Time is something that no one has enough of. I’ve found myself, daily, lamenting the lack of time to get everything done on my to-do list. Between family, work, projects, school, events, and household chores, it seems I just get further behind.
People have many modes of operation when it comes to using there time. Here are just a few variations I’ve witnessed recently.
Squirrels – There are some people who are busy all the time. It seems like they run in circles, always in a rush and never really getting anywhere.
Loafers – There are others who focus on the wrong things and the important items get left undone. Those unfinished tasks build up into catastrophe. Read this article on putting the big rocks first.
Sergeants – Then there are some highly efficient people who get stuff done. No frills. No excuses. No sense waiting around when it can be done now.
Creatives – Finally, there are highly motivated people who write out the most sophisticated schedules in elegant planners and then spend all there time creating little beauties, dreaming grand schemes, and admiring the works of others.
Confession: I totally binge crocheted for at least 3-4 hours a day for the last 3 days. My blog post was late today. The things I wanted to do last Monday, haven’t been done yet. I have some super cute dolls to list in my Etsy store.
It doesn’t take a genius to see it’s not a time management thing. Time doesn’t have to be managed. You can’t tell the clock when it can strike the hours. You can’t hold off 3 o’clock just because you’re not done with 2 o’clock yet. Time ticks along without any help. Just like always.
You don’t manage your time. You manage yourself. Ouch.
It’s not easy. Let me just say that first. I like to relax. I don’t like to be rushed. I want the events of my day to be evenly spaced out. I also need my days to be balanced between stress and social interaction vs. quiet and solo projects. My introvert battery has to stay charged.
Keeping that balance is where it gets tricky.
So to help me and to help you, I’ve found some ideas to try.
I learned this from yoga practice. Focus on one thing at a time. Start it, complete it. Then move on. Yoga does a lot with balance. You have to stay focused or else you fall over. You breathe easy and deep and keep your mind focused on maintaining your balance.
Multi-tasking only keeps you from doing your best work because you can’t devote all of your mind and efforts to one thing. Mono-tasking will get the job done, and get it done in a timely manner. Big projects don’t have to be completed all at once, but block off time to work on it. Then focus on that one project for that specific block of time.
2. Use a simple to-do list.
Grand schedules and beautiful planners only make you feel like a failure when you can’t keep up. I just started using an app called Todoist to keep track of my tasks. I’ve only scratched the surface of what it can do, but my favorite thing is that it’s so easy to move your tasks from day to day. I can move things that just didn’t get done today to tomorrow or another day in the week. It stays on my list and doesn’t get forgotten.
3. Breathe easy.
Being in a rush is the quickest way to get behind. Whatever you are currently working on, let yourself focus on just that. The rest of the things will still be there when you’re done with your project. There’s no use wasting worry or anxiety on it when that emotional steam could be fueling your best work that very moment.
4. Create a space.
Yoga happens on the mat. Most yogis will tell you that the hardest thing about yoga is getting on the mat. It’s getting yourself to the place where the work can take place. That’s called discipline. Yes, I said the nasty D-word. Unrolling that mat gets your mind prepared to focus and body ready to work.
Having a space to do the work you need to do will help you mentally prepare to get stuff done. It doesn’t have to be an office downtown or even a spare room in your house. It could be a comfy corner of the couch or a nook with your tools in it. Just have a space where you can work.
So, I’m obviously no guru. I’m trying to get myself in shape and my life in order just like you. Feel free to share with me some “time-management” ideas or personal disciplines you use to keep up with life here in the comments.
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