Got Any Time?
21 Feb 2020, Lynette McFadden
Time. Have you got any?
It’s the elephant in everybody’s room. “I haven’t got enough time.” How often do we hear that and, even more, how often do we say it to ourselves? I’ve been a party to that personal conversation even though I try to be meticulous about punctuality and prioritizing, and I find it’s a massive issue with some of the people I meet. Having started into a new year – a new decade, in fact – it’s a great opportunity to look at how we can utilize that precious 24 hours a day to get the best out of ourselves and our lives.
Here’s what provides me with both comfort and sanity.
- Be organized/structured/prepared. It’s very easy to spot someone who hasn’t done the preparation. Someone who made it harder for themselves by not investing time in setting up their diary, confirming appointments, checking in on personal or family commitments, basically doing everything they could to provide a gentle entry into a task or a week without the stress of having to overcompensate and then waste time. Every Sunday, I prepare for the week, month and year ahead. I’ve done this for decades and it creates a steady flow of activity and creativity, while minimizing time wasted. I feel calm, no matter the gravity or magnitude of what lies ahead, and that is a godsend!
- Delegate. Something that’s easier said than done, but some tasks are simply better performed by others (anything to do with the car or filling in questionnaires for me!). Work out what those tasks are and you’ll have time left over for the things that truly matter.
- Say ‘no’. It sounds easy, but just as some people can’t say ‘yes’ to anything, others can’t say ‘no’. You can tie yourself up in knots trying to do for others what they might never do for you. Why? Because we feel bad? Well, time to start practicing the ‘no’. Many of us have children who made an art form of this simple response. Learn from them. Give your time to the people and causes that matter.
- Limit distractions. Sometimes it feels like so many things are calling for our attention. Coupled with this is the online world, which can dominate so much of the lives people lead. Everyone wants to know something immediately or be helped instantly – of course, this could just be part of the business world or the life you live, however be aware of digital distractions that have little merit and consume lots of time. This includes digital games or endless online shopping which can easily go from a distraction to an addiction.
After using some of these strategies for yourself, I’d love to wish you the time to focus on things that resonate with you at a deep and meaningful level. I’d also like to thank you for taking the time to read this and to wish you well as we pass from February into March. No matter how many techniques I utilize, this particular month is always madness, and anyone working to a March 31stend of financial year will know why!