The point of managing your time isn’t actually to fill the space in your schedule with more things to get done. Creating space in your day or week is about making room for what is important. What are the things, activities, and people (including yourself) that keep moving to the bottom of the list? What is missing that is important and would nurture your well-being that you never seem to have time for? Last two questions for now: why is that? If you don’t make yourself a priority then who will? If you are not rested, cared for and healthy how will you handle your responsibilities? Common complaint number one, “I don’t have enough time to (fill in the blank).” Reality check: you have the same time as everyone else, 24 hours, 7 days a week. It’s all about choices because everything is a choice even when it doesn’t feel like it, except maybe death! But let’s not go there. Let’s look at tools to help you make informed and intentional choices. The first tool is the weekly audit. How are you actually using your time? Are you responding to crises? Are you check your email every ten minutes? Are you often trying to find important things and frustrated because you feel like you are losing valuable time? Another reality check: all time is valuable. Time is a lot like space in that you can choose what to put into both your calendar and your spaces. What is critically different though is that you can reclaim space, but you can never get lost time back. Be intentional, purposeful, recognize that not only do you have a choice about how you spend your time, but you also have a choice about what you choose not to do with it. What is… read more →
Do you know how long it takes you to do routine tasks such as check your email, buy groceries, write a thank you note, or select what you are going to wear the next day? Being able to estimate time is a critical skill for effective time management. Being able to realistically estimate how long it takes you to begin and complete a project or task is the key to stress-free planning. You probably know how long it takes you to shower and get dressed for work because you are aware of when you need to wake up, get those tasks done, and leave for work. It’s the little things though that trip us up. Here are some ways to gather useful information about how you are currently spending time. Once you have this accurate information you will be able to make informed decisions about adjusting, re-prioritizing and managing your time. TIP #1: Select a specific activity that you think takes too long or interferes with other things that you need to do. Set a timer when you begin and end the activity. Collect this information for 3-5 days. Did you think that you spent this much time on the specific activity? Is it too much, not enough, or adequate? TIP #2: Select a task or activity that you think takes up too much of your time. Decide how much time you would rather spend doing it and allocate that amount of time on 2 different days. Schedule those blocks of time on specific days and write them into your planner. When you do them as scheduled, note how much you got done. Was it less or more than you expected? TIP #3: Account for all of your time and try doing a weekly audit. For an entire week, jot… read more →
When someone asks me to work with them to find more time I begin with a very specific question: “What for?” It’s just like having more space, what you will do with it is important to know from the start. Do you want more time to get more things done, or to do things that you never make time to do? How will having more time fulfill you and your goals or relationships? One of the ways that might help you to figure this out is to begin with a “brain dump”, list everything that you have or want to put on your to do list. Then, begin to sort the to do items into 1 of 4 categories: Things I don’t want to do, but have to do. Things I don’t want to do, and don’t have to do. Things that I want to do and have to do. Things that I want to do, but don’t have to do. Are you beginning to see a pattern and the possibility of items that you can delete or delegate? Effective time management is about decision making, making choices, and creating more time for the things that are important to you.