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.