Several of you mentioned struggling with time management. So let’s talk about it!
To me when it comes to time management, there are so many layers, so many angles, so many different stories… we each have our unique life that no one on this planet has. So I’ll share how I tackle this issue and maybe you’ll find something here for yourself. However it doesn’t mean that if you do things differently, it’s wrong.What works for me is to BE KIND TO MYSELF.
The worst thing I see I can do for my emotional and mental balance is to feel guilty. Guilty for not doing enough, for not reaching my goals fast enough, for not being like ____ (pick a person you envy), for procrastinating, for not having enough “me time”, for not being with family enough, for not working hard enough… I could continue forever, right? We women are experts at feeling guilty.
The way I minimize feeling guilty is:
Several times a year I map out my priorities. Always around the new year and my birthday (in Sept.) and then whenever I feel like I need it. It gives me a sense of security when I have short-term and long-term goals. Because I am self-employed and mainly work from home, this is important – I am my own boss in every aspect of my life and that can get messy.
I don’t have any big life visions or a life goal specified though, I plan for 2 years max (long-term) and prefer the 6-month period (short-term) as I can imagine it better. I can see we women live more in the present and that’s what creates our happiness and balance. We “dance” around, enjoying the moment and the connections and relationships we create. We don’t shoot with a bow and arrow into the distant future. And as we could recently see with the world turning upside down and everything changing all the time, it’s not even a good idea!
Mapping out the important areas of my life and planning what to do next helps me to frame things, which is important for my Virgo self. Also, as I fully depend on myself (I am not married) and have a daughter to feed, clothe and educate, it is simply crucial to survive.
In my map/goals/frame I always mention – my growth, my family and friends, my work, my physical and mental balance and my home. I make sure I look at those goals often, especially on the days I feel down.
And the most important: I make a plan how to reach each goal. That’s the fun part. I feel I don’t always need to know everything at once, that’s why mind mapping is such a great tool, because I can leave a topic and come back to it and add more ideas to the map later. Unlike linear lists, it sparks creativity, as it always leaves space for more ideas.
I usually create 6-month, 3-month and 1-month plans. For those I sometimes use linear planning where I simply jot down what needs to be done. And then I hang up the monthly plans on my fridge. Each week I plan out a part of the monthly plan – those are my week tasks.
And finally – I try to EAT THE FROG every day/week. Which means I do the biggest or the worst task for that day/week first. Something that would be at the back of my mind all day/week if I didn’t and it would be stealing my energy and making me feel guilty, anxious and not relaxed. Have that difficult email to send, a newsletter to put together, a video to make, a social media post to write, a lesson plan to create? Do it the first thing in the morning! It will make a huge difference.
And finally I share mygoals and plans with someone – a friend, my daughter, coach, mentor, my followers, my clients, my colleagues. It works wonders.
These are just a few ideas that my slow summer brain managed to put together today. I am sure there is much more to it!