The phrase “time poor” is not a new one and I hear very often things like, “if I had more time….” or “I don’t have time time to do…” or “hurry up we’re late!”. Time does indeed seem to be our most precious resource.  So with a finite time and families, friends, work, play and studies to fit in how could we be more efficient?

There is a strong temptation to sit at our desk and work through the day-even to have lunch at our desk working.  Regular breaks however are essential foe our physical health as well as our wellbeing and creativity and productivity. Breaks can be as short as a few  mindfully taken breaths to a longer meditation, a stretch or walk.  Breaks, and in particular mindfulness breaks, allow us to de-stress which helps us to sleep better at night  which means we are refreshed and ready to go the next day.

If you have lots of phone calls or emails to deal with, Tony Crabbe (author of Busy: How to thrive in a world of too much) suggests “machine gunning”:  Short bursts of speedy work which make a big impact on your to-do list.  Set yourself a start and end time and deal with all your emails in one go, and do the same for telephone calls.  If you work at home, avoid watching TV during a break.  Being a couch potato, studies at the University of Chicago found, makes us feel apathetic and kills our motivation.

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