Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock!
Do you ever feel like time plays games with you?
Does it slow down when you are waiting for the washing cycle to finish or to progress through the queue of the telephone helpline.
Does it gallop along when you have a deadline to meet, a traffic journey to an important meeting or to collect your child from school?
Rather than battling for control and trying to manage it, there is another way which allows you gently to own it. It is a matter of approach.
Time is the one thing in life that is limited and can’t be replaced.
There is an old Zen saying, “You should sit in mediation for twenty minutes a day, unless you are too busy; then you should sit for an hour”.
Don’t panic! I am not suggesting that you should meditate. You can, however, get a real benefit and achieve much more if you give yourself the opportunity to relax and calmly assess what needs to be done, Then, you can approach tasks with a clear mind and a considered approach.
We all have the same number of hours in the day. YOU decide what you fill it with. Make the big important stuff a priority, then the stuff you really want to do but don’t have to, then the stuff you should do but isn’t so important. Only then use any remaining time for social media scrolling, cat videos etc.
Work out your most productive time of the day. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Schedule in your important tasks for this time.
Learn how to say “No” to people. It’s good to be kind, generous, supportive but you must make sure that this is not done at a detriment to your own needs and goals.
The worst and best thing about having your own business is that you are your own boss. No-one will berate you if you spend the day on Facebook or sleep in until 10am. Most people are not naturally self-disciplined and, so it is something that you must work at if you want to build a business. Decide what is important to you, and what will motivate you on tough days.
Draw yourself a time/ priority graph known as an Eisenhower matrix as this will help make sure that you are making the right decisions about how you use your time rather than just fire-fighting. As Dwight Eisenhower said,
“What’s important is seldom urgent and what’s urgent is seldom important”
Do you take the crown of “Busy Being Busy”? Choose high level activities that progress your business that only you can do and pass lower level tasks onto others or just leave them completely. Don’t let a 2-hour meeting turn into a day.
The 15-minute rule
- Write a to do list of jobs and make a start.
- Set a timer and stop at 15 mins even if the task is unfinished. You will have made progress on it and you can add it to the bottom of your list.
- If you have a horrid job to do, everyone can cope with this pain for 15 minutes
- Never underestimate what you can achieve in this time. It’s a great technique if you have masses to do.
When crazy busy, it’s tempting to just keep going and try even harder if it feels that the day is slipping away. This time more than ever, you should go for a short walk, in the fresh air if possible. Or put some music on and dance around the room. Or lie down on the floor with your eyes closed and empty your mind. If you change your physical state, you will be much more productive when you return to your task.
Finally, remember that you are in the driving seat of your life, don’t let Mr Distraction or Miss Procrastinator take the wheel.
I have been an owner manager of Robins Nursery in Hove for 14 years and run this alongside completing a university degree, training to be a mindfulness coach and raising my two children alone. I understand how powerful the feeling of overwhelm can be and the value of owning your time based on your personal priorities. I love to help others to create a tool box of skills to draw on when needed and enjoy being the Brighton MNC Manager. Your life, your choice.