“I don’t know how you do it!” is a common statement thrown my way. I’ve written previously about how the plate of life, if kept filled with things we love, can be managed no matter how abundant. We all get 60 seconds in every minute, 60 minutes in every hour and 24 hours in every day. The clock doesn’t grant extra hours to someone because of his or her life circumstances (young or old, healthy or dying, rich or poor…). Once you understand that you can’t control the clock, it becomes clear pretty quickly that time management is inevitably self-management. Here are my personal 7 tips on self-management, which ensure that you’re doing the things that matter, the things that you want and the things that will make you feel accomplished.
- First thing’s first, figure out what, to you, constitutes time well spent? Write a list of five things. This is where you should be spending most of your energy and your time.
- If you’re not sure where to begin, do a time audit for one week and look at exactly where your time is going. Notice where you spend your time on a regular week day. Notice how you use time at a weekend. Taking the results of your time audit, think about where you might want to redistribute a little of your time. What could do with a little more time spent on it? What are you spending time on that you don’t really enjoy or value? When are the main points in the day you waste time?
- If you’re procrastinating on a task, rather than getting frustrated or annoyed, simply ask yourself why you’re procrastinating. Are you scared of the task ahead? Is it too difficult, too easy, or boring? Are you tired? We can waste a lot of energy and time on the things we’re putting off. Figure out the answer and action out a solution.
- Who drains your time and your energy? Limit those things knowing that with the time you do have, you’ll get more done in a focused, energized way.
- If you’re using social media for business, schedule some of your updates.
- Don’t discount the little blocks of time throughout your day! You can actually get an awful lot done in half an hour. Don’t just float because you’ve only got half an hour until your next meeting or appointment.
- Do you like the pressure of working to tight deadlines or not? For example, do you only feel motivated to get started on a project the night before it’s due in, or do you prefer to leave yourself plenty of time? Either way is fine, but know which method works for you and use it to your advantage. Either set yourself more deadlines, or make sure you leave time to plan and deliver well in advance.
It boils down to this: If you value your time, other people will do the same. I plug away at the things that matter and go to every meeting with purpose. I do my best to never waste time and when I catch myself going down that road, I stop and evaluate the who, what and why. I readjust and keep on keeping on. And THAT, is how I do it!