Does anyone know the secret to time management? I think I have figured it out. In a discovery process, looking for what's actually manageable and what is not, I realized that time itself is NOT manageable! That's right. In fact, time manages us and not the other way around. Time is indifferent to our needs or agendas. It passes as it would whether there is chaos, productivity or lack thereof. Time as it relates to our human activities is influenced by the moon and the sun and other known or unknown elements far beyond our reach and control. Here are three secrets & tips to more effective time management.
Secret #1. We are not powerful enough nor resourceful enough to manage time. It is no wonder that we keep feeling a sense of failure when we try to manage time. So, shift your view from "time management" to "life or work management.” Let’s examine more closely what it is that we are trying to manage when we seek to "Manage Time." I put this question to a group of 65 GSOA staff and volunteers who attended my Mindful Time Management Workshop. Their responses included: Our tasks, events, life, week, agendas, work, kids, juggling, headaches, etc. Several moaned about never having enough time in a day to do the things they had to do. So, then what does time have to do with it? Other than meeting some imposed deadlines, time is of no relevance to our moment to moment experiences in life. Also, it is important to consider that we constantly react to what we perceive to be real as opposed to what is actually happening.
Secret #2: By aligning ourselves with the reality of what is taking place from moment to moment, we can actually find more time than we need. This means that many events occur during the day that if we saw them for what they were and not through our interpretations of these events, we might realize we do not need to engage or respond to them all. Hence, saving ourselves a lot of wasted time. Additionally, how we choose to spend our time is the key to managing our lives properly, effectively and with full satisfaction. And then there are the things that happen that are, or feel as though they are, out of our control.
Secret #3: Recognizing our time wasters, time savers and obstacles and properly working with them can create as much space and time as is needed in order to be successful.
Three Tips to create more time and space:
A. Create More Time: That's a good one you might be thinking, but how do we do that? Here is how: Develop a list called: Time Waster
Here are three examples of a list of 20 Time Wasters
- Talking too much. Telling long stories to make a minute point - just because we want to prove we get it. Instead we could say, "I get it." or "I understand." and leave it at that.
- Obsessing over past events. This is a big one, and we don't realize how much time we waste by repeatedly thinking or talking about what has passed over and over.
- Disorganization, spending too much time looking for files on our computer, in our closet, in the kitchen, on our desk, etc.
How much time can you save by just adjusting these three things? For some people it could be hours. What else wastes your time?
B. Create More Time: What? Isn't this the same as part A? Yes, but it's different. Create another list called: Time Savers.
Here are three examples of a list of 20 Time Savers:
- Aim instead of Blame. How much time do you waste by looking for someone or something to blame when something is not going your way? Stop, get over it. Unless it is to make corrective actions, move to solution and intention rather than spending time defending yourself or persecuting others. Accept what's your part. It helps others accept their part instead of defending their case.
- Set clear boundaries with those who tend to interrupt you in the middle of projects. And that goes for your own distractive mind. Figure out how much uninterrupted time you need and communicate it firmly and with kindness. Again, that goes for your own distractive mind as well. Keep returning your attention to the task when you are distracted.
- Take mindful breaks. Breaks are definitely time-savers. Mindful breaks help replenish both mental and physical energy. Mindful breaks mean taking time to walk away from the task to feel your body, pay attention to your emotions and get in touch with all kinds of urges that drive you. Even a few moments of doing so will help you complete tasks without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about mindful breaks visit: http://mindfulvalley.org
How much time can you save by adjusting these three areas?
C. Know your obstacles: Obstacles are both internal and external phenomena that get in the way of reaching our goals and desired outcomes. Some of these obstacles are manageable and some are not. Create two lists that identify and distinguish the manageable from the unmanageable. Be realistic. Let go of what you cannot manage and tend to what you can.
Contact us for a Three 3 Hour workshop and learn How to Resolve Your Time Management Difficulties Through Mindfulness: firstname.lastname@example.org
For other mindfulness at work workshops visit: www.MindfulBusinessInstitute.com