Time IS On My Side

Is time on your side?  Do you find yourself saying “Better late than never” a lot?  If so, you might want to think about how you are spending your time.

I am one of those people that despises being late for anything.  But every now and then, life catches up with me.  I’m sure you can relate.  Most of us are always busy, going from one place to another and living life an the most spontaneous way.  But is that always a good thing?

You might have days where you only have a few things to do, but they take you all day to do them.  And those tasks, no matter how big, may take you all day to do them because of the distractions in your life.  Recently this happened to me and it made me stop and take a minute to realize just how I was spending my time and how some of my time is spent on things that aren’t really priorities.

As a woman, I think I struggle with this concept of trying to do everything for everyone all the time.  Women of the world, do you agree with me?  Yes, I think men experience this too, but not nearly as often as women.  Think of the things women feel like we have to do – manicures, pedicures, dying our hair, shopping for things we don’t necessarily need.  The list can go on and on and on!  Finding a balance between these things and what we really should be doing is where scheduling comes in.

This is my baby.  It comes with me just about everywhere and helps me find balance in life.  It helps me plan the things we have to do and the things I want to do.  It’s a Day Designer and it’s the planner that’s helped me fit everything in that I need to do.

I literally plan out everything.  Work at my full time job, activities on the weekend, doctor’s appointments and especially, downtime.  This is coming from a Type A personality, but it helps me figure out how I can manage everything I do.  I have a ton of people ask me how I fit in so much and this is how I do it.  This is how I control my time rather than my time control me.

Now if planning is not right for you, that’s ok.  But you  might experience your time controlling you a lot more than you’d want it to.  So how do you do the opposite and control your time?  Get a system in place that works for YOU!  Only you can figure out what system works for you, but here are few ideas to help you get started.

Use what you already have! – Most people in the world today have a smart phone.  That smart phone typically has a calendar already built in.  Do you use it?  If not, start now!  On the iPhone, I use my calendar religiously.  And I have separate calendars for the activities in my life – work, home life and my business.  They’re color coded, which helps with easy reference when I’m looking at a particular day and need to know what’s going on.  This is probably the quickest way to help you get started.

Get a planner or notebook you can carry with you. – Now if you don’t have a smart phone or don’t want to use it for planning your time, get yourself a small planner or notebook you can carry with you.  There are HUNDREDS out there so you might have to play around until you find the one that works for you.  I’ve tried a bunch of different brands and the Day Designer is the one that works best for me.  You  might want more room for creativity too and if that’s the case, just get a simple notebook or journal and set up a bullet journal.  For each day, you just bullet out the things you need to get done and voila!  You’re on your way to making your time work for you.

Do a self-audit. – What’s a self-audit?  Well, it’s basically a check of all the things you do in life and you rank them to see how much of a priority those things are.  You probably have to work so that’s going to stay on the list.  But you might not really need to go get weekly manicures.  You could probably do them yourself at home.  Doing that one little change will save you time and money.  And if you’re married, you’ll make the other half happy.  If you’re not into manicures but love to go golfing, do a check of how often you went this past season.  Regardless of the activities you examine, only you can really say if they’re the right ones to remove from your schedules.

These three actions are just the tip of the iceberg.  As you go through the process of beginning to take back control over your time, you might find other areas to evaluate and other ways to make the clock work for you.  Which one are you going to start with?