I was having a hard time getting inspired to write a blog. That doesn’t often happen! I woke up this morning thinking about all the things I want to do…and the little bit of time there is in the day. Health coaches in particular have found themselves in a bit of a time crunch and I am not sure that we all realize the true impact of healthy living has made on our lives.
Society spent decades gaining technological and time saving advances. During this time, we got pretty used to not spending our time growing our own food, going to the market daily for fresh foods, preparing 3+ meals a day, walking to get what we wanted, researching anything we wanted (beyond google), cleaning our homes with elbow grease instead of super heavy-duty chemicals or even doing our shopping at the store instead of Amazon.com.
Not only did we save time with conveniences, we filled our time with other things. Women became full time workers, business owners and/or fund raisers, we fill our time with learning new things. We have mastered social media and created whole new international relationships online.
All these things take up our day….and now, we are bringing much of what technology took away….back into our lives.
This is much more of an issue than time management. Sometimes running to the pantry to open a can, throw it in the microwave and eat a hot meal sounds awfully tempting…as long as we don’t think about the health repercussions. Just so we can get back and take care of pressing customer service issues, new product production, keeping up with a new project a member of our “tribe” has going…..
For most of us this isn’t an option. We got to where we are today because of health issues brought on by the decades of technological advances. It is an evil circle.
I have seen time management become as much of a time burden for some people…as a time saver. But, something has to give someplace. This is not a full time job…it should take 15 minutes weekly and 5-10 minutes daily.
Stephen Covey is still a good person to fall back on.
- Review your roles. (Physical, Social, Mental, Spiritual) This is the “sharpen the saw” step. If you don’t take care of these on a daily/weekly basis, your life starts to show signs of strain. The roles and responsibilities are not always the same, but as long as you review them and take them into consideration, you should not find your life out of whack too often.
- Choose big rocks. Ask yourself this every day; “What is the most important thing I can do in this role this week that would have the greatest positive impact?”
- Schedule your week. Get the big things done, then fill in the rest.
- Check your appointments for the day. These are fixed commitments to yourself or others whom you have promised time to.
- Make a realistic list. This doesn’t mean your task list is completed from top to bottom. After you check your appointments for the day, you can estimate how much time you have left and fill the time in.
- Prioritize your list. This is one of the most relevant steps you take. This keeps non-important activities from overtaking the most important events.
By keeping track of your activities, prioritizing and reorganizing…you get to the next step…the things that you need to either eliminate or delegate.
If it is more important that you spend time with your kids, put in a 12 hour day of work, eat well and get a workout in. What are you willing to give up – OR – what can someone else do for you? If you are lucky like I am, you can delegate to your husband. (I haven’t always been in a position to do this). He can go to the grocery store, do the laundry and prepare certain meals. Maybe he can even take the kids to and from activities…maybe not.
Sometimes it isn’t what you want to delegate…but what you can delegate, because someone else is able or willing to do it for you.
That is where your values and roles come in. Will you regret the time not spent taking your children to school or yoga after they grow up and move away from home? These are the decisions that can be made and not regretted if you plan your time now. Will you regret the time spent cleaning your house after your kids grow up and move away from home? For me that was a no-brainer. I have always held the need for a clean home at the top of my list, but figured if I was going to spend time working – my spare time would be with my family and not cleaning the house. I have found a way to afford house cleaning since my children were small. In retrospect, there were things that might have been gained by spending time as a family cleaning. My daughter in law especially would have appreciated not having to train my son in that regard.
Now we are back to my dilemma. I am growing two extremely busy businesses. I have a family and home to maintain. I must exercise daily. I must prepare special foods daily. I was maintaining all of this in a pretty healthy balance with the help of a good business and family team. BUT…all I have to do is throw one want into the situation and the whole thing gets thrown off again… I want to grow my own food. I KNOW I don’t have any more time in my day or week. My options are to either incorporate it into another activity…throw another honey-do on the pile for my husband….or hire someone else to do it. I think I will put that decision off until next weekend.
When you think about it, this is a big incentive to learn to say “no” too. Kora’s school needed a volunteer coordinator badly this year…that is something I could jump on…it is also something that could have thrown everything out of wack…almost like a third business. I said no.
Sometimes time management is much more than creating time in the day for something…it is asking for help, saying no, negotiating trade-offs and incorporating new options.
What are you wrestling with right now? Share with us …along with how you have or will handle it. While you are at it…PLEASE share any “beyond time management tips” with us! Share this post with your friends on Facebook, Twitter….