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Start Your Time Management Journey Right

 

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start your time management journey right with this primer

Start Off On The Right Foot!  

Start your time management journey off the right way to increase your odds of success, Wise Owl!  How to do that?  The best way to start your time management journey off on the right foot is by having the right 30,000-foot view to work off of! Any busy businesswoman such as yourself should be running your day like a pro, instead of having your day run you.  And that day’s probably running you ragged, no less. Amiright?

Before you even try to get involved with the nitty-gritty nuts and bolts of time management, what I’d like you to do first is to get the “big picture” in terms of what you want to do with the time that you’re attempting to manage more efficiently and why you want to do it.

Wait. Why pull back and get the panoramic view of your desired life instead of just drilling down and taking action ASAP?  Fail to plan, plan to fail, that’s why!

In fact, if you just wanna cut to the chase, here’s my video on this topic…so go ahead and click that play button!

Many of us are soooooo action-oriented that we completely sidestep the issue of first nailing the theory behind our actions. We just want results NOW.

I get that. Totally, I do.

But if you put the cart before the horse you’re liking just riding around on the Hot Mess Express from moment to moment, place to place and task to task with your hair on fire, in a cloud of confusion and exhaustion.

Really, there’s a better way to start this process.

So before we get down to the brass tacks of pulling together an effective global time management approach, I want you to have front and center in your mind the answer to the most important question in your life. It should drive every time management-related decision that you make.

It’s your WHY.

You know, your reason for living. The purpose behind your passion.

Or, on the flip side, the passion driving every purposeful action that you take.

Why are you here on this Earth? Do you even know? Can you even articulate your WHY?

More specifically, are you able to explain in one crystal clear sentence what the purpose of your life really is?

Once you’re rock solid as to what your WHY is, you can then move onto the next step of a real-life approach to time management…one that fits your real life, not some one-size-fits-all method.

Just like one-size-fits-all garments don’t tend to give their wearers the best fit, so it is with approaches to managing one’s time. I can’t sit there and dole out a cookie cutter approach to how people should cycle through their days because my WHY isn’t likely your WHY, my Wise Owl.

Guided Imagery For A Good Start to Time Management That’s Really Not Foo-Foo

Ever see a kid playing with a pail at the beach? She’s diligently filling it with an oversized plastic shovel with everything she can scoop…sand…pebbles…rocks…. There’s no rhyme or reason to what goes in there first, more than likely. All she knows is, she’s gonna scoop it all! She’s piling everything within reach into that bucket until the seams are ready to burst.

Sound familiar?

As a busy businesswoman, you’re likely juggling many of life’s proverbial flaming batons: house, spouse/significant other, kid(s), worship, pets, plants, commute, job, volunteer work…. You’re spinning like a top through each day, and although you lack an oversized plastic shovel like the girl at the beach, you’re still trying to stuff everything you can into the bucket of your life.  You’re gonna scoop it all!

There may or may not be very much rhyme or reason to what you do, if you really think about it…you’re just doing it, because you’re supposed to do it, because there’s no one else to do it, etc., etc.

And meanwhile, the bucket that represents your sanity is ready to burst at the seams, with all of your household chores, childcare, elder care and work-related obligations ready to pour on out and bury you alive.

So now that I’ve scared the crap out of you with such lurid imagery, let’s turn that imagery on its ear and make it work for you, shall we?

The bucket in this scenario represents a day in your life. When you roll out of bed in the morning, it’s a new day. A fresh chance. A clean slate.

An empty bucket.

You get the picture.

Now, you might be tempted to pick up that plastic shovel and start scooping. Not so fast, sister.

Keeping your WHY in mind, you should allow it to inform all of the decisions you’re about to make. Take a look at all of your obligations for that day, no matter what kind they are, and sort them out in terms of how they best impact your WHY. That will help determine their true importance. No BS-ing yourself anymore. Be honest. Be raw. Be real.

Now, employing your WHY as a filter, I want you to sort those obligations and activities out in terms of importance. Play with me here and just do this, because in just one hot minute you’ll see how this works out nicely in terms of an overall time management approach that’s tailor-made just for you.

Start Sorting Out Everything You’d Scoop Up 

So running with the beach/scoop/stuff imagery, here goes…I want you to capture all of the things that you’d be tempted to scoop up into a 24 hour cycle.

The most important things with respect to your WHY are your ROCKS.

The second-most important things in relation to your WHY are your PEBBLES.

Everything else falls into the category of SAND.

Write it all down and sort it all out on a piece of paper…or type all of this stuff up on the device of your choosing. You do you.

Now, once you’re done, this is how you should approach what you place into the bucket of your day first. In go the rocks.

Once you’ve plugged all of your “rocks” into your day’s schedule, you can rest assured that all of the most important things to you in terms of your WHY are accounted for. Whether you’ve completed your rock-related tasks by day’s end of not isn’t as important as the fact that you’ve moved things along the spectrum of “nothing was done today” to at least “I took even a baby step”…every single day.  The Compound Effect is real, my Wise Owls!

You have to make sure there are rocks in the bucket of your day, without missing a single day, from now on. Your WHY is the purpose for your life…shouldn’t you be certain that you’re working steadily on things that will have the biggest impact of your career and your personal life every day?

We shouldn’t be striving to be perfect, but we should strive every day to be whole.

When you’re working in harmony with your WHY, you are whole.

This mindset definitely fits the bill in terms of keeping your eyes on the prize that’s most important to you!

Next, in goes the “pebbles”…meaning, you’ll find a way to fit in these not-as-important-to-your-WHY activities into your schedule for the day, fitting them around the rocks.

Just like the girl who’s filling up her bucket at the beach, if at first you don’t think you can fit in the pebbles along with the rocks, just give your bucket a shake and by “shaking things up” enough you’ll likely see that those pebbles can slip around the far-bigger rocks and still make their way into your day.

Finally, there’s the “sand” which as you might guess by now is all of the teeny-tiny, itty-bitty BS stuff that can take over the trajectory of your life if you’re not careful.  The sand can slip in between both rocks and pebbles, both literally and figuratively.

“Sand” tends to constitute things like busywork or rote tasks that you might possibly be able to delegate to someone else.

Do you need to do all of these sand-level tasks? Can someone else do them for you?

Can’t your kids clean up their own rooms? Are they old enough to do their own laundry? Can you send the laundry to a wash and fold joint so that you free up more bandwidth for yourself?

Can you get your groceries delivered? Can someone else walk the dog?

Even though a spouse may not do a chore to your standards, could you just relax and let them do it instead of you doing it for the zillionth time?

Is there work that you can give to support staff at your workplace, even though you’re convinced that you could do it faster yourself?

Do you have to volunteer for X organization when it doesn’t specifically serve your WHY?

You get the idea.  No eye-rolling.  This advice is for your own good, girl!

Sequence Is Supreme For A Good Start

If you use the rock, pebbles, sand sequence, you really can’t go wrong. Remember the sequence and apply it at the beginning of every day, when your bucket is empty and your slate is clean.

If you do the sand-level stuff first, as much as you get an instant hit of satisfaction, kinda like a cheap thrill or contact high, you’ll never have time for the rocks that serve as the bedrock for your WHY…and you’ll fail to get around to what’s truly important for the grand master plan of your life.

You know, like having a forest-trees issue, you won’t see the 30,000-foot view of your life for the sand that you overfill the buckets of your days with.

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GET YOUR CHEAT SHEET

7 Proven Steps for Dealing with Difficult Coworkers!

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