By Jackie White
Today’s SoulShine SOULutions talks about reclaiming our time and ultimately our lives.
Needle a little extra time in your life? Then this blog will help you!
What is the one thing we all claim we need more of? Yup, it’s time. We all want more, we need more and yet, never before in history have we wasted more of it. Doh!
What’s going on?
We are running on the fast track and desperately trying to “get to the finish line” at the end of the day, only to get up and start it all over again the next day. We feel behind before we even have had a chance to get the day started!
ONE: We are not living intentionally - When you stop and think about how you really want to spend your time in life, you are being intentional. This might take some self-reflection to discover what you should be focusing on.
The Fix: Identify what you want in life and how you want to live your life. Write these things down and compare what you are currently doing to that list. Review the list daily to assess if you are doing the things you really want in life. If not, refocus on doing things that support your intentions.
TWO: We are not being mindful of choice of how to spend time - This is about really being present in the moments of your life. Are you on auto-pilot and are almost sleepwalking through each day? If so, you are not being mindful about the choices you are making about how you spend your time.
The Fix: Being mindful requires you to slow the craziness down and really focus on what you are doing. You may find that by really focusing on the things you are doing you can be more efficient by eliminating, delegating or refining your processes.
THREE: We are not prioritizing important things - Obviously, some things are more important than others in life. Not everything is equally deserving of your time. You should take inventory of where and with who you want to spend your time and make sure those important things in life are scheduled in before the other stuff.
The Fix: Take time to reflect on what is important in your life and then see how those things (and people) are fitting into your life. If you they are not being given the time you’d like, then you need to re-prioritize some tasks by working around your priorities first. Not trying to fit priorities in after the busy stuff.
FOUR: We are not saying no - You must review what is important for you to be a part of and the rest of the stuff cannot go on your plate. It’s ok to say no. Your time is precious and you shouldn’t be spending it on some random thing you were “roped into doing”.
The Fix: Just stop volunteering for everything! Seriously, you can’t and shouldn’t have to do it all. Choose what you will volunteer to do after you have worked on setting time aside for your most important priorities in life.
FIVE: We are not focusing on task completion - This means we are thinking muti-tasking is an efficient way to use our time. It is not. When you multi-task it can take you almost 20 minutes just to get re-focused on the original task you were working on. That’s a waste of time!
The Fix: This is a mindset that may be hard to break, but the best way to do this is to set a timer for your tasks and do what you can within that time bound segment. Do not check your phone or try to do something else, just focus on the one task. You will find you will be much more efficient than trying to multitask.
SIX: We are not scheduling tasks properly - When scheduling your time, be realistic about your time. Remember there is travel time when running errands. Don’t underestimate the time it will take you to complete a task. It’s better to overestimate than to underestimate your time.
The Fix: Schedule tasks with set time parameters. Be realistic about how long it will take you to complete the tasks. Include drive time if running errands.
SEVEN: We are attached to our bad habits - Taking time to write out a schedule may at first seem like a hassle and a time waster, but you will soon find that when everything is thought of ahead of time, it makes things much easier. Creating a new habit can take some effort, but we need to break those bad habits in order to get to a place of more time.
The Fix: If you want better time management results, then you have to do something different. As you begin to revamp your time management processes, implement one change at a time. Small changes over time will make a difference.
EIGHT: We thrive on being busy - News Flash! No one ever gets crowned Queen of Busy. There is no reward, trophy or status level earned by living a life of busy. This is one of those bad habits you just have to drop.
The Fix: You need to change your perception that busy is better. It is not good for you to be running to the finish line daily. Schedule in 20 minute time-outs for yourself where you can relax, read a book or take a walk, do something that helps you to slow down and enjoy your day.
NINE: We are not planning ahead - When we don’t plan ahead, we end up reacting. The constant bouncing from one thing to another during reaction wastes a lot of time and creates chaos. The chaos then drains your energy. It can be a vicious cycle!
The Fix: Brainstorm all the things that affect your schedule. Some things may happen every week, like picking a child up from school. Other tasks may only happen on occasion like a dental appointment. Get a planner with space where you can write tasks in at the time of day you will do them. Do this monthly and weekly so you are aware of your time. This way you won’t over-commit yourself and throw yourself into reaction mode.
TEN: We are wasting the time we do have - We all are experts of wasting time. With screens invading our space everywhere we go, we can easily get sucked into them...for hours every day!
The Fix: This is a big one. Set time blocks where you will not be on a screen. If that is difficult, then install an app that will restrict your screen time. Set up technology-free zones in your home or choose certain days or times of days that you will not be on a screen. Fill the time with non-screen activities you enjoy like exercise, crafting, journaling or reading.
Stephen Covey says to begin with the end in mind and that is what you should do when you are thinking of how you spend your time. The time you have is finite. It should be treated as your most precious commodity. Think about when you come to the end of your time, will you be happy with how you spent it? If not, then it’s time for a change. Implement some of the fixes above and begin to really live the life you have always wanted.
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.