One of the challenges I often hear inside of coaching conversations is ‘how do I fit it all in?’ They are looking for better ways to manage their time.
Time management challenges often arise when you:
- Over commit yourself to take actions in an underestimated time frame and with an unrealistic ‘to do list’.
- Say ‘yes’ to everyone and everything, not wanting to let people down.
- Do not take time out for yourself, feelings of guilt if you do have 5 minutes to spare.
There is no such thing as time management because no one can manage time. What you can manage is the choice of actions you take during your day. This is the distinction between time management and self-management.
When you manage what is most important to you, based on your values first, this will always give you space, time and energy to achieve the other important things to you.
The three most common areas we let go of when the ‘busy cycle’ appears are
- Quality time with loved ones
- Time-out for self
Imagine if you looked after all these first as a priority. Think how great you would feel with more energy and focus to take care of new habits you would like to create. I notice that whenever the higher percentage of my focus is on my business projects, my exercise routine gets pushed to one side. As soon as I become conscious about this and start to pick up the exercise routine, my business projects become more creative, with a natural flow about them.
With this awareness of what it brings me, I make sure that I maintain an exercise routine that suits me, my schedule, quality time with loved ones and make time for my self-care. I am a much better person to be around when I do this and life seems to flow with ease.
The 3 Steps to Self Management: Breaking it down
- Personal Foundations
- Business Foundations
- Time Out for Self
Planning your time is often a combination of tasks scheduled in your diary and a to-do list for you to get around to when you have spare time. The more you can schedule the most important things, as well as your daily tasks, into your diary, with a time and date set against each one, the more likely it is that you’ll achieve them.
A big tip is to leave plenty of white space scheduled in your diary, to manage the unexpected, or things you may have forgotten about in your day. This is normally a challenge for most people, as you are trying to fit so much into your day and invariably wonder how you can ever leave ‘white space’ in between scheduling.
“My challenge to you is to ‘give it a go’ for at least 30 days
and notice what happens. Do the important things first aligning
your actions with your vision and values.”
Every Friday afternoon I sit down with my weekly schedule list and place every activity into my diary against an allocated time. This also includes the inspired action steps for my committed goals. Create your own self-management plan by filling out the weekly schedule below, using the 3 breakdown steps.
Personal Foundations covers all areas that are important to you for developing a healthy and happy foundation, e.g. quality time in relationships, exercise, shopping, family time etc.
Business Foundations covers all roles and responsibilities, required to be completed on a weekly and monthly basis, e.g. weekly meetings, accounts, client contact calls etc.
Time Out for Self covers what is important to you based on personal development and time-out for yourself to recharge your batteries, e.g. reading personal and professional development books, meditation, journal writing etc.
Write down where you are currently spending your time. Then make a list of the things you always say you would like to be doing that you don’t get around to. It could be something that you have always wanted to Be, Do or Have, e.g. learn to dance, more time with family, socialise with friends, begin a sustainable exercise program you enjoy.
Fill out your weekly schedule, including all the areas in your life where you spend your time and what you would like to spend more time doing. Then place these in your diary with an allocated time and date. All you need to do is follow your diary knowing that every action you take is in direct alignment with your vision and values.
Remember to leave plenty of white space for creativity and spontaneity.
If you are looking for a professional coach as your sounding board to clarify your direction and partner you in realizing your vision and goals faster than what you would on your own, contact me to discuss your requirements http://annettestanton.com/contact/