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.