I recently received an email from someone, we didn’t talk since 2009. She ended the message with: “Does your day still have 48 hours?”
Beside putting a smile on my face, that made me think about a topic that hunts my mind for quite a while:
I don’t have time
Time Management vs Self Energy Management
(my favorite topic!)
Are you one of those people who say “I don’t have time”, or do you know someone else who does?! 🙂
When I get this answer, I usually say: “Well, you have the same amount of time as anyone else: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, etc.”
What I also hear behind “I don’t have time” is: “I don’t consider that being a priority for me.” Which I’m ok with, as long as you’re ok with it as well. In case you’re not, and you feel stressed, guilty, frustrated or upset, here are a 5 things to consider:
1. It’s not about how much time we have, it’s about time management. We tend to spend time with things that are important to us, or what we consider important. So if you need something to get done, or are eager to do something (but putting it aside for quite a while) … it’s time to reconsider your priorities before taking action(s).
2. Instead of “I’ll do this when … ” (fill in the blanks) please check how you can do it in smaller steps. So many times I notice people waiting for that vacation they can afford once a year, and spend the rest of the year planning for it, and being stressed by what’s going on in their life. But what’s the purpose of that vacation? To diminish that stress and do … whatever you like! So why not finding time every week, even every day to do something that you like, that can relax you?! Even 5 minutes a day count: they make 30 hours a year (like adding 4 1/2 days to your yearly vacation), plus ripping off the benefits of relaxing, and the joy of doing what you love! What do you need to let go to allow yourself at least 5 min. daily to do something that you really want? This way you don’t accumulate too much stress during the year, and you might even enjoy it more!
I remember asking a colleague once: “Why don’t you smile?” He was very serious all the time. “I’ll smile when I’ll achieve the success I want!”, he told me. “Well, you have small successes all the way, so you can find reasons to smile daily … if you want!” He received my answer with a smile: “You’re right!” 🙂
3. Did you hear the expression “It’s not what you do, but how you do it?” Two people doing the same action might get different results. Good attitude and passion instilled in that action could make a difference, don’t you agree?
Take Joe, for example, whose anger comes to the surface very often, and makes a big deal out of everything. Who wants to work with Joe, or enjoys his friendship?! Replace Joe with Jim, whose optimism helps him find creative ways to deal with problems. My point is not about replacing one person with another; it’s about anticipating the effect of your behavior and, if you don’t like the effect, change your behavior.
Joe‘s behavior could be caused by frustrations related to present or past situations, but the way he reacts will not help him get things done faster, will only cause him more frustration.
4. What I mean by Self Energy Management is paying attention to your own level of energy throughout the day.
If you don’t like your job, for example, you wake up in the morning feeding yourself with negative thoughts about your job … which will make you feel like you don’t have too much energy. And how much can you accomplish when you don’t have enough energy?! Not too much, right? Instead, find something what you love about what you’ll need to do: maybe there is a specific aspect of your job that you really enjoy! Focus on it, and you’ll notice how the satisfaction of getting that done feeds your energy … and the rest of the tasks won’t feel so annoying! Or even better: work on point 2 in parallel (small steps taken daily or weekly), and you’ll notice soon how your energy from those activities will overflow into the other tasks making them easier to take and less stressful!
Self Energy Management requires also … self management: paying attention to how you feel during the day. If you notice yourself too stressed, or tired, or irritated … take a small break, you’ll be more productive after!
5. If you pay attention, you’ll notice that you’re more productive in some parts of your day. For me is usually from 9 to 11 am, and 2 to 5 pm. I’m more inspired to write something late in the evening, and I can go for hours if I like the topic. Some people like learning, for example, during the night hours. Scheduling tasks according to your own biorhythm will help you accomplish more.
Well, I don’t expect you to take my word for granted. Please give it a try, and leave a comment below about what you’ve noticed, or if you have more tips about this topic! 🙂
PS: The comment about my 48 hours day came from the fact that I was having a full-time job, a part-time business, taking courses and spending most of my Sundays outdoors (hiking, biking, skiing, etc.). My secret at that time was: I chose that full-time job in 2007 to get more experience for my newly acquired coaching skills (even only 25% of the job was coaching), my part-time business was on coaching (which I love!), the courses were deepening my coaching knowledge, and my love for nature and photography was fed by being outdoors (taking breaks and relaxing every week-end!). That’s how I applied the points 1-5 mentioned above. Your turn now! 🙂