“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend” – Theophrastus
Our lives have become so busy that time management really has become our most precious skill. I read a story of a dying man recently and it struck me that whilst we’re living our day to day lives, we often forget that every day matters, and getting the most out of each day boils down to how we choose to use those 24 hours. His words gave us strong advice to seize the day, do what counts and say what needs to be said whilst we have time to do so.
So how do we become better at time management? A good starting point is to carry out an initial assessment of satisfaction levels in key areas of our life. We can use a life wheel to do so. Ask yourself on a scale of 1-10 how satisfied you are in the following areas that matter to you the most, you can add to this list if there are other key areas:
- Work/ Career
- Fun/ Recreation
- Personal Growth
Sometimes we may not have noticed the correlation between our situations changing and areas of our life being impacted. Some examples may include:
- Redundancy of your job or your partners
- A niggling health issue
- Busier at work and therefore less time devoted to hobbies and interests
- Moving to a new area and knowing less people in your network
- Being in a job a while and personal growth decreasing due to lack of new opportunities
Once we have worked on a clear picture of your life and satisfaction levels this is where time management becomes a key skill to develop, as we start to make changes to take back control of our time.
Strategies to protect and respect your time
It’s often a culmination of things that leads to losing time. The first step is to notice the habits and patterns you have currently that are either serving you or not. If they are not then it is time to start eliminating them.
- Develop a set of boundaries that you live your life by. Examples may include committing to
- Going to bed at a certain time
- Not taking on other people’s dramas
- Leaving work at a sensible time
- Carving out time in the working week for downtime
- Committing to a hobby/ sport/ exercise every week
- Delegate more
- Eliminate or delegate chores at home
- Set up a diary and to do list system that works for you, and then stick to using it
- Ask others for help – receive from others as well as giving to others
- Say no more often
- Only accept social invites that you really want to go to – ask yourself, are you going because you feel you should?
- Structure your working week in a way that carves out time to do the things that matter
- Be prepared for others to step in to your life and take away the time with their agendas – and be ready to protect your time
As a next step I encourage you to look back on the last month and notice what time looked like for you.
- When were the moments of contentment and joy?
- When were you feeling really good about life?
- What was happening during those moments?
Those that have limited time in the world know that living with the motto “carpe diem” – seize the day really has to be embraced immediately. Those of us that have longer to live can learn to do this as well.
How do you manage your time? I’d love to hear your approaches.
We work with lots of different leaders looking to be at their best and one of the ways is through protecting their time. Click here to discover more information about our executive coaching programmes:
If you would like some support in reviewing the time in your life, make the most of it through effective strategies or have any questions for me, please get in touch for a no obligation initial consultation.