Time Management

Week 10:  Time Management

  • Time audit to identify time-wasting habits
  • Introduction to time management techniques
  • Setting and enforcing healthy boundaries
  • Learning to say no when necessary

Let’s discuss unlocking your productivity potential!  Time is a precious resource that often feels scarce when we are pulled between our wants and needs and our priorities and values.  The pressure of time can cause anxiety and stress as we struggle to balance our personal and professional commitments, deadlines, and these things causing overwhelm.  Effective time management techniques can help you regain control over your schedule and maximize your productivity.  Below are tips to make the most of your time:

  • Identify your priorities.  Reflect on both long-term and short-term goals and identify what really matters to you so that you can allocate your time accordingly.  In my world this is called ego dystonic and ego syntonic meaning your actions align with your values.  Everything is not equally important and as you distribute your time be sure that you are making time for those people, places, things, and situations that are most important to you.
  • Plan and prioritize.  This is the center of this enter course!  Crucial planning and breaking down larger projects to be achievable, assigning target completion dates, and doing research or consultations ensures that you can tackle tasks and avoid procrastination.
  • Setting SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-oriented.  Let’s set ourselves up for obtainable goals and know we have succeeded with our planning and achievements of these goals.
  • Eliminate time wasters.  Ouch.  In a world of having our phones in our hands…  All. The. Time.  What is consuming your time without adding value?  Games, scrolling, social media, television.  What is distracting you?  Notifications, social media, calls?  By eliminating these time wasters, you can reclaim valuable hours in your days.
  • Practice time blocking.  This is a technique that involves scheduling specific blocks of time for different activities and by assigning time for tasks (breaks, meetings, personal activities), you can create structure, break up your day, and give attention to important areas in your life.  Remember to build a buffer time for unexpected interruptions or transitions from one task to another.
  • Delegate.  You don’t have to do everything yourself and if you are please read my article on boundaries <click here>, listen to my podcast on boundaries <click here>, and take my course on boundaries <click here>.  Identify areas where you can ask for help or assign tasks to lighten your load which will not only free up your time, but will empower others to learn responsibility and foster teamwork.  Trust in the abilities of those around you and focus on higher-value activities that align with your strengths.
  • Take breaks and practice self-care.  Self-care is vital to recharge and refocus.  Engaging in activities that help you relax and rejuvenate builds endurance and reduced anxiety.  Exercise, a massage, sitting with intention with your favorite flavor of tea, meditation, time in nature, listening to music, a therapy appointment…are just a few ways to love and respect yourself.
  • Create boundaries.  Only you can violate your own boundaries and no one else.  This is not telling someone else what they can and cannot do.  This answers the question:  “What are you going to do about it?”  If you notice you are uncomfortable, that a feeling has been triggered, that you are not doing what you actually want to be doing or going where you want to go, then you have not communicated your needs, wants, or feelings, are putting other peoples’ feelings before your own, otherwise known as people pleasing, and have failed to set a boundary.  If XYZ happens, then you are going to….what?  This is not about fight, flight, or freeze.  This about meeting your needs yourself and being accountable for those feelings and those needs.  Boundaries are selfish in nature and if you are not taking care of yourself, then who else will?  Unity is important.  Teamwork is important.  But be sure you have put together a team that can be successful while meeting your own needs.
  • Say no.  No is a complete sentence.  And if that doesn’t make sense, re-read boundaries above.

Yes, you want to achieve your goals, but wouldn’t it be more pleasant to achieve them with ease?  Doing what we can comfortably do in a day is the goal and by asking yourself if you have anything you can comfortably do today, before you lay your head on your pillow at night, than can you make time to do it?  If the answer is “no” then ask yourself the same question tomorrow.  The Alcoholics Anonymous program is a program of “one day at a time” or “24 hours a day”.  This is important for a reason and the program has been successful for nearly 100 years for a reason.  Because it works and “it works if you work it.” 

The plans you have created in the past few weeks is a means to growth and successes in a planned and meaningful way and meant to reduce pressure, confusion, and stress.  You want to avoid procrastination yet be flexible.  You want to eliminate time wasters yet identify areas of self-care.  This plan is to unlock your full productivity potential.

Time is finite so make the most of it by managing it wisely.