn to let go.

9. Physical environment is extremely important. Have a work space which is not where you relax. To give your desk this calm, clean quality, it’s best to start by taking everything off it. Then wipe it down and arrange the things that are essential to you. Add something beautiful or pleasing, such as a plant.

We can’t stop our thoughts, but we also don’t have to give them special attention when they are less than helpful. Learn to let go.

10. If you feel uneasy but don’t know why, or are struggling with a challenge, ask yourself, what is bothering me, what is it that's scaring me or making me feel this way? What would I advise a friend does if they were in the same situation?

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