Stop Wasting Time Trying to Manage Time (Part 2) #113
If you didn’t read yesterday’s blog, please do so – it will set you up for a win with today’s content.
It’s time to readjust your picture. All you need is your current calendar, a paper print-out of a blank calendar and a little time to make a significant impact with how you spend your time!
Steps to Re-Align
- Reality Check. On a blank paper calendar (next month is a good start) write in your “ideal” day, week and month. Include those activities which align with your top three priorities (and beyond if you’re on a roll).Example: If you said family was your #1 priority, then first schedule in all the time you’d spend with them in an “ideal” day, week and month. This might include meals together, sports, events, movies, games, chores, conversations, visiting grandparents, one-on-one time with individuals, family time, etc. My husband and I schedule our vacations 15 months ahead of time and it’s the first thing on our calendars, everything else follows!
- Compare and evaluate. Now review the past three months of your actual calendar and notice any discrepancies between your ideal time spent and your history (how you actually spent your time.) Then, evaluate your “ideal” calendar to see if you were to do all the activities on it, would your month be:
- Realistic (doable)
- Aligned with your priorities
For me, I could not see how my “ideal” calendar would be a realistic option either – there wasn’t even time left to work! Nice try….
- Renegotiate. What would be a “happy” medium between your current calendar and your “ideal” calendar? Alter your ideal calendar accordingly. Caution! Don’t give up the things that you know make the biggest difference for you.
- Block your time. Once you’ve negotiated with yourself, and your time blocks are aligned with your priorities, chunk them down. If you’re looking at your work for instance, capture all the activities that make your work successful. Think of all the revenue generating, and crucial activities that are, in Stephen Covey’s words, “not urgent but important.” Evaluate and block your time in detail, by activity.
For example, I wanted to make time for writing. But as deadlines approached, I usually felt stress, anxiety or experienced writer’s block. It was no mystery once I did this activity. I had no time for writing allotted during my workday and I didn’t enjoyed writing during personal time in the evening. I didn’t have time to write because it wasn’t something I valued (even though I knew it was important for me and for our business to succeed). I spent hours doing a lot of other things but leaving the writing till I “had time.” – which I never did. So I’d resentfully “make time” and usually at the expense of my family or something for myself. Do you have any activities like this?
(Most of us spend a terrific amount of time doing non-important actions or we spend time doing things that are important but take too long and aren’t urgent. An easy way around this is to get reduce or eliminate some of those nasty time-wasters – I’ll address one of the biggest in blog #114)
- Test it and set some rules. Try it out and then set boundaries as you learn with your new schedule. For example, I wanted working out to be a priority, so I calendared it in. I decided it could be moved if necessary, to flex with other tasks but made a rule that it can’t be deleted. Working out now has a place in most days of my week – this wasn’t something I thought possible before I did this exercise! Here are some suggestions for rules that can support your success:
- Blocks of time can move during a week but should not be deleted.
- Flex less and be disciplined – people will work with your schedule.
(If you practice something that others might find useful with regard to calendaring, please comment below) and read tomorrow’s blog for the BIGGEST time waster of ALL.