There are 24 hours in a day - how are you using them? What's your relationship with time?
The most important thing to consider on this topic is how you feel and speak about time. Do you always feel rushed? Like the time flies in your day? Have you ever gone to bed feeling guilty about not finishing all that you had planned?
Let's change your relationship with time, starting now. You create time. It's all about how you perceive time, and how you manage it.
Read on to learn about the nine steps to mastering time management.
9 Steps to Mastering Time Management
1. SIMPLY REMEMBER TO BREATHE
If you're overwhelmed with even just the thought of time management, that is a-okay! Step one, breathe. Deeply. Throughout the day. Don't change anything else yet.
Breathing deep into your lower abdomen engages your parasympathetic nervous system, aka your rest and digestive system. Taking deep breathes engages the relation response and makes you feel more calm, present, and centered.
When you feel calm internally, everything externally feels much less abrasive and chaotic. You're able to handle bumps in the road, deadlines, and anything else that comes your way with a greater sense of ease, intuition, and presence.
2. CHANGE THE WAY YOU TALK ABOUT TIME
If you ever catch yourself talking about how you don't have enough time in your day, and your weekend went too fast, ground your energy and acknowledge that time is exactly what you make of it.
Say out loud the following affirmations:
"I Create Time" and "I Have As Much Time As I Need"
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, okay I said them out loud but that was a total lie?
Even if these affirmations don't feel true for you yet, start focusing your energy to operate this way, and time will expand naturally for you.
3. WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING YOU CURRENTLY SPEND YOUR TIME ON EACH DAY
This list should include not just work, or exercise, but also personal care like showers, family responsibilities, internet and/or TV time, reading, and anything else you spend your time doing. There is absolutely no judgement here, so be honest and specific.
If this isn't a natural activity for you, or you feel like you're not being totally honest, track your activities for just one day this week. Every scroll through social media (from the time you pick up your phone, to putting it down) should be noted as well. Do this for everything you do. This will give you an accurate picture.
This list should be "bigger picture" things. Here are some examples:
1| Inspiring, conscious work
2| Optimal physical, mental, and emotional health
3| Authentic, loving, supportive, truthful friendships
4| Positivity in all actions
5| Travel and cultural immersion
Once you've made you list, compare your top five value focuses with those in your list of activities you spend time on daily. How do they contrast or line up? If you're surprised at the difference, eliminate one activity that's out of alignment. Then, continue eliminating actives and obligations as much as you can until you're doing things that align with your top five priorities.
5. FOCUS ON THREE PRIMARY PROJECTS EVERY DAY - DO THE TOUGHEST FIRST
Create your ideal day. Ready, set, go! Focus on your chosen primary projects daily, and not just those related to work. For example, your ideal day might be working out, and making dinner for your family; anything else is a bonus!
If you're worried because you have more than three things to do every day, get as close to this goal as possible. Your top three can be completed first, and if you still have time, then move on to the others. Completing the most challenging one first each morning, preferably before lunch, can give you a great sense of accomplishment and fuels you with momentum for the rest of the day.
6. USE A CALENDAR INSTEAD OF A TO-DO LIST
Writing on a calendar, makes you much more likely to get it done. you'll also be more realistic about how much time it takes, especially if you're using a digital calendar and have the option of factoring a specific time slot.
Now break your projects down into groups. For example, if you need to work out more during the week, break it down into pieces, like cardio days, arm days, legs, etc.
Most projects have multiple aspects, and it's intimidating to just write "work out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. . " on your calendar
7. DELEGATE AND AUTOMATE
I hate to break it to you, but you are not, nor will you ever be, a superwoman/man! Relieve your thoughts of beings able to do it all. Everyone, including superwoman/man, has a support team - utilize them. When you delegate and automate activities you don't love doing, you free yourself and open the space for your specialties and main focuses. This leads to flow states where work feels easier and the outcome has a much greater sense of happiness.
This can be scary. For most, we have the perception that delegating and automating is only for those on a high scale, ranking, or larger pay rate. That's completely untrue. You can get support at fairly affordable prices.
Here are some ideas to consider:
1| Drop your laundry off instead of doing it yourself. At a good place, it should only cost a few dollars more than doing it yourself and saves you hours. A lot of places offer pickup and delivery options as well.
2| Hire a smart, mature college student to help you around the house a few hours a week for $10-12 an hour.
3| Set up your finances so you bills get paid automatically.
4| Ask you kids, husband, partner, or roomie for more help. Work out a system that's beneficial for all parties; remember to voice your needs in a respectful manner.
5| Schedule all your personal appointments for the next six months, i.e. haircuts, manis/pedis, massages, or anything else you do regularly. Take out the guesswork and put everything in your calendar in one swoop.
8. GET ACCOUNTABILITY
Write down a few potential accountability buddies now and reach out to them in the coming week. Set a memorized appointment to talk with them weekly, and hold each other accountable for your intentions and calendar items. This is the definition of "walking the walking, while talking the talk".
9. RELEASE PERFECTION
Time is chaotic and might not always feel or be perfect. Let go of the need to be perfectly scheduled and productive on a daily basis. You're a human, not a robot. Use gentle language to bring yourself back after straying off path. talk to yourself like you would speak to an innocent, sweet, intelligent child. Don't judge yourself - that can cause a negative affect very quick. Stay positive and keep supporting your physical, mental, and emotional health through primary food and secondary food.