Do you feel like you are in control of your calendar and all those things on your to-do list or are they in control of you? If you are driven by everything that has to be done each day, there’s a good chance that the systems you’re using to plan your days and keep yourself organized need to be examined and restructured. By implementing some key structures in the important areas in your life, you will find yourself moving through the day with less stress and more items on your list being crossed off. Let’s look at what you need to do before you can create more structure in your life.
Exercise – Part 1 – Determine what’s working for you
Make a list of all the systems and areas in your life that are working well, so you can celebrate all the activities that you have got a handle on. Go through a typical day, from the time you get up until the time you go to bed. Look at each area of your life.
Part 2 – Examine what’s not working for you
In her excellent book “Time Management from the Inside Out”, Julie Morgenstern offers us these questions to help us discern what’s not working in our lives:
- I never have time to:
- I spend way too much time on:
- I don’t have well-defined goals for:
- One thing I wish I could do every day is:
- I always underestimate how long it takes to:
- I procrastinate whenever I have to:
- I am usually late for:
- It’s hard for me to say no to:
- I have a hard time finishing:
Once you’ve asked yourself the above questions, answer this question for each one: “Why?” Why do you ‘never’ have time to do xxxxxxx? Why do you spend too much time on xxxxxxx? And so forth.
Part 3 – Are you ready to make some changes?
If you want to have more time for family, a more successful business, or a better life in general, you need to take a good look at yourself and ask the question:
Am I ready to make the changes that are necessary to have more of what I want in my life?
If the answer is yes, then look over the lists of what is and is not working in your life, and make a decision that you want more things working for you, and less of the things that aren’t currently working for you. If it seems like you may have to give some things up, how would you feel if I asked you to trade in what’s not working for you for something better? Start coming up with solutions, systems, or structures to help your days be more productive and joyful. If it seems like there is a lot to do, make plans to take care of each one, a little at a time. Recruit family, friends, colleagues or hired help you get organized with your time. That will give you more time in 2009 for both your personal and professional lives.
Tomorrow is our last day about planning and time management. We’ll take a look at a couple of ways to organize your weekly schedule. I’d love to hear how the program is working for you so far. Please make a comment, send me an email for a Tweet! Have a great day!