Finding Time For What Matters Most
10 Ways for Finding Time for What Matters Most
I have a confession to make. Last year I began to realize that the systems and routines I had created to grow my business had become overwhelming–so much so that I started to describe my social media as a ravenous monster that couldn't ever be fed enough. I had to begin finding time for what truly mattered by making some changes.
Ultimately I realized that while I was enjoying everything I was doing and while I know I was providing value in the process, I had to step back and take a really hard look at what mattered most and eliminate the rest.
If you don't stop to take stock of what you are doing in your life from time to time, life can begin to run you, instead of you running your life in a way that works well for you.
Months later, I'm so glad I made some changes. I thought I'd share a few of the changes I made to make it easy for you to reflect on how you too can create more time for what matters most in your life.
1. Take a good hard "CEO of your life" look at what you can stop doing. Often we get so used to doing things, we keep doing them even when they don't bring value anymore.
2. Set realistic goals. I've been working on my over optimistic tendencies, and it is paying off more than I would have anticipated. I used to try to cram way too much into each day, and when I couldn't get it all done, it always cut into time for wellness or quality time with loved ones.
Instead of just thinking about what I'd like to accomplish in a day, I now assess how much time each thing I want to do is going to realistically take. This has helped tremendously and has allowed me to live a much more balanced life with significantly less stress.
3. More fully and consistently using my project management system has really helped to keep me focused on those top priorities I decide upon and helped me schedule the rest. I use Active Collab for both business and personal tasks. It costs just under $10/month, but there are free versions of digital project management systems out there such as Asana (which I also use - specifically for social media organization) that work quite well too.
4. Practice curbing the people pleasing side of you, by delaying an answer. Instead of making a decision right away, give yourself time to think it over. This gives you a chance to contemplate if this is something you really want to do, if you have time to do it well and how to politely decline if the answer is no.
5. Simplify EVERYTHING. This theme is showing up in my JMB Living Journal in several places–just inside the cover as part of my core values, on the line for My Intentions on my February calendar and often as a part of my weekly affirmations. Find ways to simplify your habits and routines, your meals, your wardrobe, your possessions and anything and everything you can think of.
6. Do a Time Audit. While this is a time consuming process, you likely will be amazed at the insights it brings and it can truly help you see where and how you need to do things differently or what you need to spend less time doing. To do this, simply jot down or use a spreadsheet to track how much time you spend on everything you do in a day. Try to track this for at least a week to get some good insights.
7. Batch tasks. It can be difficult to do this if you are accomplishing what is needed each and every day and don't have time to get ahead. This requires making the tough decision to forego doing one or more things so that you can get ahead enough to do similar tasks all in the same time frame for the week ahead. It truly does save time.
8. Set clear boundaries for your time. Make sure others are aware of them by telling them and gently reminding them when needed. And set boundaries for yourself as well.
9. Delegate more. Yes it is true that someone else may not do what you need exactly how you would do it and even to the quality that you would do it, but really push yourself to ask the question, "Is it good enough?" The other thing you will find is that if you let others do some of the tasks that you were reticent to let go of, you will find that with a little coaching they will do better. You may even be surprised to find that they end up actually doing it better than you.
10. Schedule time for daily reflection. Hands down, the best way to figure out how to do things more quickly, more efficiently and just better all around is to reflect on your time. Reflect daily, weekly, monthly and annually at a minimum.
I hope you find one or more of these helpful in finding time in your life for what matters most to you. I would recommend not trying to incorporate all of them into your way of managing your time at once. Rather, pick one to three of the suggestions and get good at doing them first. You will be much more likely to remember to incorporate the idea into your way of living if you do this. Best wishes and enjoy the extra time you create for yourself!