To Do Lists -- Where Do You Find the Time To Do Them?
by Sandy Reed
If you're like me, many days are jam packed with more items on your "To Do" list than any human could possibly handle in one day. Why do we tend to put ourselves in this situation, when we end up with little or no time to enjoy life? Most of us work until 7-8pm, go to bed at 9-10pm, then get up early the next morning and do it all over again. Before you know it the week is gone, then a month is gone, then you're celebrating New Years Eve wondering if you enjoyed the year that just flew by...
While I'm not a big fan of most time management systems, it's becoming obvious to me that I need to get a better handle on my work days, not only to get done what I need to do, but also to learn how to alleviate stress and overwhelm - since they both pop their ugly heads up all too often.
So in the interest of keeping my sanity, and finding some balance in 2008, here's the plan I'm using. You may want to give it a try.
1. Begin documenting each task you do during work hours, including the time you spend doing laundry, having lunch, and going for a walk. This definitely sounds more analytical than I consider myself to be. You will hopefully be able to tolerate this extensive documentation for about a week. This should be enough time to determine where you may be losing time to tasks that are not helping you reach the goals that are most important to you - in other words the goals that keep you healthy, happy, and that feed your bank account.
2. Decision Time! After a week, analyze where you're spending unproductive time and make decisions based on your priorities. This, of course, assumes you know what your priorities are, which leads to number 3.
3. What do you want? Many people won't make it through the first two steps, unless they are ready to live an authentic life. An authentic life means that when you are drawing your final breath you will have no regrets. You won't look back and say, "I wish I had..." On the surface it may appear that making money and having a successful business is what will lead to happiness. In reality, however, it's how making money and having a successful business makes most of us feel that leads to happiness. What's important is how we feel - more than what we have. For most people that includes such things as spending more time with family, friends, and having fun.
4. What can you give up to get what you want? Can you hire someone else to do the things that are keeping you from your priorities? Can you reorganize, refocus, reinvent a new system, or just plain quit doing something that's not really that important? There is a wonderful feeling of spaciousness in your life when you decide to give up events, situations, obligations, or even people that are eating into the precious time you have to do what you really want to do.
5. Make a commitment - to yourself - to take action towards removing what's not important, what you dread doing, what doesn't make you feel good about yourself and where your life is going.
This is my plan for 2008. I know there are many different ways to approach time prioritizing. This time next year, with a whole year of thinking and testing to look back on, I will most likely give you a new system to consider. In the meantime, I would love to share with my readers what has worked for you. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Would you like to learn more about how building a soul-based business can create cash flow, and feed your spirit and bank account at the same time? Vist my website at www.soulpreneursuccessstrategies.com to check out my free "Creating Money" ebook, free articles, resources, and to sign up for my new Soulpreneur Coaching Services."
Sandy Reed, "the Soulpreneur's Coach", is a business coach, writer, and co-owner of her own successful home-based business.
Sandy Reed may be contacted at http://www.soulpreneursuccessstrategies.com or email@example.com