Time management. In 5 steps
I’m talking here about Time. With capital T, since it’s the thing we mostly miss in life.
Especially if you’re self-employed, or you’re under pressure in your organization and/or familiar situation, Time is more than an essential idea in our life. Although is a convention, it’s felt like no other things.
So it’s worth to find a simple way to manage it, the most we can. it doesn’t mean being hyper-organized and hyper-anxious about organizing yours and other people’s life, but rather being aware how we spend our time.
I’m drawing some considerations from Mark McGuiness, a coach who’s running the insightful blog whishful thinking; boiling down and presenting them according to my experience. I hope that Mark won’t mind 😉
Ok, off we go:
1. Prioritise important things, but not urgent.
The trick is not allowing anything important become urgent. Do it with a schedule, prepare a timetable for what is going to come, try to spread important things over a week, or a month.
2. Ring-fence a bit of time, every day, for important goals and dreams in your life.
30 minutes in daytime (during your break, your lunch, or within your working hours); and 30 minutes in the evening (when you come home, after dinner, or before going to bed). Do not demand lots from this short sessions; adopt an easy attitude, like “I’m not going to work on that letter/application/project; I’ll just open the file and have a look at it…”
3. Reply only to yesterday’s e-mails.
Set an ‘_action’ folder in your inbox; put them all the email you receive during today’s work, and don’t reply to any of them. Deal only with one day (yesterday) bunch of e-mails, and it becomes manageable, because it’s limited, and you know in advance it’s limited.
4. Sort everything you have to do (job, family, interests, passions, volunteer work) in 5 folders/buckets/trays.
– the ‘_action’ folder of your e-mail inbox
– family and house
– job commitments
– passions and interests
– friends and volunteer commitments
This ‘buckets’ allow yourself to get off your head the seemingly infinite number of things you have to do. You’ll get through them day-by-day, finishing them and changing them over time, and keeping them in the right place at the right moment: you’ll never feel again that overwhelming sensation of not being able to keep the pace. Review the ‘trays’ every week, like 30 minutes on Saturday morning.
5. (and last) There so inspiration to wait for: only a lot of perspiration to do.
That means, you don’t wait for the right chance to do something; you create the conditions for that something to happen. You do what you ought to do (to yourself and to others); then let happen what might happen.