It’s Not Just About Time Management — It’s About ‘Bandwidth’

focus585Even with a deadline looming, I find myself at 9 p.m. on a Wednesday night checking the bank account rather than writing the article that needs writing. Or even now, writing this, I took a quick break to check out some Emmy awards show news and see when Fashion Police will be on later.

So am I a procrastinator? Am I bored? Am I just a poor time manager? I’ve decided that I’m none of the above — at least, not completely. The verdict is that I’m actually short on bandwidth. This Time magazine article, “The Mistake Busy People Make,” has me rethinking my entire philosophy about time management. It essentially says that busy people assume they are short on time — which any busy mom would agree is true — but they’re also short on bandwidth, that is, cognitive resources that allow us to focus, learn and reason. As the article explains it, it’s like this: your brain can only handle so much focus. So while you’d like to be completely focused on the job at hand, if your bandwidth has been taxed, your mind might be zooming around, unable to concentrate.

Sound familiar? Read on for more on why your bandwidth is so important, and for tips on how to better manage it to save your focus for times you really need it! —Erin

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