Taking charge of your time and your life requires not only being aware of your current habits, but knowing how to replace habits that aren’t working. Taking charge means putting in place a new time management schedule that meets your purposes and goals.
It will require self-regulation and self-discipline. The word “discipline” often triggers a negative response based on our childhood interpretation of discipline. But now it is a positive tool allowing you to do the things you want to do.
Self-regulation doesn’t mean every moment is regulated in some way or that we lead a regimented life with no pleasure or down times. In fact, when you put a time management plan in place, you will find you have more time than you did before. You are able to schedule in fun and pleasant times as well as the accomplishment of tasks and chores.
As I mentioned in my previous post, habits affect everything we do. They are behaviors we keep in place because we get a benefit in some way.
But habits and behaviors have consequences. They might make us feel good in the moment but have a negative long-term cost.
To make habits work for you, it is important to know which ones keep you from maximizing your time and efforts.
For example, you may decide that this is a good time for you to go back to school and get an advanced degree or training. Before you do, it is helpful to know how you currently use your time and what you do on a regular basis.
- What wasted time can be redirected?
- What current habits would interfere with completing your course work?
We are creatures of habit. Habits are great because we don’t have to think about every move we make. It’s like being on auto pilot. But they can also keep us from achieving what we want in life.
We need to be aware of the habits that can help or hinder us. The next three posts will focus on understanding our habits and learning how we can replace them.
How did we choose the habits we have and what keeps them in place?
Connected to habits are behaviors of some kind. Behaviors continue because we get a payoff or reward that motivates us to keep doing what we are doing.
As behaviors are reinforced, they are repeated and soon become habitual. That reward comes either in the form of receiving something positive or removal of something we don’t want.