Time Management For People Who Suck At It
Time is money, yet some many suck at time management. Why does it happen? How can you apply Mindful Planning™ to fix it?
You know you suck at time management when your days pass, you’re constantly busy, but productivity isn’t your cup of tea.
The good thing is that you aren’t alone.
Some people even claim they’re good with planning and productivity, yet, they still suck at time management.
It happens because they struggle prioritizing their tasks.
They do A LOT, but, they have a feeling there’s still a lot left undone.
The amount of hours worked and the number of completed to-dos don’t match.
If knowing you aren’t the only one who sucks at time management makes you feel more human, unfortunately, it doesn’t make your life any easier.
Some of the things you can’t do because of lack of time are:
- Eating warm meals
- Getting enough night sleep
- Going out in the weekend
- Attending an event
- Preparing yourself for an interview
- Rehearsal an important speech
I’m pretty sure you know how important they all are. Unfortunately, wanting them really bad doesn’t free slots in your schedule.
You must start to make the right choices about how you spend your time.
The blog series
This post is part of a series.
Through these articles, I help those who fear they’re never going to get things done because they “suck at” one or more aspects of productivity.
They’re blog posts for those who are close to losing (or who have already lost) hope of improving their planning and productivity skills.
Each month, I’ll share with you basic steps on how you can turn the table and become more productive one day at a time.
My goal is to help you, little by little, remove all the chaos from your schedule and start focusing on what really matters to you.
Since there’s no magic pill and I don’t want to add even more stress to your life, we will advance slowly. Allowing you time to adapt your routine before moving forward.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
What does it mean to suck at time management?
How many times have you wished the day had 48 hours instead of 24?
I know I said it many many times!
What I didn’t realize back then was that even if I had 72 hours in a single day, I’d still mess it up.
The issue wasn’t the amount of minutes available to me. The way I organized them was the cause of my mess!
While I was getting a lot done, my health was paying the price.
Me-time?!? What is it?
Eating was more like grabbing whatever was in front of me.
Running to catch a train would leave me breathless for longer than I wanted.
But the worst of all was the stress!
I was frequently stressed because I was:
- Always busy but not accomplishing enough.
- Tired all the time without being able to rest.
- Feeling overwhelmed by the open items in my to-do list.
- Sabotaging my personal growth for not investing in it.
Do any of these points mean something to you?
If yes, I urge you to start doing something about your time management.
Below, you find how I implement Mindful Planning™ so that I don’t suck at time management anymore.
How to avoid sucking at time management?
If you really want to stop sucking at time management, you’ll have to become aware of what is happening to your time.
In fact, it’s the basics of time management: awareness!
You can get yourself the coolest apps, the neatest planner, or develop the most incredible method ever! But, time management works only if you truly understand the big picture.
The first step of Mindful Planning™ is “Measure”.
If you haven’t started assessing your activities yet, stop postponing it.
Grab my time-tracking sheet and begin to list all your activities right away.
Now take the Eisenhower Matrix (I made this template specially for you), and go to the next step of Mindful Planning™: Analyze.
Don’t let yourself get attached to anything.
If this step feels too difficult, imagine you’re doing it for someone else. It helps a lot!
You might love ironing, but if delegating it to someone else in the family or a professional will save you precious time, just do it.
If you have a website, are you sure that doing everything on your own is the best option for you and your business?
The same can be said to any other activity you list as not important and not urgent.
Even if you’re an entrepreneur don’t underestimate the value of your time.
Interesting enough, employees value their hourly income more than most business owners. Mainly those who have just started!
While you may have opted not to set a fixed salary for yourself yet, it doesn’t mean you work for free.
In fact, think of how much you charge for your services.
Focus your time on the things that only you can do.
If you’re a coach, it means working with your clients, for example.
If hiring a VA right away to take care of your social media isn’t an option, make sure it’s one of your top priorities!
But above all, work on your important and urgent tasks first.
Don’t fall back to your old habits.
Make sure you have a system in place that supports your time management efforts.
If you hired someone to help you out, give them all the information necessary to do the work the same way as you do it.
Looking back at the way you generally act upon your tasks is great to give you an idea of your priorities and efficiency.
It works like a thermometer of our as-is productivity level.
But you don’t live in the past, do you?
What you did is gone and the time wasted with busy work won’t come back, unfortunately.
Whether the evening before or first thing in the morning, before you start your (professional) activities, fill in the Eisenhower Matrix with the items in your to-do list.
So at least on paper, you have more enough time to accomplish everything you wrote down.
To stop sucking at time management, you have to plan your day in a way you’ll be closer to your goal.
Repeat this exercise daily until you don’t need the visual cue anymore.
- Bring awareness to your planning.
- Remove guess work.
- Improve productivity.
- Eliminate stress.
There’s much more in time management, but with these Mindful Planning™ tips you’ll be on the right path to success in no time!
The next installment of this blog series is going to be about resolutions.
Even though it’s not a word I like to use, I want you to stop sucking at them once and for all.
Originally published at Debbie Rodrigues.