Recently I met a colleague on the way for coffee and she looked flustered. We got talking. She asked me did I have any tips to help her manage her time. I’ve read a few articles about how it’s more important to manage your energy rather than your time. So without over-thinking it I jotted a few tips and sent them to her. It was so easy to offer the advice. But, re-reading it, I asked myself “How well do I really practise it?” The answer was not one I wanted to hear.
So, in an attempt to better heed my own advice, I’ve re-stated it as a set of Personal Commitments that I intend to make visible and stick to.
1. I will know what is most important to me
These can span work, career, health, family, community, experiences and learning. I am going to refresh my life-ring (example to come) that I came up with as part of the Creativity Innovation and Change MOOC from Coursera.
2. I will visualise all my current priorities
I use a Visual Management board, a simple small board on my desk with Post-Its showing the key things I’m working on (this week or month).
3. I will not let other people’s priorities control me
For example, take email – there are several tips here. Don’t open email in the morning. In fact don’t open until 12 earliest. Then close it. Then don’t open until 4:30. I have a Daily Planner that covers this and point 2.
4. I will (learn to) let go
This includes saying no when new ‘noise’ does not align with points 1 and 2. This one will take practise, but first knowing what is important will help you subconsciously prioritise your energy.
5. I will sleep (and get up) the same time each day
How hard can that be with three children? Seriously though, set yourself up in the evening for an easy start to the next day.
6. I will meditate every day
I have set aside time(s) to meditate twice each day. I started slowly with 6 minutes each morning listening to guided meditation. There are lots of free apps, Omvana being one of my favourites. Once the habit was embedded, I have built it up to 20 minutes twice a day unguided using Vedic meditation.
7. I will exercise every day
I have managed to build this into my daily routine by commuting by bike. If you can’t build it in, then set aside some time during lunch or in the morning. And don’t accept your own excuses!
8. I will clear my mind
I record things I want or need to do. My personal favourite tool is Trello which allows me to share activities and to review them regularly. I will also use it to record new ideas I might have.
9. I will be grateful every day
I’m working on this one. I’ve placed a red notebook on my bedside locker which reminds me to jot down three good things I am grateful for each day.
10. I will…
…be happy to have unfinished business and be open to change. So I leave this one to you to make your own suggestions! Feel free to contact me.