Health coaches in particular have found themselves in a bit of a time crunch and I am not sure that we realize the true impact healthy living has made on our lives. Society has spent decades gaining technological and time saving advances. During this time, we got used to not spending our time growing our own food or going to the market daily for fresh foods and preparing 3+ meals a day. We stopped walking to get what we wanted, researching anything we wanted (beyond Google), cleaning our homes with elbow grease instead of super heavy-duty chemicals and even doing our shopping at the store instead of online.

Not only did we save time with conveniences, we filled our time with other things such as continued learning, community groups, businesses and working longer hours, mastering social media and creating new international relationships online. All these things take up our day. Now we are bringing back much of what technology took away, we are bringing them back into our lives. The forces at work here are much larger than simply managing our time, and that can create a lot of pressure to “do it right”. Sometimes running to the pantry, opening a can of food, microwaving it and eating a hot meal can sound very tempting…as long as we ignore the health repercussions.
We use these conveniences so we can get back and take care of pressing customer service issues, new product production or keeping up with a new project a member of our tribe has going. For most of us, these conveniences are not 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 cycle. .I have seen time management become a burden as much as a time saver. Something has got to give. This is not a full time job, it should take 15 minutes weekly and 5-10 minutes daily. When it comes to time management, renowned leadership and personal development expert Stephen Covey remains one of the most cited resources for simple systems that work.

 

Daily

  • Check your appointments for the day
  • Estimate how much time is left
  • Prioritize your list
  • Track your activities
  • Eliminate and delegate

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 those of most importance. 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.

What is more important? Spending time with your kids, putting in a 12 hour work day, eating well, or getting a work out in? What are you willing to give up? What can someone else do for you?  If you are lucky like I am, you can delegate to your partner (I haven’t always been in a position to do this). They can go to the grocery store, do the laundry and prepare certain meals, maybe they can even take the kids to and from activities.  Sometimes you may not be able to delegate what you want to, but maximizing on others skills and help should allow you to delegate some tasks. This is where your values and roles come in. Once your children grow up and move away, will you regret not taking them to school or yoga?  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? Maybe not.

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.

 

Weekly

  • Review your roles
  • Identify your “big rocks”

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.

Identify where your big “rocks” fit inside the time management quadrant. This model of time management forces us to step back from the business and be absolutely sure that managing the immediate and urgent priorities of our life and businesses, while also taking steps that are not urgent but are very important to building our future.

 

Taking a few minutes weekly and daily to manage your time allows you to get more done and opens you up to more productive pursuits.

How do you manage your time?  Share with us in the comments below.

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11 Comments

  1. Maria

    Hi Cathy
    Thank you for the reminder to take care of us and schedule the self care we so need. xx

    Reply
  2. Johanna

    This is such a great post to remind us of taking things one step at a time. To prioritize and take care of the most important things first and delegate the rest. Personally, I recognized this this spring when my husband and I were too busy to clean our house and it was stressing us both out – he felt certain things were my responsibility and I felt certain things were his responsibility. The solution? We delegated, we hired a cleaning person to take care of the house so that we could move on to other things that are of greater importance in our life.

    Reply
    • Cathy

      Perfect way to deal with it Johanna! Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  3. Amanda Diamond

    Oh my goodness Cathy I am so glad you identified this “health coach time crunch” because it’s totally true! It takes a lot of time to invest in your own wellness…then add in a dozen or so clients, a husband and kids (who’s health I also take responsibility for) and there really isn’t a lot of time left for anything else. Thanks for the time management tips 🙂

    Reply
  4. april

    this summer i overhauled the way i approach each day, each week, each month – focusing primarily on what is most important to me and using a personalized form of block scheduling.i call my new system POA (which stands for Plan Of Attack)! 🙂

    Reply
  5. Noemi @ Wealthy in Health

    This summer, my main task is to find the ‘perfect’ schedule. I’m always jiggle with time, I’m always behind with my blog, with my e-mails, I really need a better time management. I printed out my calendar (which is a big thing from me because I’m as digital as possible) and it helped me surprisingly big. And made me satisfied every day when I could tick my tasks 😀

    Reply
  6. Marian

    I have been working on this a lot with my business coach. I’ve been working myself into the dirt and he had a heart to heart with me about it. So I have stopped all new development outside of blog posts, focusing on networking, and workshops and the biggest one, making time for my kids and myself. Time to read, journal, play, and relax.

    Reply
  7. Cynthia

    Big Rocks – I remember when Joshua gave us that lesson in IIN school. I sometimes can’t believe how much I do and juggle in a day or week. I have so many different roles and positions. I have most of my life. But, making lists is my go-to for prioritizing. It happens when I get that feeling like I am going to forget something. Writing it down makes me immediately at ease.

    Reply
  8. Ashlie

    This is perfect timing! Time management has been a huge effort after a bunch of HUGE life changes. After trying and trying, I have gone back to basics. At night I check my schedule the next day, grab my planner and literally plan out my day minute by minute for work. I have learned to leave at least an hour open for the unexpected. Making sure I take care of my daily self-care ritual in the morning before even sitting down at my desk has made a big difference too. (Now I just need to leave my phone alone as well!)
    I have found that even working from home, I need to set a routine and do my best to stick to it. We are going back to cooking for the week ahead too. It would be nice to have an extra 10 hours in a day, but until that happens I’ll just keep tweaking how I manage time until it flows. Great post!

    Reply
  9. Naomi

    Such an important skill to have, to take a moment to analyze and prioritize what are the important daily/weekliy tasks. I also have digitalized my appointments and put 2 alerts to each call. I relied on digital calendars so much that once I input the time incorrectly. Need to find a new calendar system besides pen and paper. For health and fitness, I make sure I have enough kitchen time to enjoy cooking with fresh produce and to go play in the ocean at least 3x a week.

    Reply
  10. Patti and Peter Rugg

    Fabulous! We plan the evening before for the day ahead with some time alotted for the “little emergencies” that always seem to crop up. Big Rocks first was well taught and equally well remembered. Shared responsibilities and delegation lighten the burden and help create time for self renewal. Thank you so much for this well thought out, well presented extremely important and informative post.

    Reply

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