The Workzone with Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp chats five hacks to truly own your time with Lori Milner

The Workzone with Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp chats five hacks to truly own your time with Lori Milner

“Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” - John De Paola.

Good day! Happy cute pretty woman lying in the armchair on the weekend and stretching

At some point, you might have experienced this. Regardless of how well you plan, things just don't go as planned. There's always that one last thing that you didn't take into consideration or particular projects that just take up a lot more time than anticipated.

You want to be productive, deliver quality work, and still have time to spend on yourself and loved ones. There's a way! 

Here's how to get around projects productively and still own your time!

Set boundaries

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” - Mohandas Gandhi

Time management is about setting boundaries and managing those boundaries. Take charge of how you want your day to go and be deliberate on how you want to show up and what you want to achieve for that day. 

Self-development begins with self-awareness. Don't compromise your self-care for work, postpone opening those emails for a few minutes. Spend time on yourself, even if it's just 15 minutes. 

Give yourself permission

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” - William Burroughs

Think about the time you press pause and reflect on what you have achieved, this normally takes place on a special holiday or the end of the year, do this more regularly, throughout the year. Take a break and focus on the things you have achieved, reward yourself with time on activities you enjoy doing. 

Schedule time into your calendar for the kind of activities that have no immediate outcome other than to energise and replenish you. Read a book, try a new recipe - anything that makes your life more joyful. 

Have a future self

“Your future self is watching right now through memories. Do yourself a favour and make it something worth watching’ - Aubrey de Grey

Benjamin Hardy, author of 'Personality Isn’t Permanent' tells us to distinguish our present self from our future self and view them as different people.

Think about the choices you are making daily with a sense of accountability to your future self. How you choose to spend your time today has an impact on how you live in future. If you consciously make good decisions today, your future self will be much better off. 

An investment in the person you are aspiring to become is dependent on the choices you make today. 

Embrace a recovery mind-set

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” - Chinese Proverb

Recovery isn't simply something you do after a major life event like illness. You deserve recovery time, you don't have to earn it. 

The mind-set to recovery time needs to shift. You're working from home during the lockdown but this does not mean you're resting. You're probably doing a lot more work than you normally would. So take some time out to recover. 

When you do take time out to recover, make sure it's an activity that actually relaxes you. It could be a long bath or shower but do take time out to relax. 

Cal Newport, author of 'Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World', says that we need periods of focused, uninterrupted work followed by a short period of recovery and relaxation. Be strategic about what you do during this time.

Cal shared some useful tips on the best use of your time during these breaks. 

  • Deep breaks should not turn your attention to a target that might generate a professional or social obligation that you cannot completely fulfill during the break (e.g., glancing at an email inbox or social media feed).
  • Deep breaks should not turn your attention to a target that your mind associates with time-consuming distraction rituals (e.g., many people have a set “cycle” of distracting web sites they visit when they surf that has become so ingrained that looking at one site sends their mind the message it’s time to look at them all).
  • Deep breaks should not turn your attention to a related, but not quite the same, professional task (e.g., if you’re trying to write a report, and you turn your attention to quickly editing an unrelated report).
  • Deep breaks should not turn your attention to a topic that is complicated, stressful and/or something that will sometime soon need a lot of your attention.
  • Deep breaks should not usually last more than 10 - 15 minutes, with some exceptions, such as for meals.

Practice being

“How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward.” - Spanish Proverb

You need to train your relaxation and recovery 'muscles'. If you're constantly in a state of 'doing', try switching to a state of 'being' instead. Learn to be in the moment, appreciate those moments for what they are without trying to change anything. 

If you don't already do this, practice meditation. This is the best way to be content about doing absolutely nothing. There are Apps dedicated to helping you learn the art of meditation. Find one that works for you. 


“ Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.” - Eckhart Tolle

To some, this may seem impossible to achieve but it is doable. Cultivate a mindset that is more deliberate and caters to your lifestyle. Make time for some self-care - just 15 minutes dedicated to yourself every day will do. 


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