Don't let time stealers stop you from completing your goals

November 22, 2020
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By Julie Short

Mansfield Record

We all have 24 hours each day, none of us get more and none of us get less. What are you doing with yours? Well, if you are the average American, you spend 10-12 of those 24 hours dealing with work. Getting ready for, traveling to and from, lunch, breaks and your actual working hours take up a lot of your time. If you are able to sleep for eight full hours, you are now down to four-six hours left.

Let’s say you work out for one hour and you have to get some kind of breakfast together for the family, pack lunches and don’t forget about dinner. I know… you’re tired just reading this! You might have three hours left for homework, baseball practice and your favorite television show.

You are probably wondering how you get anything done with that kind of schedule. It is pretty amazing, the things you can accomplish in a day. My mom has always said, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” You are like a locomotive, you get moving and you can cover a lot of ground fast. It’s when you get side tracked that you start to feel like everything is piling up and there is going to be a derailment.

Some of the things that might be getting you off track and stealing your time are:

- Emails – Wow, these things seem to multiply faster than gray hairs when your kids get their driver’s licenses. Yes, some of them are important, some are inspiring and some of them are just irritating Set aside a certain time and a time limit to go through your emails. If you have 10 minutes and that doesn’t look like it will be enough time, just deal with the important issues and save all of the inspiration and irritation for another day. If you have friends that forward you everything, give yourself the freedom to delete without reading. I give you permission! Oh, don’t think I forgot about Facebook and Twitter either. You can waste an entire afternoon on these things. They aren’t bad but you need to put some limits on your time here as well.

- Phone calls from friends – There are lots of tasks you can perform while you are on the phone. In fact, you can make your work go faster in some cases. But if you feel like you need to sit down and focus on the conversation, then it needs to wait until you are free. Of course, if there is a crisis that would be an exception but some of us have friends that are always in a “crisis.” You have to prioritize and get the “have to” stuff done first to keep your own sanity. There is nothing wrong with letting your friends know you are available after 8 p.m., for instance, or that you will give them a call back later.

- TV – There is very little on television that will truly benefit you. If you want to watch for pure entertainment, then record your show to be watched when you have time and you can fast forward through the commercials so that it takes less time or you can watch your show, but jump up during the commercials to get some of your stuff done.

- Unimportant tasks – I am one of the worst about getting involved in some little detailed cleaning job when I need to be taking care of the basics. I might go to grab the cleaning products under the sink and decide it needs to be organized under there and spend the next bit of time doing that instead of wiping down the bathrooms like I was planning.

Take care of the basic general cleaning and then go back and do the detailed things when the other is completed. You can make time for all of the things that are important to you. Time can work for you when you prioritize and set some limits so that it doesn’t get away from you.

Julie Short has been married to her husband, Stoney, since 1997. She is currently working on a series of books known as Julie’s Simple Solutions. She is a Mansfield resident, business owner and member of the Mansfield City Council.

Find her book “Cleaning Your House in Minutes a Day” at

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Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.

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