This year is coming to an end then the first day of 2016 comes whether you are ready or not. What will 2016 bring for you? Abundance? Prosperity? Joy? Health? All and more?
As a society that relies heavily on time as a source of motivation, we can either own it or have it own us which brings about stress. We all abide by the same amount of time, 24 hours in a day, however, as busy individuals we easily forget that especially if we feel saturated by our tasks and numerous life demands. By identifying how we use time to influence our lives and our response to it can positively or negatively impact how we use it, especially releasing us from the common, “There’s not enough hours in the day.” I am just as guilty of saying, “I don’t have enough time for this” or “Where has all the time gone?” I was recently given a book called The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks which challenged my concept of time and how I allow it to impact me.
My focus for 2016 is to create more structure in my personal and professional life that fits my needs and wants. I will also focus on abundance, which is my word for 2016, on all levels. Therefore, time and my perception of it plays a large impact on being successful. Below I have included some tips from Mr. Hendricks and other resources which I personally use to balance my time.
Hendricks writes about the power of no when an action or activity does not enhance the work we are currently doing (P151). I usually say yes to most of what is asked of me because I genuinely want help and to give a good impression of myself to others. Yet, I say yes without truly thinking how the task will impact me. Hendricks identifies that the “Enlightened No” is to say No to tasks that do not support the work I do and my time from. For example, I am currently living with my father who is very dependent because my mother enabled him. Now she’s passed on and he looks to me to solve many of his issues, like his Iphone or sending emails on his behalf. All of his requests take time away from my work, at least it did until I established boundaries. I constantly stated “I don’t have enough time for all this” which promoted needless stress in my body. Truth is I do have the time, however, I was using my valuable time for tasks or assignments that are not helping me achieve my goals, which then caused me not to work in my enlightened state of productivity.
Tips for Saying no:
- Give time to think or give a time frame when could help. I sometimes told him“let me get back to you” or “I can help in one hour” which placed much needed boundaries and saved me from feeling stressed.
- Practice saying no. I struggle with saying no. However, I have been practicing saying it to myself in the mirror while placing my hands on my hips (power stance, think Superman/woman) and confidently saying no.
- I begin my day with writing what I need to get accomplished and what I want to accomplish. I tackle the most challenging tasks first, take a break, and then complete the others.
This concept was and continues to be challenging for me more than saying no, because it’s about taking personal responsibility or “ownership” for time. Hendricks explained that instead of complaining about not having time, it’s best to look at why you do not have time. He wrote, “you’re the source of time” (P 179). Can you relate to “Sorry, I can’t stop now, I’m in a hurry” or “I don’t have time for that now” or “Where has all the time gone”? These statements are of time owning you, instead of you owning time. Hendricks goes on to say that by taking ownership you are also looking at why you are saying you don’t have time.
Once I read this chapter (numerous times in fact) I began to notice how often I used those statements and asked myself, “why don’t I have enough time?” This question then began to help me take more ownership of my time by being aware of what I am doing with my time. Now, before I become a victim of time I take into account what am I doing and how can I best use this valuable resource so I can find my balance professionally and personally without exhausting myself and loved ones. A recent example, as I was writing this article originally for Surround Health I felt overwhelmed by other responsibilities and admitted I needed an extension which I was quickly granted. I owned time by identifying what I could do easily in the allotted time I had and what I could push forward for another time.
My Tips for Owning Time (Additional Resources found below)
- I block out times on my calendar which then reminds me when the next activity is scheduled.
- I say “I am on perfect time” then take a deep breath and release control. This allows my body to release internal stress and approach my destination patiently and calmly. I stop looking at my clock and just take a deep breath instead.
- For the past 2 years I have been using my google calendar on my computer and phone which replaced my paper calendar for easier use.
- I schedule in me time.
Our time is just as valuable as the money in the bank, our material assets, and the work we do. Instead of being a victim to time, use at least one of the tips above and find your favorite resource below that can help you organize your time.
What time complaints do you often say and how can you now take ownership of time?
What resources do you find helpful in structuring your time?
What tips mentioned above best resonate with you?
- Power stance by Amy Cuddy. Own your No!
- Daily and weekly calendar link: Created by My Personal Business Coach it is free for anyone, simply add your email in order to obtain it. I personally have begun to use the daily planner and find it easy to focus.
- StickK is an online social support site to assist you in identifying your goals and being held accountable to them. You have the option of setting a financial goal to accompany them and identifying people to help you.
- Organize your items on all your devices with Evernote. I also use this app on all my devices so I can review or add to my notes. You can take pictures, record voice memos, and write down your ideas.
- For a list of the widely used timers and to choose the best one that works for you, visit this site.
- The Big Leap, Hendricks, Gary (2009). Conquer your fear by overcoming the one barrier to happiness and fulfillment. Increase your personal growth by taking personal responsibility for your actions and attitude.
I would love to hear from you. Schedule a complementary life balance session to identify practical time saving techniques that are specific to your needs or reply to this blog for more information.