For me, when we talk about managing our time, everything gets a little confused. Time is simply time, it comes, it goes and there is nothing we can do about it, so the term 'time management' is actually a cruel illusion.
When we start to have thoughts such as 'Why is there never enough time?' or "Why can I never find the time to do something for myself?" it sets our subconscious minds the task of coming up with the answers to these questions and then evidence to keep proving these questions true. But is this helpful? No.
It also implies that the 'time' element is the problem and makes us focus on how we can change this, for example by creating more of it, which everyone knows is impossible. So we need to always try to shift the focus onto Task Management and shift our frame of focus. We need to ask 'How can I fit all my tasks - including the ones I need for myself and my own happiness - into the time that I have?'
So, what's the answer?
Here are my 4 P's for managing our time with ease!
Now we know that it's not how much time we have, it's what we do with it that counts, we can start to learn to prioritise our tasks to make sure we schedule everything we need to into our week.
We need to stop filling our time with the endless tasks which don't progress us towards the results we want and stop to consider the OUTCOMES, not just the TASKS.
As soon as we realise that our own happiness is a priority and start scheduling time for activities which work towards the OUTCOMES we want, and that fulfill the 4 core areas of our Life Balance - love/connection, significance/purpose, security/routine and variety/fun - we find that the other tasks still fit within our lives, but we are happier and more content in our daily routine.
By using a Diary, a Family Planner or some form of To-Do-List, we can start to actually plan in the good stuff. By considering the OUTCOMES instead of just the TASKS while we write our to-do-list, we can ensure the tasks we set ourselves actually move us towards our ultimate goals, instead of filling our day with endless chores that don't actually get us anywhere!
You may now be asking, but how do we get those boring chores done as well? If we can get more Productive on the boring stuff, and get more vision on the good stuff, we become more focussed, more motivated and ultimately better at task management so this not only becomes possible, but a lot easier!
By using some simple tools and techniques, we can increase our productivity in the areas where we want to get things done quickly, leaving us more time for our own happiness.
Using techniques such as the following can save a lot of time if done correctly.
- chunking - splitting our tasks into small chunks and really focusing on each one individually - with no distractions!
- little and often - having a plan to do 20 mins a day for certain chores or activities, instead of leaving things and then needing to find the time to do it all in one go
- 80/20 rule - If a task doesn't need to be perfect, making a commitment to do it to your 80% perfection level is normally good enough and gets things done much quicker
- Parkinsons Law - The theory that a task will only take the amount of time you set for it, so when you start your activity give yourself a time limit and make sure you finish it by the set time if at all possible
- SMART Goal Setting - Sometimes it's not about the to-do-list, it's about what you're putting on it! Making sure your goals are set using the right structure makes each one easier and makes you more productive overall, to see more about SMART goal setting, click here.
When we are on a mission of changing our routine - and mindset - to start to create time for us, it is important that we celebrate our success every step of the way and that we feel good about how far we've come.
Every time we do manage to create some time for us - instead of feeling the guilt which comes with taking time 'off' as a busy mum - we should celebrate the fact we have achieved something great - we have valued ourselves enough to put ourselves first and prioritise our own happiness! Even if it's just for 10 mins before the school run!
This then creates a positive feedback loop to our mind that our own welbeing is important and that what we are doing is actually helping us to bring much more happiness and positivity to everything else we do.
By giving ourselves this positive feedback we can start to see more opportunities, we get better and better at managing our time and - before long - our new norm becomes a much calmer, happier world. A world where we get the time to focus on us, create the future we want and value ourselves enough to realise our own wellbeing is important.
If you're serious about creating the time you need to create calm and fulfilment in your life, or follow your passion and make a real success of your future, why not joing me in The Mind Spa? The Virtual Spa Experience will give you the process, the motivation and the support to make real and lasting change happen for you and to start living that dream future you know you deserve. Find out more by clicking here