Why the Time You Ignore Is the Most Important Time in Your Schedule

posted in: Time Management 0

Image of clouds and sunset over a harbor, photography by R. Isip In today’s busy world there’s a premium put on the time we spend doing something.

What about all that other time that just flies by, day in and out, seemingly unaccounted for as we go about our days?

In this post I offer a few reasons why the time you ignore just might be the most important time in your schedule.

It helps identify where you need to balance your schedule. 

Have you ever seen a schedule jam-packed with appointments and meetings? While it looks as if the day is thoroughly productive, the schedule is wholly one-sided with action and not much room for planning, regrouping, reviewing or even refreshing.

There’s not enough “negative space” in the schedule to prepare for all the different items within the schedule itself! When it comes to balancing out your schedule, instead of looking at the obviously scheduled items, consider that “negative space” or “negative time.”

What’s going on there? What do you find yourself doing (or not doing) during this time? For example, do you have enough time to prepare your presentation for your weekly team meeting, go grocery shopping, or travel five blocks to your next appointment?

You can make a lot happen in just a couple of minutes every day.

Five minutes here, five minutes there…five minutes isn’t a lot of time, right? Add up five minutes each day over the course of 365 days and you’ve got an amazing 1,825 minutes, or 30.42 hours. That’s over a full day!

It can be easy to dismiss something as simple as five minutes day in and day out, but the actual cumulative effect of these minutes is staggering. Instead of dismissing small bits of time, value them for what they are worth: time that can be used. What can you do in a few minutes that will help you work towards your larger goals.

If you’ve got a large project in mind, say decluttering your dining room table, five minutes spent decluttering over the course of just a single month will work wonders.

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Time is always available for you to use.

Think you have no time? Think again. The time you don’t pay attention to is always available to you…well, granted you actually look for this time.

Consider pulling open your calendar or making a short schedule of your daily routine. Where are there lulls or otherwise unused periods of time? Are you spending way too much time on a task or chore that can be done rather quickly without ill an effect on the outcome?

Once you realize you can always make the choice to pay more attention as to how you spend your time, the better off you will be in managing your time overall.

How about you? What periods of time in your daily routines are really important to you, even though you might not think twice about them? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.