More time = more done = more fun!
"Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time,' is like saying, 'I don't want to." Lao Tzu
Would you like to manage time better? Would you like more? Do you feel “time poor”?
Unfortunately, no one can manage time; it does its own thing at the rate of 60 seconds a minute, 60 minutes an hour ad infinitum. The only way to get more is to live longer, therefore nobody is especially time poor since we all have the same amount. You can though, be activity rich; activities result from your choices so if you struggle to get things done, or find balance, you do have options; not time management, but self management.
So what do you spend most of your time doing?
Try these 5 boosters to give yourself time to do what's needed.
1. Clarify your priorities and give them the time they deserve. Understand that urgent is not the same as important. If you audit how you spend your time, you might be surprised to find how much you give to unimportant stuff, or things that reflect the priorities of others, like responding to all emails as if they are equal in importance.
2. Stay present to each activity, no matter how small. By bringing all your focus to each task singly, you get more done and have more satisfaction by doing them well. Multitasking is inefficient and unsatisfying because the focus is on getting things out of the way rather than on actually doing them, which can lead to mistakes and sometimes a sense of overwhelm can creep in.
3. Know your most productive activities (MPAs), i.e. the things you do that get results. E.g. if you are a business owner or in sales, your #1 MPA will likely be meeting with customers. Your #2 might be speaking to customers by phone, #3 could be prospecting for new customers and so on. Whatever these are for you, you must spend more time doing them than anything else if you want to get great results.
4. Maintain healthy personal boundaries. Being able to say no and ensuring you don't get thrown off task by interruptions and other calls on your energy are critical skills for a productive (and happy) existence. Your boundaries are the markers of what you are prepared to accept and signal to others how you expect them to treat you. Don’t be afraid to say no to people who constantly interrupt you without good purpose. Sometimes you just need to remind people you have your own priorities and that what they want you to do has to wait. This doesn’t mean never helping anyone or stopping to talk. It means responding to each situation on its merits, rather than just saying yes off the bat. Do this politely but firmly and you will condition others to respect your boundaries and priorities.
5. Schedule time for yourself every day and honour it. Nothing creates a sense of “overwhelm” or stress more than not having time for yourself. If your own needs go unmet long enough, you will start to question the point of it all, perhaps feeling angry and resentful in the process. Don’t let this happen. Take care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually and you can be a better partner, friend, worker, parent, boss or whatever you need to be for others in your life.
So get time on your side starting now.