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Do you feel like you spend the first half of your day getting into the groove?
Do you look at the clock and realize that it is lunch time and you still have not gotten a good start on the day? Or the day is coming to a close and you still have not finished the big project?
Time management starts before the actual time that you want to accomplish something. Make the plan the night before, week before, month before. Good example is, you have made the commitment to wake up by 5:00am. Going to bed late will not help you accomplish this goal and sets you up for failure. Seems pretty simple, but how many times have you said, “I want to wake up early”, and then stayed up late the night before with a project or even relaxing enstead of actually going to sleep? The next morning the alarm goes off and you find it hard to drag yourself out of bed, conviencing yourself that you will wake up earlier tomorrow. It is one thing to set a goal, but if you do not actually plan out the steps to accomplish that goal, you wll have a much slower time achiveing what you want.
Establish Your Priorities
How many times have you started out on your day, only to be sucked into someone elses important project or urgent need? Mastering the art of scheduling, keeps your out of the “chasing fire” mode, while also helping you to assess an urgent need, whether it be your own or someone elses, and discern if taking on one more task is healthy for you and your family. For people who are pleasers at heart, saying no can be like getting a root canal…not a fun experience. However, neither is the anger and frustration that comes as a by-product from being over stress. I have written a great article that helps you undertand the difference between important, and urgent, and how to stay on track for greater peace.
Calendar it like a creative mind likes to calendar.
Writing things down has never been my problem, but sticking with that calendar is like putting my creative mind in lock and chain. I have always liked the feeling of knowing that I have flexability, and if my schedule becomes too rigid, I easily sabatage my greatest efforts I use to think something was terribly wrong with me. That I was flacky and unreliable. True words that totally do not describe me. After I took into consideration my creative style, and respected my gift of moving with the flow rather than feeling that I needed a great amount of structure, my happy place came back and I accomplish just as much as any left brain thinker.
I want to share a quick 4 minute video with you from a cute blogger who has inspired me with a simple, yet fun way to do this task. Click here to read
Any time I can doodle, and create my calendar have a little pizzaz, I am happy.
Here are a few great tools I think you might like
Leuchtturm 1917 Classic Hardcover I like having the graph pages, the ability to rip-out pages easily, and I LOVE anything with pockets….I think it is that little girl in me who loves to have special little hiding places to tuck treasures away
Now what is more fun than to add color and vary your line….check these out.
And lets not forget the Post Its
Remember, the key is to quickly write it, post it, and have the flexiblity to MOVE IT.
Can this wait?
Ask this question when you find that your feel like you want to jump to the next project. Stops shifting back and forth action as well as multi-tasking. You, as well as I, pride ourselves in being a master at multi-tasking. However, this process of jumping from one thing to the next, just because it pops into our head, can throw our time management right out the window when it comes to getting the big creative projects done.
Get rid of the small talk.
We can waste alot of time with the small talk. For many, it can be a way of feeling like you are making a connection. But when we just chat away without a purpose, then the time flies and and the important things that we had on our list never get done, forcing us to go to urgent mode. Try setting a rule that you only answer the phone during your work hours for spouse, or a family member that could use your immediate attention. And even as I write this, I realize that I can be a huge distraction for my husband if I call him during his work just to visit. We have set a time everyday, where we can have one on one time to visit with one another. Sometimes we have something important to go over and other times it is just to catch up. This is not to say that we do not communicate at other times, it just keeps me from interrupting his day with what I consider important and “urgent”. He is able to accomplish what he has to do, without me piling another 2 or 3 things on top.
Don’t over schedule
Give yourself a buffer, time out for yourself. When we over plan, it is as if we have a candle that we are burning at both ends. We wear out faster and show up at important events unable to give of our best self.
Have a plan for checking your email and social media accounts.
Don’t check in the morning. Experts say don’t check until after noon. You are the freshest in the morning time which is your most productive time, and when you have the most energy. Check it later in the day allows you to reserve high energy for doing things that will further your business and email is a low energy
Schedule the task by the result you want to get done.
Plan out as to what you want or expect to get finished. Do not just put down the topic of what you are working on, for example, Blog. Be specific, by writing down what you want to get accomplished during that time on your blog. The key word is accomplished. Often we schedule a big project that can not get done in one sitting, let alone one day. Then what happens is perfectionism steps in, and we become caught in the snare of working on something until we think it is perfect, which could take a much longer time.
I am not suggesting that we put out substandard work. I am suggesting that we make ourselves more accountable to produce a finished product. Break every job down into smaller tasks that you expect to finish allows you to finish something in a shorter amount of time, creating a greater sense of accomplishment, which in turn fuels your motivation. Because our motivation is coming from finish a part of the project, you begin to let go of perfectionism, and really begin focusing on accomplishing your goal. You will find that at the end of the day you have accomplished so much more, rather than have an ongoing project that feels like it will never cross the finish line.
Plan your day on Energy
Daniel Pink who wrote the book, When. Depending on your personality there are times in the day that are better for accomplishing a task than other times of the day. For an example, I am a morning person, that is when my energy is the highest and I am typically more creative.I have the energy to talk and do more in the morning than the afternoon. My husband is the opposite. He is a slow riser. He stumbles around for a while and then gets going. He has always told me when I start yapping at him, “wait until I am awake.” Daniel Pink wrote a book titled, When. The whole premis of the book is focused on this very topic, making decisions when your energy is up during the day. By scheduleing projects during your peek time, which for me is the morning, you will have the momentum to accomplish what you set out to do. When you wake up refreshed and you have had enough sleep, your mind is ready to take on the big projects.
Impliment a Morning Routine that is Intentional
Use the time from when you get up to when you begin your work day as a time to “Sharpen Your blade”. You can not cut wood easily, nor quickly with a dull blade. You have to shapen the saw first. Taking time for yourself whether it be a time that you practice your religion, do meditation, journaling, anything that gives you the time for self reflection and emotional energizing.
Let go of “People Pleasing” and Perfectionism
Let go of other peoples expectations of you and your work. Those perceptions that you are holding onto keeps you stuck and only producing about 1/10 of what you could be producing. Don’t make your mistakes personal. In otherwords, enstead of allowing yourself to be affended when someone critics you, step back and take yourself out of the equation, the goal is to not take it personally. If you find yourself becoming offended, look at what thoughts are circling in your head rather than the words that they said. Do you find that what they said reminds you of an experience where you felt inadequate? Where your feelings hurt? What ever the emotion or situation, reframe the experience to something that is possitive and benefical for you. Start writing a new story that you tell your mind
Which leads me into this last tip….
Ask yourself the question, How can I improve my time management skills tomorrow? When you ask yourself supportive questions such as this, each night as you go to bed, your brain will go to work to find the answers for you. If you ask the wrong questions it will also find the answers for you. So do not ask, “why am I so terrible with time management?” The key word is how. If you want to improve, you seek out ways that can take you from where you are now to a more accomplished level.
You only want to focus on what you want the result to be. So before you go to bed say, “How can I be better at time managment tomorrow?” Focus your questions around, how can I be better. Do this for about a week or two, and then be aware of how ideas will come to you as to what you can do. I suggest you have a pen and paper by your bed. Many times I have been awakened in the middle of the night with a thought. If I do ot write it down, right then, I will have forgotten it in the morning. More commonly for me though, are the thoughts that come right in those first few moments of consciousness, right before I open my eyes. These are Important thoughts that can easily become vaporized as forgotten dreams if I do not get them recorded..
Remember that time management is a skill. A skill that you can improve on. As with any other skill you were not born with the ability to perfectly manage your time. As with anything that we are wanting to learn or improve on, the neuro pathways that hold this information must be created in the brain. You have to make the decission that it is important to you and that you are committed to practicing.
Remember when you are scheduling out your day to always put time in for your own personal self-care. Too many people think of self-care as a luxery, or “I’ll get to it later” type of attitude. It is neither. Your health is what keeps your world going and with out it, all those great plans will come to a screeching hault. I put together a few action sheets that can be a help for you.