“I just don’t have time!” How many times have you caught yourself saying this? If you’re anything like me, more than you care to admit.
My 8-year-old gauges his time in what I call “Minecraft minutes”. He earns screen time (for tv or, his preferred screen time of choice, Minecraft) with movement…for each minute of movement, he earns a minute of screen time. So if we go for a 30-minute jog, he can play Minecraft for 30 minutes (max. of 2 hours per day on weekends & 1 hour during the week). If I’m feeling generous, I’ll also let him play for a few minutes throughout the day between appointments, after homework, etc. So most of our conversations go something like this:
“Mom, do I have time to play some Minecraft while you make dinner?”
“Hey Mom, when we get home from football, I’d like to play Minecraft…how much time did I earn?”
“Does walking to school count as movement?” (We live 2 blocks from school, so no…no it does not…but ya gotta give the kid credit for asking)
Our time is precious…we say that “it flies” (sometimes ever-so-gently, like a butterfly on the wind…but mostly it feels like a pterodactyl screaming at you at 200 mph).
A common concern I hear from not only clients, but friends and family members, is that there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish the tasks that need to be done.
We’re in a hurry, running from one meeting to another, rushing to send just one more e-mail before the work day ends, multi-tasking while helping kids with homework at night…it seems like we are constantly trying to catch our tails…and often working more than we’d like in order to do so. When do we get to just stop and take a break, already?!
There are two concepts in Feel Your Best that are emphasized in every Teacher Training program taught: moderation and modifications (we call them “the 2 M’s” of FYB). As I thought about the issue of time management and stress, I wondered if these concepts could be applied in this way as well.
The answer is absolutely!
I believe that the key to optimum productivity is moderation. To be more efficient and effective at what you do requires balance…balancing your time and energy in order to make the most of it.
When you have a big presentation to prepare for, as an example, l recommend breaking your day up into bite-sized pieces that you can manage easily without becoming overwhelmed. Incorporate time for “brain breaks” and physical movement…even five minutes of stepping away from your desk to walk around a bit can be helpful.
Heck, you don’t even have to leave your desk! There are online resources for short “yoga breaks” you can do in a chair (from yoga for the eyes to relaxing the shoulders, common sources of tension and stress).
In terms of yoga, we talk about modifying poses to make them more accessible. The same can apply to your time. If you know that your creativity is at its peak between 2:00 and 4:00pm (there’s actually scientific theory behind that…but it may differ for you), then schedule that time to work on your current creative project or blog post.
Consider modifying how you keep your to-do list and schedule as well. Rather than simply attacking a project in its entirety, break your day into 30-minute segments. It’s really easy to check e-mails and suddenly realize that an hour has blown by because you got sucked into reading articles or checking in on social media. Instead, divide your tasks up, and stick to your 30-minute schedule.
You’ll be far more productive by knowing that, at the end of every 30-minute time period, you have accountability…did you achieve what you set out to do, or waste that time?
Be sure to schedule down-time into your days, and self-care time as well. Plan to go to the gym during the time when you tend to get sluggish, if your schedule allows. Put “game time with the family” on your schedule, and treat it just as you would an important client meeting (after all, you don’t LIVE with your clients…shouldn’t your family be an even higher priority?).
Time management takes practice and discipline. There are entire books on the subject, and what works for one person may not work for another. By applying “the 2 M’s”, to use moderation regularly and modify accordingly, I think you’ll find that you accomplish more and have more free time to do the things you WANT to do rather than being resentful of the things you HAVE to do.
Let me know how this works for you!
P.S. I have lots more tips to help you manage your time, and keep your stress in check. Have you gotten your complementary breakthrough session yet? CLICK HERE to chat with me!
This post is part of the FYB “31 Days to Quiet the Voices in Your Head” series.
Read more about it HERE.