But I just don’t have the time! I’m time poor! I need more hours in the day! I wish I had a magic wand and could give you more hours, I don’t, but I do have ways to make it feel like you do have more time. It’s all about time management and time perception.
Here’s the thing, if you constantly think and feel that you don’t have enough of something; you won’t! It really is a ‘glass half empty’ approach to time management. Consider this, you have a friend who is always negative, they can not see the good in anything; always moping, bad things constantly going wrong. If they can only see the negative, that is all they will find.
So, now think about time. Yes I know we all have the same number of hours in the day, but how do you value and see those hours? Do you believe that they will slip through your fingers, do you think they will whizz by; or do you think you have all the time you need, and that time is on your side? Which would you prefer?
I changed my belief about the time I had and suddenly I realised that I can do all that I need AND I don’t have to feel rushed or stressed in completing them. I realised that time is an asset and when assets are seen for their true value they can appreciate. (Tweet this) I liken it to when you feel stressed and take a deep breath, things seem to slow and calm down. When I first started, there were a lot of deep breaths, but that’s ok, it’s working.
So my first hint is to change how you think about the time you have available, the second is planning how you use your time.
So, time is an asset, something to be valued. Don’t squander it! I plan my time, especially when I have a number of high, competing priorities. I work back from my deadline, add meetings, parent commitments, me time, wiggle room for illness; then I work out which parts of the task need to be done, when (milestones). I admit, it’s the project manager in me that enjoys this, but to be honest, if it didn’t work I wouldn’t do it. (I’m just not a checklist kind of person)
I encourage you to put in the time for illness and time for yourself. While you plan your working time with these contingencies, if you don’t need them, then don’t use them. That said, I have quite often been grateful for having worked an extra day into a schedule to care for a sick child, be with a friend who needed a shoulder, or attend that impromptu school assembly.
So planning your time is key. The other tool I have used to maximise my time is a social media calendar. I used the calendar when I took a month off for a family holiday. It saved my sanity when I was planning the posts, it also saved me time in rebuilding my Facebook reach when I returned, it kept me in contact with my email subscribers, and it allowed me the freedom to be dedicated to my family while on holiday.
If you would like to know more, I suggest looking up Randy Pausch, Gay Hendricks, mindfulness, and Einstein time.