“I wish there were more hours in the day!!”
You’ve heard that sentence spouted out more times than you can count. Sometimes it comes from a colleague, other times it’s from your own mouth.
We all have times where we wish there were more hours in the day, but guess what…. We all have the same 24 hours. If I had a genie in a bottle, that would be my #1 wish!
Since this magical genie is nowhere to be found, I have to decide to be intentional with my time. It isn’t easy. There are a lot of days when I’m working 14 hours and barely step out of my office for food. So, please hear me when I say that I am preachin’ the the choir here!
No one is perfect and we won’t get it 100% right all the time, but I’m willing to give it a try.
There are several theories and more self help books that you could ever want on this topic. While I agree that we need to read different opinions, I also think that we can tend to over complicate this issue of time management.
If you struggle with time management, try these three pieces of advice.
1. Set Boundaries
In Henry Cloud’s book, Boundaries, he says:
“Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom. ”
I love that! It’s so important to set boundaries, whether personal or professional. Often times, we think of boundaries as being these negative rules. We feel as though we’re being harsh with those around us when we set boundaries, while on the contrary, they are there to give us freedom. Freedom to say “No” when it isn’t right and “Yes” to times when it is right.
We often times take on tasks that aren’t a priority for us (or our client), because we feel like we should. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should do it. This is so hard for me, but I know it’s important to how I manage my time.
2. Be Intentional
Once you’ve set your boundaries, be intentional. If you decide that the hours between 8:00am and 4:00pm are designated for work, then do just that.
Work your tail off! Be intentional with your time. Build that website, write those blogs, check off your lists and know that with every swoosh of the check mark you are being intentional with your time. Not only are you checking off your to-do list, but you’re ending the day feeling accomplished.
3. Get rid of the guilt
Retraining ourselves to set boundaries isn’t easy. Not for those that we work for and with, but for ourselves. I feel completely guilt ridden when I think I should be working. Let’s make a pact! Let’s choose to ditch the guilt and enjoy our time. After a long day of (intentional) work and I’m playing at the pool with my kids, the last thing I want to think about is email. Do I? Yes, because that’s how I’m wired. I know that my clients are happy that I get to hang out with kids after a hard day of work, in fact they encourage it, so it’s a battle within myself. We’re all just a work in progress, but we’ll get there!
As I said, there are a lot theories on time management and I’m sure many of them are good, but if you’re looking to start small, then start here.
Ditch the Guilt.