Things move faster today than they did 50 years ago. Letters which took several days to arrive were replaced by fax, overnight mail, email and text.  Today we expect immediate responses to questions, inquires and requests.  We want our news as it happens. Everything is now, now, now! But it doesn’t need to be.

Recently I have noticed a subtle shift as I take back control of my time by unplugging occasionally. Reading an article by Louis Gray, I realize it isn’t just me. The same technology which allows us to be connected 24/7 allows us to determine when we want to be connected. I don’t sit and watch TV shows when the networks think I should. I record them and watch when it is convenient for me. I turn off my cell phone when I don’t want to be interrupted, and only check email and Twitter a few times a day.

This proactive approach to time management has allowed me to get more done, giving me a chance to focus on one thing at a time (As an adult with severe ADD, this is not easy to do).  But acknowledging that not every question needs an immediate answer has allowed me to redefine my time. My customers still get quick responses because when I carve out time to answer email, I answer all of it, and don’t close the application till I am at Inbox Zero.

What about you? Are you a slave to real time or are you creating “you” time?