I haven’t posted in over a month, which is less than ideal. I could tell you that I have been very busy, which I have, but that is still just an excuse. And regardless of being busy or having all the time in the world, the real place that I dropped the ball is that I neglected to schedule time to write something.
We all have habits and activities that we do and I think most of us will quickly find a way to fill any free time that happens to fall in our hands. This makes it hard to fit something extra in because the time doesn’t appear and no matter how many times we ask for it, their will never be 25 hours in a day, or 8 days in a week.
But if you consciously set aside a specific time to do something, and it gets built into your schedule, just like a trip to the dentist, then you have time to do it. We can’t increase how much time we have but we can prioritize tasks and schedule them, to make sure we have time to do the things that we don’t do every day but we need to spend real time on.
In the book Time Management from the Inside Out, author Julie Morgenstern discusses the importance of ‘owning’ your calendar and schedule. Instead of scheduling just the big things, make a point to add all the things that you really want to do. Use a calendar to make sure you get the most out of your time. The piece of advice that resonated the most with me was the importance of not just scheduling but writing it in your calendar – blocking off the time so when you are doing something there are no feelings of guilt that you should really be doing something else.
Elizabeth Hagen, a great business coach I work with, drills this into me regularly. If I say I want to get to the gym one more time per week, she asks where I put it on my calendar. Knowing I need time every week to do administrative work versus just client work, she requires me to block off time every week. As my week fills up I might move those blocks of time around, but I still have a set of 4 hours every week that is dedicated to accounting, marketing, networking, and all the parts of running a business that you don’t get paid for. I admit that I still sometimes book clients on top of it, but I know that as I search for a ‘balanced’ life, keeping those appointments with myself is crucial.
A fun side note of Time Management from the Inside Out – while working with a client we came across this book. He said that this book changed his life. While he still has a few challenges with clutter, he followed her three-step program – Analyze, Strategize, Attack, and it had a profound impact on his life. Two weeks later I was at the National Association of Professional Organizers conference and was able to tell her about the impact her book had on my client. It is always nice to share success stories!
Book inscription reads: To Christine – Here’s to time for what matters! Julie