Stop Thinking You’ll Get It All Done; Some Unconventional Ways to Manage Your Time

In the next few posts I will be talking about ways to manage your time now that we are returning to busy, prepandemic lives. We are cranking through as many things on our to do list as possible. The problem with the strategies we use is that they do work but you still don’t feel in control of your life or able to get your most important tasks done. In fact, the faster you work and the more you fit into your day, the more unfinished items you generate and the more you beat yourself up for not being efficient enough.

People have an average of 4,000 weeks on this planet. Just drop the fantasy of getting it all done and searching for the perfect work-life balance. To feel more productive make hard choices about what matters most…what you can’t do, even if it’s valuable and how to feel at peace for not doing it.

In the next few posts, I will be talking about eight strategies for shifting your perspective and prioritizing your time without simply adding to your stress…

Strategy #1. Stop trying to cultivate good habits. They may be preventing you from making real progress in your life. Example: You decide you want to meditate regularly, but trying to find the time and effort to do it every day feels overwhelming so you keep procrastinating. Better: When you decide to meditate every day, try jumping in without any planning. Maybe it will feel so good that it will stick as a new habit and motivate you to do it the next day and the next. Maybe it won’t. But at least you registered a small win today and created some personal momentum. The irony is that just doing something once is ultimately the only way to become the kind of person who takes that action on a regular basis.

Strategy #2. Use a fixed volume to do list. With a traditional to do list, you race through it, checking off items and prioritizing the easy things that you can complete the quickest. Better: Create an open list, filled with everything that is on your plate. Fortunately it is not your job to get through them all. Instead, cull only the most important tasks-the ones that can really move the needle in your life and transfer them to a closed list until an existing task has been completed and removed from the list. There are still plenty of mundane tasks that will wind up on your closed list such as paying a bill but this system can help you reduce the amount of time you spend on those tasks.

More strategies in the coming weeks…

If you think I can help you with time management, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or 361.442.9590.