Time management is not a real thing. By definition, to manage would mean you’d have to exert a measure of power or control over that which is to be managed. Time is a constant and can not be under the control or power of anyone. Therefore the admonishment to, “Manage your time more wisely.” should in all reality be, “Manage yourself more wisely.” If you are constantly missing deadlines or are averaging 3 to 4 hours of sleep (in some cases less) due to unfinished tasks the problem is with managing yourself, not managing time. So you should learn to manage yourself.
Manage yourself by saying “No”
Many times we fall into the roll of being a people pleaser. Feeling that you should acquiesce to the request of others for fear of making them upset. Doing so adds to your “to do list.” Have you ever been complemented by a superior? “You are my go to.” “We can always count on you.” “You are my right hand.” “You are the most dedicated employee we have.” Statements like these, while highly prized by your ego can be a red flag. They my point to the fact that your are a people pleaser. A “yes” person.
In many cases you will find yourself worked to your breaking point. Your reluctance to say no doesn’t only affect you. Your family, and friends will also feel the stress of your increased workload. They will see you less and when they do they’ll be receiving the tired, irritated short tempered you. You will find yourself yelling at your children and short with your partner. And you will only be half listening to conversations.
You may find yourself falling to sleep at stop lights. Passing through intersections not knowing if your light was even green. Your body will also suffer and so too your health. As your caffeine intake increases and you begin to eat foods that are full of saturated fats, high in sodium and preservatives. You will also become ill as your immune system weakens.
Learn to say “No”
You may learn that the ultimate reward for being the “go to right hand person” is more work. More personal problems, more stress and unfortunately not much more money. All of which could have been avoided if you were able to just say, “No.”
“No, I’m not able to take on more projects at this time.” “No, I won’t be able to stay late tonight.” If you find it to difficult to just say, “no” then try saying yes with a twist. “Yes I can do that for you however which of the other projects would you like be to stop until this new one is completed?” There is an irony in your seemingly inability to say no. In saying yes to your boss or anyone lessening their “to do list” by adding to yours, you are saying, “no.” No to giving your friends and family your best. No to putting your best interest into account. Saying yes to one thing means saying no to something else.
Manage yourself by getting some sleep
Today many have been fooled into the belief that functioning off of 3 to 5 hours of sleep is not only wise but admirable. You will hear or read about many who brag about their log hours at the office. In many cases what you won’t hear or read is how little quality time is spent cultivating a relationship. They’ll omit how little entament contact they have with their spouse or significant other. They aren’t going to boast about their addiction to pills, alcohol, caffeine and pornography.
You won’t hear or read about it until tragedy strikes and they become the talk of the office, neighborhood or town. “Did you hear? They got pulled over with a blood alcohol level twice that of the legal limit?” “I heard that they’re getting a divorce.” “Last night they attempted suicide.” The sad reports are all over the news. Mega successful business people with mega unsuccessful lives.
Schedule your life around your priorities. One of those priorities must be sleep. Review any athletes schedule who is at the top of their game. You will find words like rest, sleep, or off time as part of their schedule. Sleep is vital for your brain and body. Think about this list:
- Acid reflux
- Sleep apnea
- Back pain
- Neck pain
These are all things that a good bed and pillow can have a massive positive impact on. If you give sleep the respect and attention it and you so badly deserve.
How do you manage yourself? Here are just a few tips to get you started:
✔️ Manage yourself by being honest.
Take some time to perform some introspection. How have you been feeling physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually? Write down what your conclusions are. (Seriously, write this down.)
✔️ Manage yourself by reviewing a day in the life.
What does your average day look like from the time you wake in the morning until you go to sleep. Ask yourself how well you are managing your daily activities. Are you organized around your priorities? Have you created systems which will assist you to be more efficient? What is your personal efficacy? Again write your conclusions down.
✔️ Manage yourself by setting minor goals.
Let’s say you have a favorite app that you enjoy spending time with. Better yet, there’s a show on Netflix you want to watch. You could set the minor goal: “I can get on my app or start my show once I have first completed _________________. (Fill in the blank.) Or, “Once I have reviewed my emails and messages this morning I’ll only go back to them once more after lunch.
Of course there is the distraction of social media. You could reward yourself with social media time once you’ve reached a benchmark in your work day. Setting minor goals and keeping them will have major benefits. You will develop your self discipline, finish task on or before projected deadlines and you will have made the possibility of getting a good night’s rest possible.
✔️ Manage yourself by setting your “opportunity alert.”
Set your clock to wake you at the same time each morning. (Yes even on weekends.) Keep in mind that every morning is an opportunity for you to achieve greatness.
✔️ Manage yourself by being grateful.
Keep a gratitude journal. Write each day, before you go to sleep 3 things you are grateful for.
✔️ Manage yourself by establishing a routine.
A morning and nighttime routine or ritual are very important. Most successful people use them. We could tell you all about ours and how they work for us here at NXTFOCUS. That wouldn’t necessarily help you however. Your ritual or routine should be personal and reflect your beliefs and yes, superstitions.
✔️ Manage yourself by being kind.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. As with everything in life you will have ups and downs. If your morning doesn’t go the way you wanted, then fine. What feedback can you derive from that? Ask yourself these questions to improve the next morning. What happend to keep you from your morning goal? Was it something you could impact or influence? Make the necessary adjustments and begin your day. You’ve now used a negative situation to gather positive feedback to improve tomorrow morning.
✔️ Manage yourself by reviewing your notes.
Remember those conclusions you wrote down? After a week or two review them and compare the current you to the past you and make adjustments where needed.
Knowing that there is actually no way for you to manage your time is liberating. You’re now free to work on what you can manage, yourself.
If you need help learning to say “no” or with self management, join NXTFOCUS. Allow us to assist you in maximizing your innate ability for an amazing life.