Let’s talk about time.
All my life I’ve had an interesting relationship to it. And now, thanks to Covid-19, things just got even more interesting.
First, a little background:
I am a “multi-passionate” person which means I get a lot of ideas and want to do a lot of different things.
On top of that, I’m what they call a quick start and a fact-finder (check out the Kolbe index if you’re interested) which means I want to do all the things immediately while learning everything there is to know about them.
On the Strengths finder index I am an “Achiever” which means that it’s not enough to do all the things, I also want to be good at them.
Plus, I have issues with attention, (aka undiagnosed ADHD) which means I struggle to focus on all the things once a new idea inevitably pops into my mind.
I have three kids. Enough said.
Up until recently I’ve used a planner to manage my time. In fact, I’ve probably purchased every planner available to humankind hoping that one would someday be the magic bullet to cure me of my time management ills.
Using my planner, I create some goals at the beginning of the year or quarter or month, then based on the goal, I come up with some projects. Then based on the project, I assign my top three priorities for the day. Then I write a to do list that ranges from all the minutia to the big projects.
This is when things go bad.
Every day I cross a few things off my list but end up having to move the majority of things to the next page. Or that’s what I’m supposed to do. Most of the time I’m too lazy to write them over again so I keep going back to the original day where I first wrote the list, adding to it or crossing things off.
And each time I go back to that list, I am reminded of all the shit I haven’t done.
So, because I am an achievement lover, I end up working on the things that I can whip out quick and dirty so I can get that hit of accomplishment. (I also have an addictive personality.) Which means I don’t make progress on the bigger, long term projects.
Many days I completely ignore my top 3 things in favor of a handful of trivial tasks that give me that temporary hit of accomplishment.
With so much to do still swimming around in my brain, I rarely feel like I can relax because, in the back of my mind there’s always something important I’m “supposed” to be doing.
Which eats away at my “me” time (what me time?) and the quality of time I spend with my fam.
It’s a wonder I’ve been able to do all that I’ve been able to do over the years.
But something has changed people.
Something very, very cool.
I have a new time management strategy. And I am rocking it out.
I’m meditating, I’m riding my Peloton, I’m organizing mini-launches and a speaker series, I’m playing board games with my kids, I’m planting starts, I’m writing every damn day! I’m getting shit done I’ve procrastinated for months, even years.
I’m so excited about this new approach to time management, that I’m planning a “pay-what-you-can” class.
Because my guess is you have your own complicated relationship to time.
Some of you feel comforted by having projects to work on to keep your mind off the news cycle. And some of you look up at the clock and wonder how the hell it’s already two o’clock and all you did was check the fridge.
So mark your calendar for Friday, April the 17th at 10am PT / 1pm ET. Plan on 2 hours.
You can sign up HERE.
In the meantime, here are some tips for making the most of you time, Covid-19 or not.
“Big Rocks” First
Imagine you have a cup of sand and 3 big rocks and you have to fit them all into a drinking glass. Ever noticed how much easier it is to fill a glass with sand once you start by with the big rocks? It’s the same when you plan your time. If you don’t make your big projects a priority and schedule out some time, the trivial tasks will take over.
Speaking of big rocks, after you’ve scheduled some time for your high priority projects, you need to set some boundaries. That means letting your kids know not to bother you for a couple hours (maybe it’s a good time to let them watch TV or play video games), put a sign outside your door, turn your phone off, make a promise to yourself to wait on low hanging fruit like laundry… and stay off of social media for god’s sake.
Don’t Wait to Feel Motivated
Schedule time for little rocks, especially the shit you never want to do. Remember, you will never feel motivated to do certain things. For me it’s taxes or anything having to do with finances, sadly. So I never wait to feel motivation or desire. I just set aside an hour or two each week to pay attention to my budget or any financial responsibilities and set a timer. I sit in a chair and I allow myself to be bored as hell during that hour. At the end of that hour I get stuff done and that ultimately feels better than having it hanging over my shoulders indefinitely. And by indefinitely, I mean indefinitely. I once paid for pay roll software for a year without ever using it.
Set a Timer
Set a timer. For ADD types it really helps. I give myself an hour for some of the little rocks and two hours for the big ones and it helps me stay focused. If you find yourself getting distracted despite the timer, keep a log of the things that distract you. With this knowledge you’ll be in a better position to control for those distractions.
Shoot for a Specific Result
On top of setting a timer, it’s really important to end your time with some kind of specific result. So for my big rocks, there is always something I can complete, start to finish, within the two hour window like writing 500+ words or filming a video or writing and scheduling my newsletter for the week. I’m writing this right now during my two hour “big rocks” window. Be sure to be realistic and give yourself plenty of time!
In my upcoming workshop, I’ll be sharing my new time management system. HINT: You’ll never have to buy another expensive planner (if you don’t want to) or worry about an unfinished to do list again. Plus, you’ll finally feel like you can actually enjoy your free time.
So join me next week, Friday April 17th at 10 am PT / 1pm ET for this two hour “pay-what-you-can” workshop.
Click here to register.
P.S. What’s your relationship like to time? I’d love to know… Post a comment to the blog!