As we make new choices around what we do with our time or how to handle a task, it pays to become aware of our thinking patterns… “do you feel you “should be” doing more? That you’re being lazy? That you’re wasting time and money doing small tasks and taking small steps?”
Sometimes we need to make an adjustment in how we think about what we decide to accomplish each day or week. It is easy to discount the impact small actions, taken on a regular basis, can have on our lives. So start to appreciate the potential of small changes…
- It is the very act of making a decision and the commitment to one small thing that builds muscle and confidence to tackle bigger changes.
- It is the commitment to regular small actions which leads to changes that are sustainable.
- It is easier to create new routines and habits with a series of small changes than it is to try and instigate one big change.
- As we focus on one small thing at a time, until we can do it really well, our motivation to move on to the next step will increase.
So what small actions can you start to implement into your daily or weekly routines? An exercise class once a week? A daily green smoothie? A clear boundary? A current initiative? Make the decision to commit and see how good it can make you feel.
And as always if you need some support with identifying small changes to create the momentum for change call/text Heather on 0212 406 535 or email email@example.com
This blog post for a previous event I held in November 2011, when I was running my Inspirations Cafes, has just been resent out of the blue to my subscribers. So even though it has been and gone the theme is very relevant to my new program, called 7 Steps to Transform your Life, that starts on Monday 20th May 2013
I am still really curious about different ways of approaching how we live our lives on a day to day basis. There are many different ways which can be adapted depending on what you truly want to achieve from your life. The approach we choose will also change depending on what stage of life we find ourselves in – whether we are single, in a relationship, have a young family, a grown up and independent family, or whether we are retired. There are many variables and many options.
And the bottom line still is that our life is a reflection of what we choose to do with each new day we are given, and the choices we make around what we do with our time.
So to all those amazing people out there who are ready to transform their lives by marching to their own internal drum beat come and join me for some extra support and inspiration on the next 7 Steps to Transform your Life course…
Call me on 0212 4063 535 or email me – firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your place now.
This was the theme for the community call last week. I was curious as to what made some days really great, when we feel energized and excited about our lives, while others can feel totally overwhelming and non productive. So the question to be answered was “what makes the difference?”
So these are the key points that came from the call…
- Start your day with some activities that are nourishing to your body, mind and soul. E.g. waking up slowly, reading something inspirational, meditating, taking your time to prepare and eat a healthy breakfast.
- Finish your day with time for reflection – acknowledge all that you have achieved that felt great and gave you a high level of satisfaction. If things didn’t go so well, take some time to identify why, and what you could do differently the next time. Keep a gratitude journal to list 10 things that you appreciated looking for something different each day.
- Find a way of working with lists that suit you and allows you to feel good about yourself. Getting all your tasks out of your head and onto paper is a great way to achieve clarity, however from there it is important to then choose what is necessary, and to fit everything else into your day around those tasks. It is also a good idea to throw all your lists out sometimes and to start again, especially if your list keeping starts to feel overwhelming.
- Become more conscious of the time you devote to relationships. Choose to spend your time with people that energize and inspire you, minimizing time with people that don’t. Practice setting strong boundaries to protect your time and energy with these people.
- Get real about how long tasks really take. We often believe things will take less time than they really do – monitor these tasks closely so you allow the appropriate amount of time – remember to include travel time for meetings away from home or the office as well.
- Make sure you have time in your day to allow yourself to just be – space with no agenda, no plans and no goals. Allow the space to follow your intuition and connect with new people along the way. This is when the magic can really happen and life can become a real pleasure and joy.
I hope you find these tips useful. Feel free to leave a comment or some more suggestions below. The next community call is scheduled for Friday 2nd December 2011 at 9.30 am NZ time. I look forward to connecting with you then,
I was reminded of this great post by a client recently. I had shared it with her last year as a tool for limiting the “to do” list that we seem to keep adding to each day. I have been a great fan of Mark Forster’s work for a long time now and have adapted his techniques, in the same way that Mark McGuiness has, as I continue to learn how to manage my time in a way that fits best with who I am and how I like to work.
I’d like to encourage to to have a look at this material and reflect on how these ideas can be used, or adapted, to suit the challenges that you may be experiencing with time. It’s all about finding the system or methodogy that works for you.
We all try to fit as much as we can into our days. However in the process it is very easy to set unrealistic expectations and to end up beating ourselves up for not achieving as much as we think we should have. Here are some tips to help you manage your time more effectively…
- Get real – print a blank weekly calender from Outlook and mark on it all your regular time commitments that can’t be moved. Mark in the personal, family or any other time that is non negotiable, and then look at what is left. This is your discretionary time to use as you wish.
- Decide what you want to use this time for – it could be building your business or marketing if you are self employed, it could be writing time, it could be DIY time on your home.
- Then monitor how you actually use these blocks of time over the next week or two. Check out what takes you off task and make a decision on how you need to handle these distractions. Are they necessary, can they be delegated or can they be handled at a more appropriate time?
When we see it written down or pictured in this way we get a better understanding of what is happening in our days and weeks. We can finally stop kidding ourselves about how much we can really fit into the time we actually have available! And as always with awareness comes the opportunity for choice and change.
Many time management systems recommend that we keep our list of tasks for the day short, that we focus on only 3 – 4 key tasks each day. To help me prioritise I ask myself
What are the key tasks that absolutely need to be completed today?
I also like to take this one step further at the start of each day by asking myself
What is the one task that I would really like to complete today?
Once I have completed that task I can then re ask the question and move on to the next task that is most important.
I can also put time frames round this question as well. If I know I only have 1 hour available I can ask
What is the one most important task that I would like to work on for the next hour?”
These powerful questions can really focus your attention, helping you to be more productive and efficient with your use of time – give them a go and let me know how you get on.
I was reminded this morning as I was getting dressed how important it is to take the time to find what fits best for me in any situation. I have a very clear intention of allowing myself to feel really good in the clothes that I wear and this was the benchmark I was using as I decided what to wear today. I had the time and space to play this morning as I tried on a few different combinations. I could feel my frustration as I put some items together and found that they just didn’t look right. The thought flitted across my mind that what I had on would do backed up with with a few other negative thoughts about myself as well.
However I persisted and decided to try something else on (3 times!!!) and then I nailed it – I had the outfit that fitted. I felt comfortable, it made me feel good about myself and it was fun – bright and colourful which how I wanted to feel today. And, of course, now I know that I can wear these items together in future and will feel confident and relaxed in them which frees up my mental energy to focus on other more important stuff!
“So what?” you may be thinking … well, here is the learning for me. Life is like my experience this morning.
- We need to be willing to try different combinations or ways of doing things on (this means taking action!) until we find what fits us, what makes us feel good about ourselves. We need to be willing to make adjustments or to say no, that does not fit with what I need right now, and to let it go. This applies to how you live your life, who you choose to work with, how you create your environments to support your success – in fact with any decision that you need to make about how you want your life to be.
- We need to have a clear intention – what is the result you want to achieve – it may be something physical or it may be intangible as it was for me – a feeling or belief that I wanted to experience.
- I had the time and space physically and mentally to play and have some fun with this. Life can be so serious with our long to do lists – shorten the lists and allow yourself to create what I call white space in your diary and see what happens.
- Don’t settle for less – allow yourself to experience what it is you desire.
- Recognise what you already have that fits with what you desire – for me the clothes just needed to be arranged in a different way. Recognise what is already in your “wardrobe of life” that fits with how you want to be, eliminate the stuff that doesn’t fit and only then decide what needs to be added.
Hope this inspires you to find the learning’s in everyday experiences. I look forward to hearing your thoughts or comments.
Some keys points I have been reminded off just recently…
- The importance of doing a few things well versus many things poorly. We seem to live in a world that values busyness where more is better. My challenge to you is to let some of it go.
- Have some structure in your day or week – blocks of time that are scheduled regularly for activities that are really important to you e.g an inspirational group, yoga, dancing, work.
- Become aware of the activities that energise you and those that drain you. You may discover that something energises you for half an hour and then starts to to deplete you. Use this knowledge to decide how you want to structure your time.
- Balance the structure with what I call white space in the calender where nothing is scheduled, free time to follow your intuition, to pause and reflect, to be still. Sometimes you may need lots of white space, sometimes you will need less, so learning how to recognise the signs and to be flexible is crucial.
- Focus on completing and clearing commitments – a form of decluttering which clears the space for new passions to come into your life.
Post any thoughts or ideas that work for you so we can all continue to learn new ways to manage our time.
What an amazing group of people who came together today for our monthly Cafe at Robert Harris in Lower Hutt – it is a real pleasure for me to be able to share thoughts and ideas and to facilitate the conversation for learning from each other. Thank you for sharing your wisdom today.
The key point to come out of the conversation was how important it is to find the method or system to manage your time with “who” you are. I shared a little of my story around how I have managed my time over the years and how it has evolved and changed as I have evolved and changed. There is no right or wrong way of doing this and as soon as you think you have it nailed life changes and it’s time to adjust. So flexibility is an absolute must, as is trust that whatever is happening right now in your life is absolutely perfect!
Some of the challenges that we talked about were being busy all the time – no space for downtime or me time to reflect and regenerate, the challenge of being motivated to do the things that we know are important for us to do, the influence of past conditioning or expectations from society about what it means to be successful in life and what we “should” be doing to achieve that success.
Some of the key tools that we were all reminded of were…
Gratitude – focus on being grateful
Coming back to the present moment to make your decisions about what next
Setting clear intentions. Use everything that is presented to you in life as an opportunity to learn and get clearer on what needs to change for you and how exactly you would like your life to be.
Allowing yourself to feel good about yourself – makes it easier to take action on the stuff that is really important to you.
Check out some tools under the Time management category that may be useful as you reflect on how you currently manage your time and how you would like it to be. Please add a comment as you continue to reflect on this topic and let me, and others, know what you’re doing differently or have learned from today.
If you would like some support around making changes in how you manage your time get in touch and we can explore how working with me as your coach could help.
There are three important components that we need to invest our time in to be successful in all that we do. There is a time for planning and preparing a plan of action, there is a time for action and there is a time for review.
Sometimes we can get stuck in one of these areas – we can spend far too long creating plans and avoiding taking action, or we can be so busy taking actions that we can end up wasting time doing things that just aren’t effective in producing the result we want. Often the review part just gets forgotten when in fact it is the most important part.
It is a good idea to take stock of what we have accomplished so we can check where we are on the journey towards our goal. We can then celebrate our successes, which motivates us to continue, and refocus on the steps that we still need to take, so that we can invest our time wisely in only those actions that will produce the results we are looking for.
So, have you reviewed your last few weeks or months recently?