Five Steps to Better Time Management
Time is our most valuable resource. What we choose to do with it will determine the quality of our life.
For many years I didn’t realize I had a choice.
I felt exhausted, overwhelmed, and scattered.
Always too much to do and never enough time.
I would go to bed thinking about what didn’t get done and what still needs to be done tomorrow.
I had so many projects and things I wanted to do that kept getting pushed back to someday.
I’m happy to say that’s all in the past.
If you experience something similar, it can be in the past for you too.
Today I’m sharing a brief outline of a tool I use and teach my clients to create peaceful, productive days that allow us to live an intentional, deliberate life.
This system has helped me to build a successful business and a fulfilling family and social life with plenty of downtime for me.
I call this time management because that’s how most of us understand this concept, but there is no such thing as managing time.
Think about it.
How can we manage time? Time is just time.
We can’t change time, but we can change how we think about it.
We can manage our minds concerning time.
Managing your mind around time takes your life to the next level.
Managing your mind around time helps you live a conscious and deliberate life, a life lived to the fullest, a life without regret.
Time management isn’t about tips or tricks or finding the perfect planner; it’s about paying attention to your life and using the best part of your brain to fulfill your destiny.
I’m talking about structured mindfulness that can change your life if you commit to it.
You are dealing with two general parts of your brain when it comes to time:
Primitive: reactive (animals don’t plan)
Evolved: proactive ( planning is a human superpower)
This tool will help you strengthen the proactive part of your brain.
Planning allows for more spontaneity in your life.
You will get more done in less time and plan for more free time that is actually free and not spent thinking about all the things you still need to do.
You learn to be present with your tasks and in your free time, allowing you to excel at both.
Getting it out of your brain and onto your planner frees up your brain, and you will have less brain drain, more focus, and more motivation.
Monday Hour One: Set aside one hour for planning your weekly schedule.
Be in a quiet, distraction-free place for focus.
Use the conscious part of your brain. This isn't easy at first.
It takes a lot of practice not to allow your primitive brain to distract you.
To Do Download:
Create a to-do list on paper. Get everything out of your brain and onto paper.
Write everything you need/want to do on paper. Everything. Even if it sounds silly.
Then ask, what else?
This is to stop the constant, draining rehearsal loop that your brain is in, trying to remember everything.
This process cleans the clutter out of your brain, like doing a weekly clean of the most important room of your home. When you walk into that room, you want it to feel calm, relaxing, and inviting.
Evaluate the list. Do you want/need to do it this week? If not, add it to a master list to refer to later.
Is it something you can delegate or let go?
Make decisions. Indecision drains energy.
2. Put the To Dos in Your Planner/Calendar:
Start with regular occurrences, like work hours, meal times, bedtime, workout times, and free time.
Then schedule focus time (time to focus and produce a result).
This helps us make progress and get projects done.
Then schedule everything else.
3. Follow Through:
Honor what you say you are going to do.
This is the hardest part, but you must train your brain to do what you tell it.
Look at your planner/calendar daily.
Do what you planned to do at the time you intended it for.
You will not want to do it. This is normal. Nothing has gone wrong.
When it’s time to do something you don’t want to do, your brain will offer resistance.
Expect it and manage your brain by gently reminding it WHY you want to do the task and reminding it that you are learning to be the kind of person who follows through.
This is where you build self-trust.
It will get easier the more you do it.
What about emergencies?
True emergencies are rare. Interruptions are common.
You must decide not to allow interruptions. You have to train others not to interrupt you.
This will come with practice and consistency.
4. Overflow Time:
30-60 minutes every day to complete unfinished items or unexpected things that came up that you didn’t plan for.
Don’t rely on overflow time to get things done later. (Don’t use it as an excuse not to follow through.)
Get your things done and REWARD yourself with extra time to enjoy your day.
5. Friday Hour Done:
Evaluate your week.
Pick your top three accomplishments, and take some time to reward your brain by showing it what you accomplished. Spend time feeling good about your actions.
This will help your brain to work FOR you.
Evaluate. What worked? What didn’t work? What will you do differently next week?
This process can change your life if you commit to it.
Ninety days of doing this will rewire your brain.
You will get more done in less time from a place of peace and ease.
Your time, days, and life are 100% in your control when you learn how.
This is a brief outline of a tool that my clients and I go deep on. Play with it. Make it your own.
If you want help learning to manage your mind, time and life, hit reply to request a free one-hour phone consultation.
Time is what YOU make of it.
Do it consciously and deliberately.