I love my job. I do, I really, really do. I don't have a "normal" 9-5 job, I get to pick and choose my hours, my days, my weeks (all under the understanding that the more I work the more income I generate and the less I work the less income I get).
I still suffer from that monster called Procrastination.
(Just an aside here - there are some peeps who advocate for some Procrastination ... and essentially I have to agree with them, cause really, when you are daydreaming, or reading a book, or taking a walk, these are the times when your mind is ripe with creativity, so please keep this in mind when reading this blog post - SOME PROCRASTINATION IS GOOD!!!
Want to know more about why procrastination can be a good thing? Check out these groovy links:
Why Procrastination is Good for You.
6 Reasons to Procrastinate.
Even Marie Forleo has gotten in on the argument for some procrastination.)
Recently I was going through my emails and a question popped up in one of them, asking for opinions about good time management ... and I am sure, we can all agree that procrastination is the death nell for effective time management ... but, what if we factored in more breaks, more time for daydreaming, during our work hours, so much so that we actually get more work done with more efficiency?
A dream? A crazy crazy dream?
(Image from Claudia)
Time management is something I have always struggle with ... except for the most successful time of my life - my Paralympic Years.
I kid you not!!! My time management skills during my teens were beyond outstanding! My days, my weeks, my months and years were laid out in a time managed dream, with moments of focus, rest, and focus. Life was cool, calm, and collected, with me knowing exactly when and where I had to be at every point of the day, and it worked - my three Paralympic medals have to be a testament to that.
SO how did this happen? What made my time management so successful? AND how can this be implemented into work life, everyday life, your life?
Successful time management is as unique to you as your fingerprints. What works for someone else may not work for you, so you have to take it upon yourself to look at your habits, preferences, and body clock to see how you can perfectly fit your work and other things into your day.
So here are a few tips on how to successfully figure out the perfect time management plan for you.
1. For me, as a teenage swimmer, I had set activities that had to be fit into my day, including swimming training, school, and homework. Write down your set activities for your day, week, month. These are your starting points for structuring your unique plan.
2. Are you a morning person, a midday person, or a night owl? I am probably midway between a morning/midday person. As a swimmer this was slightly problematic as it was hard to be up at 5am!! But now, an 8am start is good for me, and then a fairly early night. So I start work at about 9.30 - 10am and try to clock off by 5pm (Unless I'm out speaking of course, and then my timings are up to my speaking schedule).
3. What is important to you outside of work? I like to make time for my friends, to go hiking, and do yoga. Sometimes, without proper attention to my time management these activities can get a little lost through work, so I have to keep on top of it, and even if I feel I am behind in email marketing, follow-ups, and blog post writing, I will still stop and do a yoga session, or meet up with a friend for coffee. Schedule time in for the activities that help to keep you sane.
4. When you have your hours set up for each day, break down the hours into segments, so that you have periods of intense focus and periods of relaxation and/or movement. As a swimmer my training sessions didn't just involve two hours of non-stop swimming. Each session ran to a plan, which involved gaps between each set, to allow for recovery, catching of breath, and a chance to guzzle some water. So think carefully about how you are structuring your hours of work.
5. With all of these things now being considered, plan out your weeks and days, placing activities at ideal times, but remembering that you have to allow flexibility in the plan. Remember to also have fun with your time - life really is to short, and it is nice to remember to slow down and let your day take you where it takes you sometimes, try not to get too hung up on keeping to a perfect time management schedule.
Resilience is something that I believe we are born with, but as we age and start to interact with the world we loose the ability the deal with pressures and stresses. So, we have to learn resilience again, and by looking at resilient people we can aspire to stand against the buffeting of life. So who are some resilient people to look up too and what are their qualities that make them resilient in the first place? Cause, well, I know you want to know, so you can work on becoming resilient also.
Instead of quoting the more well known resilient people of our times - Einstein, Gates, Disney, and the likes, here are a few lesser known people who showed a resilience of spirit -
1. Socrates - sentenced to death, he didn't give up on his "new" and "crazy" ideas, instead he kept right on teaching them to those that wanted to know. Aren't you glad he did?!?
2. Emily Dickinson (and basically every woman writer from pre-1900's) - failed to have any significant works published during her lifetime, but continued to write because she that was who she was and how she expressed herself in very oppressive times.
3. Vincent Van Gogh - Sold just one painting in his lifetime, but again, creativity cannot be stifled, and we are now reaping the benefits and pleasure of his paintings. Imagine if he had stopped because he wasn't selling?!?
4. Tim Ferris - the writer of "The 4 Hour Work Week" was rejected by 26 publisher's before he received that one chance he needed. He recognised that you don't give up at the first hurdle; and now he's changing lives.
5. Paul McCartney - yes ... you read right! Paul was rejected from the Liverpool Cathedral Choir because he, supposedly, couldn't sing ... their loss is all I can say. Without Paul there would have been no Beatles! So glad he persisted with singing!
So, what is it about these people (and many many others) that makes them succeed in some shape and form when the world seems set against them?
Resilient people are firstly aware, awareness of what is going on around them and within themselves enables them to be prepared for any obstacles or stresses that may arise. When you are open to the world in this way you can also see the bigger picture - that rejection, that loss, that failure, is just a moment in a great long life of possibility - so resilient people, in being aware, know they can't give up, ever!
Secondly, they understand that life is chaos and that the only thing we can control is our response to things, crisis arise, problems pop up, but resilient people calmly move through them and move forward. Failure is failure, it is inevitable, you are deluded if you think you are immune to it, but resilient people don't dwell on this, they embrace the chaos and chance of life and continue to plug forward, knowing that with hard work they will eventually see results.
Thirdly, they don't walk through life as an individual, they walk through life as part of a team, with mentors, coaches, and a support crew, resilient people can face anything the world throws at them. Seeking out those that can help you, that are equally resilient, will not show weakness on your part, in fact it shows absolute strength and an unshakeable belief in what you are trying to do - cause, well, if you didn't believe in what you were trying to achieve, you wouldn't care so much about success.
Lastly, resilient people are particular about their self care, they know when they have to look after themselves, and they will take the time to make sure they are physically and mentally well. Creating a mental or written list with options to go too for self care is an excellent idea from Karen Horneffer-Ginter. I have a few things that I do to re-energise and deal with life stresses, I do yoga (even a short session of 15 minutes can provide my mind and body with stress relief), a cup of tea, a walk outside, watch an episode of me favourite t.v. show, do some craft . . . it really is all dependent on the individual, but it provides you with the space to be resilient.
So ... are you ready to cultivate resilience in your life? Comment below with your thoughts and ideas.