To hear the audio version of this blog, click here. In last week’s blog I mentioned giving a time management presentation to a local group. I thought I’d share some highlights here so you can benefit too.
I often hear people say, I don’t have enough time or I’m just so busy. Enough time for what?, I ask, or too busy for…?
Time is not about minutes. It truly isn’t.
Time is about energy, values, and choices.
And what you do with your time based on those three things.
First off, you need to discover what you actually do with your time. I invite you to spend one full day looking at how you spent your time. Keep a little notepad with you. Write things down in 15-minute increments or 1 hour, or whatever works for you. This will give you a good idea of how you spent your time. Include everything. I mean everything. Work, driving, laundry, sleep, eating, bathroom time, kid stuff, reading, exercising… you get the picture.
After this is completed close your eyes and imagine yourself going through your day. What part of your day did you have the most energy? Where were you dragging? Notice what you were doing during those times. What gave you energy? What drained it?
I ask this because we all have our own natural body rhythm. Some times of the day our energy is higher, some times it’s lower. Are you doing things that require higher energy during your higher energy periods? Or doing easy things that don’t take as much brain power and/or physical energy when you naturally have less? If not, see where in your schedule you can tweak it. Or if it drains you, drop it.
Next up, VALUES.
Look at your day again. Out of everything you did do, what was really important to you? Was it your job because you get to be creative? Or your job because it pays the bills? Is it being a member of a community group because you get to socialize with friends? Is it driving your kids to and from sports practice because you get some time in the car to talk with them? Notice what you are doing that is truly valuable to you during your day. If something isn’t truly valuable, why are you doing it?
We all really do choose what we do with our 24 hours each day. Contrary to popular belief, you do choose to either go to work or call in sick, answer an email or not, buy something for a friend or decide you really don’t have the extra money to spend right now. Everything you do every day is a choice.
The big question is, are you choosing based on your energy level and what you value?
Because if you are, your time will be well spent and much less stressful. Think about it. How can you align your day with your natural energy level and what’s important to you? Imagine your day along those lines. This could be little tweaks or big changes. What can you start saying no to that doesn’t bring you energy or serve your values? Then notice what this does to your time.
I’m asking the questions, but you’ve got the answers.
During my presentation, I also gave a list of some various ways to manage time. If you want it, email me firstname.lastname@example.org, put 'time management tips' in the subject line and I'll gladly send it to you.
Are your energy and values lined up with your choices? Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, email@example.com
I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.
As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest you can leave behind.
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