What became apparent to me was that I didn’t want life to be “busy”. I wanted life to be meaningful. A few weeks ago life got, well, busy. Out of control busy. And without realizing it, when someone asked me how I was doing, guess what I said? Yup,: “busy”. Oh, oh.
I am a life coach who takes pride in helping my clients create a life that gives them energy beyond the chaos and busyness of everyday life. Yet, over the last couple of weeks, I forgot to drink my own cool aid and all my best “time management” practices seemed to be kept quietly under my pillow.
I am breathing easier now that I have realized I was off track. I was also able to notice how much I get out of my planning practices. I heard somewhere that one hour of planning can save us four hours. It seems like a lot doesn’t it, yet most of us don’t spend ANY time planning because we say we are too “busy”!
If you are ready to save time, here are some tips that will help you get started:\
1. Time management will feel empty and de-energizing without “priority management” first. Priority management is the key to feeling fulfilled.
2. Priority management means taking some time to figure out what you CHOOSE to make a priority. I love this quote: “Choice not chance determines our destiny”.
3. Look at ALL areas of your life: work, learning, physical health, social, family and spiritual for example. Then choose what your priorities are at least once a month, once a week and once per day based on the bigger picture.
4. Pick 3 to 5 projects or objectives per month and break them up into weekly and daily tasks.
5. Look at your calendar and all the commitments you already have. Will it be possible to complete your objectives this month? Will you have to say NO to some things? Will you have to re-arrange some things to fit your priorities in?
6. On a daily basis take 5-10 minutes every day to plan tomorrow.
7. Planning tomorrow means:
a. Look at your set appointments and meetings
b. Ensure that you are now scheduling time for “routine” activities such as driving, cooking, helping kids with homework, etc.
c. Create a list of activities (we typically call this our “to do” list”) to prioritize (ask yourself: What is most important today?)
d. Schedule your prioritized “to do” list into your calendar. This is where we typically stop and then we wonder why we have “no time”.
e. If time allows, schedule your less important activities into your calendar that day. If not, CHOOSE to move them forward to another day.
8. Take a few minutes to celebrate your achievements or successes. And if there aren’t any, dig deeper. There is always something to celebrate.
Now be gentle with yourself and start planning. Wouldn’t it feel go to have the time to actually do what you love?
Do you have any tips you can share with us?