LOVE the TIME of Your Life
Time, time management and all things related to TIME is one of my many great LOVES!! I am wildly passionate about all of the components of time because the benefits of being good at time management are gigantic. And I have been around long enough to know that this is a subject that drives some people crazy. They hate time management, making lists, or anything involved in time management. As someone who has coached individuals and given seminars and workshops on this subject I am extremely aware that this is a negative topic for some of you. With the focus of my blog being LOVE LIFE and specifically you loving your life, I have to say that the more you can master your relationship to and with time, the more in control and positive you will feel, which moves you in the right direction to loving your life.
There is already plenty of research available on how much time people and CEO’s, in particular, waste. Wasting time is defined as spending time doing something that is either unnecessary or does not produce any benefit or in a way that is LESS beneficial than it could have been spent. One research study stated that the average American spends 2.5 days each year looking for lost items. Humm. What would you do with 2-1/2 days of free time? I am pretty confident that if you looked at the research on how much time is wasted by various individuals doing different activities that you would not be left feeling empowered. My point is that to have a life you love, time is where the rubber meets the road. We each only have 24 hours in a day. It’s just that some people are more effective and efficient with their time leaving them more play time, more happy time, more time to do what you love!
So, let me share with you what I believe are the key benefits to getting better at time management:
This is just my view of it having spent decades practicing my skills and habits until I had a high level of mastery. This topic will have to be dealt with over multiple blog posts simply because there is so much juicy good stuff to share. Today I will deal with the high points including some pointers to get you started, which might be insufficient for you readers with a moderate to high skill set. I will start with asking you to examine and think about how you feel and what you think about time management, making lists, or anything having to do with this topic. And I will start by dealing with those people who are at the lower or lowest end of the scale.
Here’s a sampling of what people often say to me when this subject comes up:
*I don’t have enough time to consider time management.
*I’m not good with time.
*I’m too busy.
*I have too much to do.
*I’m overwhelmed with all I have to do now.
*I hate time. I wish it were yesterday.
*I’m not that organized – it takes too much time.
*I tried that but it didn’t work.
*Are you kidding me, I don’t have time to make a list!
Let’s start with your own mental consciousness. To help you explore where you stand with how conscious or unconscious you are with respect to time, I am providing my own continuum. Yes, I made this up (laughing to myself now). I don’t know if it will be helpful or make sense to you, but it obviously makes sense to me. I assert that to have a life that you LOVE, you will want to start becoming very acutely aware of your time, how your time is used and how your time could be used. I say this with no faintness of heart. I am shall we say very rigorous about my time because the better I use my time translates into more free time for me. I’m not too obnoxious about it, I hope. People that I meet with for business or personal meetings seem to appreciate that my awareness of time helps them stay on track and demonstrates that I care and respect their time as well.
I am a firm believer that once you gain mastery or some level of mastery in time and time management and you can see and feel the benefits, you will start making better and/or different decisions about how you use your time. The more aware you become and the more practice you have with practices and habits in time management, you will begin, sometimes, to question whether or not someone, something, some organization, or some event is worth your time, which is a good thing. It means that you are now much more conscious about your life.
How conscious or unconscious are you with respect to time? If you want to get the joys of love and loving your life I assert that it’s going to be so, so much easier if you are present and conscious to how you use your time and what is worth your time, and how your time could be used if it wasn’t being eaten up by certain tasks and activities. I fully understand that there are some things in your life that you are unable to change, and yet I have found that when individuals become conscious about where their time is being used they most frequently begin to make better choices with their time. That simply can’t happen if you are asleep at the wheel.
Next, I would like you to consider how you feel about time and time management and all things related. And, yes! I have a continuum for that as well! These were from one of my time management workshops, so I didn’t have to create them for the blog. And I think visuals can be very powerful. Do you complain that you never have enough time? Do you feel that people waste your time? Are you often feeling overwhelmed? Are you neutral? For you to have an effective relationship to time and begin to take on the practices and habits to move your life in a more positive direction, you are first going to have to make up your mind that you are going to enjoy time! Change your attitude and the world changes. It can actually be as simple as changing your mind.
Level up is apparently the new lingo for reward yourself or so I understand. The terminology “level up” coming from gaming where you work towards the next level in a computer game. I am introducing you to the concept of rewarding yourself for embarking on the journey to being so in love with your life that you just are elated. I know, sadly, some of you can’t image a life where you feel so much love and joy. While that breaks my heart, I believe that anything is possible. What I have found to be extremely powerful is having a self-designed reward system to motivate and inspire me to get things done. When I say “level up” I am saying “reward yourself” so we are all on the same page.
I suggest that you begin to flush out rewards for yourself. Only you can say for yourself what a good or great reward would be. If you are on a tight budget then you will want to be creative and come up with things that are either free, or cost little money. Some of the things that I have used in the past to Level Up include: taking road trips, having a meal with a friend, making matching dresses and skirts for my daughter and I, giving myself time to engage in a favorite hobby, doing something that I wouldn’t normally do or buying myself something that feels like a reward. This is individual and you will figure out what works for you. My point is that I suggest that you include leveling up along the way and not just rewarding yourself for crossing the finish line. Do this on an on-going basis.
The Practices or Habits of Time
In my last blog post, titled Road Map to Creating a Life You Love, I had a visual of elements for making a life that you love. These are basically questions that you have to answer to create a bold and audacious life – the life you love! While you may not be in a position where you have answered the questions listed on the Road Map diagram (sketch actually), the bottom line is that you will be driving your life with goals, a vision or your commitments. If you have no vision, no goals and no commitment, then what is driving your life? Someone else’s requests, demands, vision for your life? I don’t know. But in the absence of goals, a vision, and commitments, something else is driving your life.
Making Lists is a Core Practice of Loving Your Life – Or Until You Get There
It doesn’t matter how you make your lists, when you are on the road to loving your life, I assert that making lists is going to be part of the process. Once you arrive at the point where you are in love with your life – you can ditch the list making if it makes you happy. I am only speaking about this as a tool to help you get there. Once you arrive – woo hoo it matters not what you do! I have a “Master List” of projects, goals, and things to do based on the vision I have for my life. This “Master List” then serves to drive my weekly and daily lists. Yes, I do weekly and daily lists. I do this because I am so crystal clear about the benefits – see the above-mentioned list. I do this because I am up to something in the world and it serves me.
My “Master List” holds all of my projects, tasks, meetings, events, and other things that I either have to, need to, or want to be doing. And it contains my level up rewards. When I make up a list for the week, I am looking at my Master List and triaging what is most important from that Master List that I can fit into the week. My daily list is driven by my list for the week that I have carefully crafted from the Master List. Done in this way, making lists serves to be a PAUSE in your life where you can reassess, re-evaluate, and prioritize or triage all that has to be done. There is no right or wrong way to make lists. One practice that I love once I have made a new Master List is to “Cherry Pick” as many of the items that can be done quickly ~ as in an hour or less because then I get the satisfaction of getting items completed and crossed off early on. Trust me, while this might not seem like much fun, you can even have fun with making lists. Really! You can!
What matters is that you are actively engaged in being the driving force in how you want your life to go and that you are taking actions that forwards you having a life that you LOVE. Clearly there is much more to say in the subject of time management and how to be more efficient and effective with the time that you have. That will come in a future post. For now, the take away is for you to make the decision to do whatever it takes to become better at using your time starting with raising your consciousness about it and moving to a position where you can feel positively about making lists. For some of you just doing that will be a major milestone and accomplishment. Let me know what questions you have by posting them in the comment section! Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you are on the road to loving your life!
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