Time management is the key to achieving your goals, increasing your productivity and having time in your life for the activities you love. A good time management strategy begins with reviewing how you spend your time currently then altering your day to spend your time the way you need and want. By taking these steps and removing some of the obstacles in your way, you too can manage your time consciously and enjoyably.
1. How do you currently spend your time?
“Does this spark joy?” – Marie Kondo, The Lifechanging magic of tidying up
Every day, there are likely to be a few essential activities. Things like sleeping, engaging in money earning activities to survive, eating and caring for those you are responsible for. If you are really honest, you will likely also realise that a lot of your day is lost, wasted, frittered away watching YouTube, sitting in transit or doing activities that you might not need to.
One very telling way to consider how you use your time is to review your device usage. You can see your activity under screen time on an iPhone or Digital Wellbeing on most Android phones. It is not uncommon to find you have lost 2 hours a day to social media, Facebook or Instagram, YouTube or TikTok. Image what you can do with that time if you consciously reclaim it.
Marie Kondo radically tidies homes by asking of every item, ‘Does this spark joy?’. Once you know how you are spending your time, ask this question of your non-essential activities. Large amounts of time spent on activities just because it’s what you do, may suggest you have some room to change.
2. What would you like to achieve/enjoy with your time?
“It’s never about having the time. It’s about making the time.” – Marie Forleo, Everything is Figureoutable (p67)
Now that you know how you are currently spending your time, it’s time to decide how you want to be spending it. What are your goals this year? Does your current time management strategy allow for time progressing them?
Your goals don’t need to be big. Maybe you want to spend more time playing Dungeons and Dragons or going to Zumba class just because you enjoy it. Maybe you would like to achieve a small housekeeping goal or a career change. Good time management is about using time consciously to achieve what you want to.
We all have the same amount of time in a day. Even small changes to how we use our time can mean big differences towards our goals and daily satisfaction.
3. What obstacles are in the way of your time management?
The Law of Forced Efficiency says that “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.” – Brian Tracey, Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
Often there are obstacles between how we currently spend our time and how we want to spend our time. Many of us experience difficulty getting organised, managing multiple projects, trouble starting big projects or finishing said projects.
It helps to work out the most important goals or activities. Then schedule the most challenging or important task first thing in the morning every day while your mind is still fresh and your spoons all available to you.
Now consider why you might be procrastinating your tasks or activities. Are you afraid of failing or overwhelmed by size of task? Do you need more resources to achieve it?
A few quick tips for overcoming procrastination and focussing
- Use the ABCDE Method to prioritise your to do list A = Very important – serious negative consequences if you don’t’ do it, through to E = Eliminate it because it’s not important at all and you should free up your time! Now start with the A’s first thing in the morning if possible.
- Learn to say no to activities that don’t support your goals – it’s a muscle like any other and gets easier the more we do it.
- Limit TV, internet or gaming time – these time wasters are for killing time, not smashing goals.
- Don’t get stuck on the small details – most of the time, getting it done imperfectly is better than not at all.
- Just start. Focus on one task for 15 minutes. You may be surprised how much you can achieve or how much easier it will seem once you have started.
If you would like to go deeper into Time Management Strategies and how to make them work for you, please get in touch with us today to discuss our course availability.