How is your relationship with time? Successful time management has very little to do with which calendar you use. And no, it doesn’t change things when you go with a digital option. It has everything to do with how you think about time.
We all have the same amount of time every day. We all have many things on our to do list. So why are some people so successful and others so overwhelmed by time, or the perceived lack of it?
Well, I’d have to say it’s all in how you look at it. Successful time travelers recognize that how we use our time is a choice. I know that I can watch several hours of TV everyday but I can’t also get everything else on my list done. Some days, I can write all the emails for a workshop launch, make 16 phone calls, clear my email box and delegate the weeks work to my virtual assistant before lunch. And then I watch, for an hour, before going back to work.
If you complain about being busy all the time, and never have enough time to get the basics done, you may not be making good choices. You may be defaulting your schedule to other people by saying yes to the wrong things, or too many things.
There are some relatively simple ways to change your relationship with time. Try these and see if you don’t start feeling a little bit of relief in just a little while.
Recognize the choice. You can do this or that. Not both at the same time. Which one did you choose? Which one would you rather choose?
It doesn’t actually matter which as long as you are ok with the result that choice will bring. Sure, you can skip doing the laundry so you can work on that committee project you volunteered for knowing you were already swamped, but you won’t have a clean shirt to wear to the next meeting and your kids will be playing in their Sunday best.
Check the clock. How long does it really take to do the things you do? Glance at the clock when you start and when you finish something. Were you even close as to how long you thought that would take?
Notice how many things before lunch took longer than you thought. Notice what you have to give up to get back on track. Awareness is the goal here. At what point in the day are you so overwhelmed that you just give up hope of getting back on track?
Spend about 2 weeks just noting the time. It will automatically make you a better judge of time in the future. And that will make you a better scheduler.
When is done? Are your perfectionist tendencies keeping you from finishing something? Or everything? I have noticed that many people get 80% done and then stop. The task lingers on the to do list causing stress because it isn’t shiny, but it is done for all intensive purposes.
Change your perspective a little and free up some time. One too many brush strokes can ruin a painting or pull out your hair. Decide which things require more perfection than others and spend your time there. Not putting the laundry in the dryer causes mildew, not putting the folded laundry in the dresser doesn’t cause you to redo it.
The choices are yours. Once you have made the choice you are in control. The power over time is in the choice. Feels better already doesn’t it?