Time flies. We all have felt it at some point. From our first, childhood memories of summer break to the first summer we had no break. From celebrating the last day of high school as a perky teenager to suddenly experiencing the first day of Kindergarten as a parent. From giving our parent’s grief to grieving for our parents. Yes, time flies.
And though we recognize we cannot stop time and we cannot slow time down, we still waste time. We waste time on things that do not matter and things that do not give us joy. Filling our days mindlessly.
As difficult as it might be, you must make time work for you. It won’t be easy, but you can do it. To help you get started, here are three ways you can begin taking control of your time starting today.
PRIORITIZE YOUR TIME
Prioritize what gets your attention. Above all your health must come first. If you are not healthy you cannot serve. You must do what is necessary for your physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual self to be fed. Making time for self-care is not selfish, it is necessary.
Second to health is stealth, or relationships with others. Once time passes there is no going back. Nurture relationships with your loved ones, make time to laugh and live. Splurge on a night out. Skip that work thing. Sit and lose track of everything around you.
And finally, wealth. Earning income is essential to maintaining a quality of life, just don't make it your life. Set boundaries and stick to them. Have open conversations with your supervisor, team and clients regarding how you can flex your time. Leverage technology to make it a win-win for everyone.
DELEGATE AND EMPOWER
Give others a chance to try. This goes for chores at the house, activities of the non-profit, projects at work and anything else where there are others who can take on the task. Allow them to do what you are doing or teach them. If you are constantly doing everything for everyone then they will never learn the value of DOING. Not to mention, by doing everything for everyone, we cut into time for ourselves and the things that matter to us. We must be willing to trust those around us to do things as well.
If there is no one readily available to delegate something to and it is a task that still must be done, hire someone or something else to do it. Many people have a maid come in to help clean around the house. Don’t want the monthly bill? Purchase a Roomba or Bravaa, two robots to at least take something off your plate by cleaning your floors for you. Consider investing in tools that can automate processes for you.
Do not be afraid of letting go. It is quite liberating.
JUST SAY NO
For many people, especially women, this is the most difficult thing when it comes to blending work and life. The most common thing I hear, is “I would feel guilty if I said no.” All the while they are secretly stressed and bearing a weighty animosity. Others (ahem, cough, me) push through because they think they can do it all and want to help heal the world but end up crashing hard and everything falls apart.
Whether it stems from a feeling of guilt or fear or not wanting to disappoint or a false sense of being able to do it all, we tend say "yes" when we want to say "no." Too often we stretch ourselves thin and end up stressing ourselves out. One word can change all of that. No. If you struggle with this, practice in the mirror, "NO." It takes practice and a confidence to actually do it when the time comes, but it is doable and incredibly empowering.
Time is finite. And because we do not know how much we have, we must be willing to be stingy with it and spend it in the places that matter doing things that matter. Setting boundaries and leveraging technology to create a life that is rich for not only us, but for those who depend on us.
I have a super fun workshop that I lead to help people better understand where they spend their time. Email me at Ashley@ashleyrenecasey.com to set up time to talk about how your organization could benefit from the workshop.
In a previous piece, I shared how the violence over the years has shaped me and my children. It was a difficult piece for me to write because it addressed something that brings great pain to me – death and destruction of life. Seriously, my heart hurts. I might not cry, but my heart hurts.
I cannot change what is going on across the world, but I can impact those around me with my thoughts and my actions. As a citizen of the World, not just the United States of America, I am committed to the following:
Those around me will know what life is. I will speak life into others through encouragement and hope. I will live life full out and with passion. I will find the light in others and do my part to help it shine brightly. I will let them know that they matter and that they are valued.
I will not allow hatred to be around me. I will bravely speak out when I see injustice to a fellow human being, regardless of their religion, sexual preference, skin color, socio-economic standing or any other category we place people into. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr
Along the same vein of bravery is kindness. They are complimentary of one another because often we must be brave to show kindness to those whom kindness typically neglects. It is kindness however that encourages more kindness and in turn a renewed faith in humanity. I will show kindness even when I am tired or feel like I have no more to give. We must wear kindness like a classic fashion trend that never goes out of style. I commit to always being stylish. 😉
Oh boy, one thing I love most about our planet is how diverse it is. It is a beautiful thing that should be celebrated. However, there are many who seek to divide and separate us. I am committed to embracing the differences that surround me. From the man who speaks a different language, to the woman who dresses differently, I will welcome them and treat them with dignity and respect.
It is not uncommon to embrace differences but then lack understanding. Cities around the world have welcomed people who were different than the majority but instead of attempting to understand the culture and values of the other person, they reprimanded them for not assimilating quick enough. I commit to seeking to understand those who are different than I am. I want to know about where they came from and what they value. I want to know what makes us similar while appreciating what makes us different.
To give grace is to show compassion. There are absolutely people who commit crimes and atrocities against mankind with the full intent of decimating the victim. While I cannot say I am at a place where I can give those individuals grace, I can give those who ask for forgiveness grace. Grace says, “I love you and give you a clean slate.” I want to be the one who helps remove the stain by showing them the same grace my Father shows me.
There are enough people in the world who will judge, I commit to not being one of them. Judgement creates divides between people. It prevents us from learning from one another and builds resentment. I want to get to know a person for who they are, not how they look or what I have heard about them. I want to save judgement for food at a restaurant or clothes on a rack, not people passing by.
The world can be a downer if we focus on all that is wrong with it. Our children will be insensitive citizens if allow them to be. So we can’t. And we can’t allow ourselves to be that way either. We must take a stand against injustice and seek a way of living that is loving and inclusive. We must rise together or we will fall apart.
Please comment below with how you pledge to spread love and counteract those who want to inflict pain. Don’t forget to share this post on Facebook.