Taking time and making it work for you is not an illusion as long as you are willing to work outside the constraints of what other people think is time management.
My first mentor/coach taught me a very valuable lesson about time management when I was a brandy new coach and business owner. He said that I could never manage time, but I could manage activities. It was not easy to get my head around what he meant especially when I had 72 things on my “to do” list and was trying to time them out and get stuff done.
A great exercise for doing what is called a brain dump, is to write all of the items you need to get done, whether personal or work. Keep writing until all of them are out of your brain. My first list was 5 pages long. Although it overwhelmed me to see all that I thought needed to get done now, it also felt so good to get all of the outstanding to dos out of my brain.
Once the list was complete, I typed it up. Then I prioritized it based on what was most important to me, would help me be less stressed and would meet the values that were (and still are) important to me.
I also was able to determine what was a long term strategy or tactic and something that needed to be done in the next 24 hours.
The list, once prioritized, allowed me to see what was urgent, important, ho hum, and why the heck as I am worrying about that anyway.
The lesson from my coach was to pick 3 and only 3 top priorities to do each day, doing the most difficult one first.
As I tested the system, it worked. What I was able to see was how I let “bright shiny objects” distract me what I needed and wanted to get done.
- Client request for proposal for their team
- Finish marketing language for my VA to post on the website and social media
- Call and confirm acceptance to keynote
NOT SO MUCH:
- Listen to the latest Tony Robbins audio cause I heard it was great
- Text my best friend, again, about the road trip for next month
- Sign up for the webinar that will change my life in 4 easy steps
Do you only do 3 things in one day? Heavens no!! But if your list is long and you have been procrastinating for a while on getting things done, doing only 3 things a day will feel like you are going to be behind forever.
Let me guarantee that this is not the case. When you manage you and your activities, you will almost always get more than 3 things done in a day. And getting the most important 3 things done early in your day will boost your confidence, ignite your creativity and allow you to feel pretty effective and sassy.
The rest of the list, remember you get to CROSS STUFF OFF, will then need to be prioritized again. This is the training to manage your activities which will automatically manage your time.
Just be honest. Get 3 important prioritized things done in your day before:
- Getting in bed that night
- Starting the latest James Patterson novel
- Turning on the tube for some watching of something
- Long call to your bestie in Canada
- Internet research on that great new bike
- Facebook chatting and reading
A big lesson is being honest in how you spending your time. Once you find out that maybe it is not a time management issue, but an accountability challenge to do what you say you are going to do, then it all just gets so much easier.
I love working with people to help them with their activities challenge. And I have many of my own – pretty day, garden, seeds, dirt, flowers, nature wandering calls with a LOUD voice. If the top 3 activities I have committed to completing are not completed, I stay with it.
Cause it feels so damn good to get the stuff done!!!!
BTW, here is the link to the 15th Annual Holiday Stress Reducing Tips, Techniques and Strategies. It is free – do share with everyone you know. The tips are terrific, if I do say so myself.
Blessings and love,
P.S. Have your best, stress free holidays ever!