Is time on your side? If you don’t think so, I can promise you it is.
Are you one of those people that despises being late for anything? Every now and then, life catches up with you, though, and you are late for something. We always seem to be busy, going from one place to another and living life in the most spontaneous way. Spontaneity is a great thing! But it should be how you always live your life. Here’s why.
Some days you only have a few things to do. Those tasks may take you all day to do even if they seem fairly miniscule. Those things take you all day to do them because of the distractions in your life. It’s that spontaneity that creeps in and tells you there is something better. Take a minute to look at how you are spending your time. Once you have that, take a deeper look to see how some of your time might be spent on things that aren’t really priorities.
If you’re a woman, you may feel like you struggle with the concept of trying to do everything and be everything for everyone all the time. Men experience these feelings too, but not nearly as often as women. Finding a balance between the wants and the true needs can be a challenge. Scheduling can help you find that balance and fit everything in.
The best recommendation I have for you to help you find a balance is to get yourself a planner. If you can find one that comes with you everywhere, that’s even better. A planner will help you find time for the things you have to do and for the things you want to do. Day Designer is a company that makes planners that help you design your day. It is what I started with and helped me find a balance. There are plenty of planners out there so choose the best one for you!
Once you get one, you may find yourself planning out everything. Your work hours at your full time job, activities on the weekend, doctor’s appointments and downtime. Planning everything and writing everything down can help you figure out how to manage everything. Once you learn to control your time, you won’t allow it to control you anymore.
If planning doesn’t sound right for you, that’s ok. You might feel like planning your time is controlling you more than you’d want it to. So how do you feel free but still manage your time? Find a system in place that works for YOU! Only you can decide what system works for you. Let me give you a few ideas to help you get find that system.
Use what you already have! – Most people in the world today have a smartphone. That smartphone typically has a calendar already built in. Do you use it? If not, start now! You can even have separate calendars for the areas in your life – work, home, the kids, a side hustle, etc.. You can color code them too! This helps for easy reference when you’re 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. – Again, I cannot recommend getting a planner enough. If you don’t have a smartphone or don’t want to use it for planning your time, get yourself a planner or notebook you can carry with you. Due to the number of choices out there, you might have to use a few until you find the one that works for you. I have tried a bunch and my top choices are the Day Designer or the Simplified Planner from Emily Ley. If you want more room for creativity, just get a simple notebook or journal. For each day, you can 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. – Make a list of all the things you do in life and 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. Regardless of the activities them from your schedules.
These three actions are just the tip of the iceberg. As you start the process of taking back control over your time, you might find other areas to evaluate. Remember, make the clock work for you.