I want to start by being really upfront and letting you know that time management is far from my natural forte. I am an in the moment kind of person, getting very engrossed in what I’m doing and as a result time, for me, can fly easily. That’s why I’ve had to learn how to anchor myself and get productive because while I, like you, have many strengths, effective time management is something I want and need to be conscious of because my natural way of being means I get a few things done well…when I want to get many done!
I wanted you to hear my ‘confession’ first because otherwise I would feel a bit of a fraud giving you time management tips when mine is far from perfect! But funnily enough, that’s the first part of using your time more effectively – being honest with yourself and accepting who you are, good bits and bad. We all have different strengths and it’s important to be aware of them and own them because when we do that we open ourselves up to the possibilities of leveraging what we’re good at to compensate for what we’re not so much.
So what are you naturally good at? What are your strengths? Do you know? How are you usually organising and managing your time?
The intention I have here is to offer you a few ideas that may help you get more from your time. It’s all very well having dreams, ideas and ambitions but ultimately it takes action to make them happen. Managing our time well helps us fit more and better quality actions into the 86400 seconds we all have every day. So,
1. What are you telling yourself?
If it happens to be something along the lines of ‘I’m rubbish at managing my time’, ‘I don’t have time’ then stop it as you’re turning it into a self fulfilling prophecy! Our unconscious minds accept whatever we tell it as true so be careful what you feed it with.
**On the ‘I don’t have time’ note – we ALL have the same 86400 seconds every day, it’s how we choose to use them that shapes our results
2. Keep yourself filled up with energy
This is where being aware of your own strengths and weaknesses comes into play. You strengths will fill you will energy while you weaknesses will drain you. Together with awareness of your natural biorhythms (the times of day you are more energetic and the length of these periods) and you’re half way to optimising your day.
Look at your schedule and what needs to be done over the next day and week. What plays to your strengths and what do you expect will be a chore? You may want to ‘swallow your frogs’ first thing in the morning so your chores are over and done with and then the rest of you day will be in your flow. Or delegate you weaknesses when possible…or at least get help.
3. Do what’s important to you.
This may seem obvious but we often spent a lot of our time on activities that serve no or little purpose. Figure out how the items on your to do list are important to you. How do they support you create your big picture vision? Does it help you work towards a particular goal? Or feel at peace or secure or valued? It may be that doing that thing that doesn’t seem relevant actually helps refuel you or meets a need that’s not immediately obvious. Fundamentally though, we do what we’re motivated to do and that motivation may not be conscious. If you can’t connect the action with a benefit then why are you doing it? Use your time to do something that DOES support you create the life and work you want.
I’d love to hear what your thoughts are – do these keys to being productive resonate with you?