Of course time management is an oxymoron!  Time is finite - it comes and it goes without any input from us.  No matter who we’re being, how we’re being, or what we’re doing during our days.

So if you can’t manage time, what is it really about? 

It’s about managing ourselves in the time we have available.  Or rather, empowering or enabling ourselves to be more effective and productive.

But how do you empower and enable yourself to be joyful?

How do you enjoy what you’re doing in the time you have available?

For many, time management and productivity are not easy subjects to explore.  So if you have no idea where your time goes at work, or what you do in your working hours, then I encourage you,  a first step, to keep a log.  Or to at least start to notice at particular points throughout the day, exactly what you’re doing.

Because I know I’m not alone in putting things in my diary; setting appointments with myself if you will, then doing something completely different!  Which is sometimes ok, but more usually, not!

  • So how do you recognise when you’re spending your time well?
  • When you’re enjoying yourself?
  • When you’re focusing?
  • When you’re giving something your undivided attention?

One of the things that works for me, is checking in regularly throughout the day….Noticing how I’m feeling.  What specifically I’m doing.  And what I’m thinking at that point in time.

And this week I’ve been experimenting with setting an alarm, so that I really do check in, and notice my energy levels at certain points throughout the day.

I check energy levels and how I’m feeling because How you’re being is critical to your results. More important even than what you’re doing.

So this ‘check in’ is to focus not so much on your results, but on You.  On your process.  On your way of working.  On your habitual way of operating in everyday life.

It’s often a work in progress, as of course becoming more aware is only the first step, it’s what you do next that’s most important, based on what you discover.

For me this week, I’ve noticed that even when my energy levels are low, or I’m getting tense, or I’m not really enjoying what I’m doing.  Or, even that I’m not doing what I’d planned to do at that particular time……..I’m pushing through.  I’m carrying on anyway because I’m in the middle of something and I don’t want to leave it.  I want to get it finished!

I wanted to share what I’ve been noticing, as I realise if it’s happening to me it’ll also be happening to others.  Which means it might be useful for you to check in too.  And of course, to then do something about it.

What I recommend

So what might that something be?  Simple things that take little time, like

  • Stopping and having a short break
  • Going outside
  • Taking some deep breaths
  • Making a cup of tea
  • Having a short nap

When we can do this we can be more creative and more energised.  In fact walking for me is something that does all this and more….it’s a great use of my time, it feeds my soul, it gets me out into the fresh air and is a form of exercise.

So what can You do to be more effective and productive?

What have I suggested that your initial thought was ‘it couldn’t possibly make a difference to me’?

Counter-intuitively, is there something you feel now might actually work and you’d like to give it a try?

Do let me know……