Today I am talking about time management, and how to use our limited time most effectively.
Time has really been an issue for me these past 3 months since launching my coaching business. As a mom for the past 9 ½ years, I’ve learned to use time as efficiently as possible because there is never any extra to spare, but I’ve taken it up a whole other level recently! And I’ve got to say, I’m not loving it.
I’ve been experiencing feelings of overwhelm that I am not used to. What I’ve realized is that in my old life (pre July 2016) I was “busy”, but I had it “all figured out”. I had my daily routine, self-care rituals, workout programs, morning and evening rituals and everything in between mapped out so it worked for me.
Then at the end of July, I have my new business EMprovedLife, finally come to life, (which I am absolutely loving by the way!) but I just tack it onto everything else without making adjustments!
Well, surprise surprise! After 12 weeks, I’m realizing something needs to change! I’m only one person and I can’t expect myself to be able to continue adding on all these extra responsibilities and keep all the balls in the air.
Here are a few changes that began popping up for me that were “warning signs” that I ignored until just a couple weeks ago. First of all, I was tired. All my energy and drive that I felt when I launched my business was twindling. I still loved the work I was doing, but I felt only “half” there. My mind was too tired to fully focus because I had too many ideas in progress at once. I was never fully attentive on one project, but 3 or 4 at the same time!
I’ve read before that humans are not capable of multi-tasking, as much as we hear that term. Our brains are only able to truly focus on one thing at a time. I definitely believe that! I could almost hear my brain sizzling and buzzing as I tried to force it to work on this thing for a few minutes, and then noticed that this thing needed to be done, and then on to this next thing. It was absolutely ridiculous what I was trying to make my brain do. No wonder I was tired.
The second warning sign I noticed was that I began pushing snooze more often than normal to get up to do my 5 a.m. workout. I love working out and it’s always been an important part of my life so it was very disturbing to me how I seemed to be losing that discipline.
I also realized that I felt disappointed in myself quite often, because I set myself up for these expectations that were impossible. Now, if I didn’t have kids or a household to run or another business that takes up most of my time, then of course I could reach the expectations I set for myself. But we must keep ourselves living in reality or we’re doomed to feel defeated.
So here’s what I did when I finally saw the error of my ways. Number one, I was self-aware enough to catch myself before I was too far gone and burned out. That’s a huge step!
Number two, I stated my challenges and struggles. I literally told myself, “You are very intelligent and full of wonderful ideas that will come to life. But you have to do it efficiently and in a smart way. There’s time to do it all, but not time to do it all right NOW.” I immediately felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders as I told myself that everything I want to do will get done, just in its own due time.
Next, I wrote down my list of project ideas in order of priority. I could see exactly what I would focus all my attention on first, second, and so on. Then I penciled in my goal deadlines in my calendar so I could prove to myself that it was possible. After that, I rewrote out my daily routine that literally blocked out the times of the day when I would focus on each task for the current project I’m working on.
I also delegated some work tasks to an assistant and some household chores to my husband and sons. I have a difficult time giving up control, so I am most proud of this decision! It's very liberating to know that I'm working on the things I need to do, like client work or writing, and someone else is doing the things that didn't make the cut on my personal list!
With just these simple, almost obvious steps, I feel a sense of relief so big that the excitement and drive that I felt back in July is back. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of taking time to admit that what we’re doing isn’t working, even if it worked in the past. Everything in life happens in seasons and in an ebb and flow sort of way. What worked for one time in your life, can’t be expected to work forever.
Some things that you can incorporate into your days to improve your time management are:
- Have a plan of attack for each day before that day starts. I write out my daily schedule and tasks to be completed before I go to bed at night. So much time is wasted by just not understanding what you should be doing.
- Keep yourself realistic in planning your day. Don’t set yourself up for feelings of defeat or overwhelm by squeezing 60 minutes worth of work into 30 minutes. Plan on the 60 and if you get done early, then that’s a bonus! You’ll feel like Superwoman!
- Keep distractions to a minimum. Close all the extra tabs on your computer, mute your phone during time blocks of your day when you really need to focus, start working in batches (do all your email replies at one time, then do all your voicemail replies at one time, run all your errands at once, work on one project before moving on), set alarms on your phone to remind you to switch tasks or to get to your meeting or to pick up the kids. The fewer glances at your watch the better!
- Know yourself well enough to realize what time of day you’re best at doing certain tasks. If you know you get a better workout later in the day, don’t force yourself to go through the motions early in the morning. If you know you work best and are more focused when the house is quiet, get up early and work before the kids wake up. We’re all very unique, so don’t try to mold yourself into a schedule that works for someone else.
- Know what your goals are. If you don’t have your goals clearly determined, you’ll never know for sure what you should be focusing your time on. I always list out at least 10 goals that I have and narrow it down into one big goal, that I call my “Knock ‘EM Dead” goal. Everything I do, revolves around that big goal. When I achieve that goal, I set a new goal and just keep moving forward. Keeping up momentum helps us stay the course. Like they say, “it takes less energy to keep an object in motion, than to get an object moving to begin with”.
If you have any comments or questions regarding time management, don’t hesitate to hit reply to this email. I read and respond to each email personally and I would love to connect with you!
For a limited time, I am offering FREE 30 minute Time Budget sessions where I teach you how to get laser focused on how you’re spending your time, how you wish you were spending your time and HOW to design your life so you can best spend your time.
If you’re ready to design your PERSONAL TIME BUDGET, click here to set up your FREE 30 minute session. We will transform your life, one happily, “well-spent” day at a time!
I can’t wait to speak with you soon!
HI, HOT STUFF.
Sounds like you need some resources to keep you on track and help you improve your life. I think you'll want to join all the others in my Member's Only resource library. There are all sorts of things from workbooks to printables to a totally complimentary SOS call with yours truly. I'll see you in there, ok?