Run, rabbit run
Dig that hole, forget the sun
And when at last the work is done
Don’t sit down, it’s time to dig another one
For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race towards an early grave
I know- these lyrics from Pink Floyd are a little bit depressing, but I really think they get the point across very well about how we live our lives in such a mad rush- going nowhere sometimes. I think a lot of people can relate in terms of how hectic their lives are and how like the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland is always so concerned about the time passing by.
It’s such a cliche- but time is really too short to not make time for being healthy and having fun!
I have a system I use called P.S.S that aids me in being very productive and leaving time for outdoor recreation.
I am sharing this system with you in hopes that you will benefit from it as well.
P- Purpose, S- Simplify, S-Schedule
Rather than use the term time management- I like the term Self-management better. Time management is not accurate because we can’t tell time to get to work, stop procrastinating, and start making better decisions. However, we can manage these components within ourselves in relation to Time. To do what we want in this life- we have to manage ourselves better and HOW we use time!
My Goals for this article are to help you:
- Eliminate people or to do’s in your life that waste your time and suck your energy
- Simplify your life first- then look at scheduling the priorities/ Identify how you spend your time.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique – can increase productivity and reduce working hours.
- Start with a Clear Plan every day- Use your tools & resources wisely
How often do you question what you do every day? Deep down do you really love what you do? This is a crucial question in managing your time because if you don’t like how you’re spending your time- then You won’t be good at it no matter how many scheduling systems you have. You will procrastinate or just blow off whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing.
Here are 3 Crucial questions to answer:
- Identify The Why
- What Makes you Happy
- Who do you spend your time with?
Identifying the Why in your life will help you get to the heart of what drives you- what means the most to you. When you know the Why- you keep going no matter what. You will find the fire inside you grows brighter and brighter.
Before I did this exercise- I struggled with my business activities and business ideas in general. I knew I loved the outdoors-but I kept dodging what I really wanted and through this activity- it moved me into a new level. I looked back at my business ideas, websites, etc- before I moved into the Non profit and Misty Outdoors, I had 6 different websites! I would create business cards, start promoting, etc. then several months later abandon everything.
So after discovering my Why- I moved into the Non Profit full time and started Misty Outdoors. I am still running into numerous road blocks, but my WHY is so crystal clear that only death will stop me in this endeavor!
What Makes You Happy (What you value)
Are you living your life according to your Values and what makes you happy? Or- are you doing things that others want you to do?
Step 1: Write down everything you value and makes you happy (Family, Fun, Finances…)
Step 2: Write down everything you did (and remember) in the last two weeks (I came up with close to 50)
Step 3: Now compare the lists- what did you do that you enjoyed? How much time did you spend on things you didn’t enjoy?
There are two takeaways from this application: Look at what makes you happy- and try to extend those. And look at those areas you are spending time in that you may not Value. How you can make changes?
Also, keep in mind the thoughts you have as well. Each thought is a unit of energy. If you have a negative person in your life that you speak with on a regular basis or think about- this is taking up precious energy.. (Wake up thinking about finances_ a thought is a Unit of energy). This is why you have some of your top Execs, like Zuckerberg that wears the same clothes every day. One less decision to make.
Who Do You Spend Your Time With
The final concept for living a purposeful life is to surround yourself with the right people. I think sometimes we can truly underestimate how others can affect our lives in a positive or negative Way.
So here is an application to analyze who’s making either a good difference or a bad one in your life.
1. Make a list of long term, intermediate, and short term goals
2. Write down all of the people you’ve spoken to in the past 1-2 weeks (Everyone)
3. Now Compare- how many of these people you’ve spent time with contribute towards your goals?
This is not meant to be a selfish activity. When I went through this, I realized there was someone in my life that was sucking my time and energy. I have set boundaries and am now spending less time with them. This activity could be a huge wake up call for you. From your results, you could end up spending more time on those things and people you love and less on those that add zero value in your life.
YOU are your number #1 Resource. As business owners, employees, busy parents, etc. don’t we seek out programs and gadgets that help us be more efficient? What if your main resource (being you) isn’t running that well? Then the operator is running on 2 or 3 cylinders vs. 4.
If you are tired and drained all the time- how can you possibly have energy to expend in different areas?
- Conserve your energy for what matters: Energy is flowing from you to other people and things around you constantly. First, you need to stop the loss of energy and then harness this energy from leaving you. For example, ever find you get exhausted from certain people? Then you need to ask why you keep spending time with them. I realize if this is a spouse, then of course this is trickier. It is the vibration of that person which is Essentially their energy. Eliminate everything that is no longer serving you. When I cleaned house in my life- I was left with more energy to focus on my family and business.
Here are some additional pointers:
- Maintain focus and drive: If you don’t have clear priorities. -then other people can dictate your schedule.
- You must make time for yourself- truly carve out time to think about what really matters. What is the 80/20 route?
- Have a solid morning routine – Top advice- don’t look at your phone for at least an hour after you wake up! My routine is to wake up by 5:30 am, drink coffee, journal, read, and then work out. Or, you can take a dip in an ice bath like Tony Robbins.
- Identify the time of day where you are most productive- this is when you should do your work that requires the most brain power.
- Have habits that are obstacles to your goals? (Cocktails- waking up at night- being groggy…cycle continues)
- Maintain a clean home, car, and work space. The clutter you physically see in your life- turns into clutter in your mind. It is very difficult to think straight when you have too much stuff in your living spaces.
- Have set times when you check your Text and Emails- don’t be a Slave to your Device.
Okay, this brings us to our final S- Schedule!
Life is much easier to schedule- when you have less on your plate. I don’t know why in our society we look at being super busy like some badge of honor. There is a BIG difference between being busy and productive. I know this from working in the Corporate World for over 20 years. People waste a lot of time when the priorities aren’t clear.
It is for this very reason why it’s so important to go through the applications first regarding your purpose and then simplifying. If you don’t love what you do and are spending time with people that drain you- then it doesn’t matter how much energy you give it. Your day will not be a success.
This system absolutely changed how I work! Using Pomodoros took me to the next level of productivity and lowered my stress level enormously.
The person that is attributed with this work is Chris Winfield- he’s an expert that uses this technique which he claims if used correctly, you can get 40 hours of work done in under 17 hours. Pomodoros are 25 minute time increments and the goal is to get up to at least 8 per day= 40 Poms per week.
You will work in 25 minute – 4 x’s in a row, with 5 minute breaks between. Then, after 4 Poms, you take a half hour break or so and repeat 4 more times.
The Pomodoro Math
8 Poms X 5 Days per week = 40 per week / 200 Minutes/ 3.5 hrs a day VS 8 Hrs
200 minutes X 5= 1,000 minutes
1,000 minutes=16.7 hrs. (1,000/60)
It is recommended to work no more than 8 poms in a day. Allow yourself to have free time and to be creative. What is really fantastic is how you can take these Poms and move them to Certain Days and Times.
Shift your Thinking into – How many Poms can I schedule today? (Focus is on the poms) VS. I have so much to do- what project am I going to work on?
Main Take Away: Block out 4 hours a Day – morning or afternoon and keep this time Sacred. Let others know this is a new technique you are using to be more efficient and less stressed! 🙂
BARS- Batch, Automate, Routine, Situational
Here are some final self management tips I want to share with you. The BARS systems helps you to be efficient in all areas of your life.
Batch: This includes calls, emails, etc. I like to use the Jogging example. Let’s say your goal is to run 5 miles, but every 15 minutes you’re stopping to get a pebble out. Don’t you think this will make it more difficult to reach 5 miles? The emails, text, people stopping by- those are all the little pebbles in your schedule.
A Pebble in your Day when You need to work on your Big Rocks. Set aside blocks of time to check email/text only a FEW times throughout the day. There have been studies that conclude that some people can spend up to 5 hrs a day in their email alone.
Emails: Set up Rules so emails will go directly into certain folders.
Scheduling appts: Program like Calendly.com/ Block out the times you are working and let clients/coworkers schedule around this. Avoids the back and forth..
Routines: Doctor visits (schedule same time every year- same day preferably), keep track of bdays on one Calendar, keys in the same place every day, Dinner- plan for the entire week or buy from a company like Hello Fresh.
Situational: Life happens- and you will have those emergencies. Do need to flexible, but if you have a solid plan than it wont’ be as stressful when a kink gets in your schedule.
The P.S.S. system works like magic once it’s implemented. You can manage yourself in relation to time through answering the Why- living with intent and having a purpose in this world every day. Once you know your purpose, then it’s time to move on to simplifying your life. It is so much easier to prioritize with less on your plate. Finally- you schedule. You know your purpose, priorities, and have a plan so everything you schedule is moving you towards the final destination and end goals you have set in your life.
If you would like additional coaching on self management and living your dream- then please contact me! Have experience you’d like to share? Please leave a comment below!