Do you know where to FIND time? Exactly, none of us do, because you don’t FIND time, you MAKE time. And the only way to MAKE more time in your life is to take back control of your schedule. Let’s talk about how you can to take back control of your time and your schedule to have more time for what’s important to you.
As a wife, mother of five, and entrepreneur, I’m often asked how and where I find the time to do all the things I do. People want to know my magic formula, my secret sauce. How do I find the time and energy to take on so many different projects and endeavors?
My answer is always the same. I don’t find time, I make time. And making time is not always easy. Especially when you have people and projects that you care about, and your responsibilities and commitments control your schedule and dictate how you spend your time.
While I don’t have any magic or secrets, I do have some strategies that I want to share with you today to help you take back control of your time so that you have the time to do the things you want or need to do.
#1 Use a Schedule
Stop winging it. Use a schedule to keep track of and plan your daily activities. Whether you use an app on your smartphone, a physical planner, or a computer system, as I do, you need a way to see and track all of your activities and commitments. Monitoring your activity allows you to see gaps as well as problem areas in your schedule.
I personally use two tools to keep track of my schedule. One is a color-coded excel calendar to see where I am spending my time visually. You can visit my website (http://www.TamaraHartley.com under FREEBIES) and download a copy of my calendar. The other is my Daily Actions Journal to track my daily activities and ensure that I am taking daily actions that are moving me toward my goals. This is also available on my website (under BOOKS).
#2 Prioritize Your Schedule
Prioritize your schedule to reflect your current interests, mission, and goals. As your priorities change, so should your schedule and activities. Don’t hang on to something just because you’ve always done it. If it no longer serves your interests or moves you in the direction you are trying to go, remove it from your schedule.
#3 Streamline Your Activities
Once you see your schedule laid out or written out in your planner, it is a lot easier to see what things you may be able to combine to save time, as well as see some non-essential activities or clutter that can be deleted. Make your life easier by creating a routine and process for things you can put on autopilot.
#4 Stop Being so Busy
Don’t allow busyness or false productivity to distract you. As you begin to use and track your time, see where you are allowing busyness to replace productivity. Sometimes you can be so busy working or serving but working on irrelevant activities or in the wrong area. Don’t let busyness to keep you from doing what you should really be focused on.
#5 Set Some Boundaries
Once you clean house, keep it clean. Set some boundaries, and don’t allow people or activities to creep back onto your calendars. Learn how to say no, and don’t let others guilt you or flatter you into activities. Has someone ever told you that no one can do it like you do? While that might very well be true, stick to your priorities. If it doesn’t fit your goals, it shouldn’t be in your schedule. While some may be offended at first, they will learn how to work within your new boundaries when you set the expectations.
Remember, you are in control of your time and attention. Don’t let others control how you spend your time and don’t allow busyness to distract and derail you from productivity! Don’t FIND time, MAKE time for the people, passions, and projects that are important to you!
As always, I hope that you got something that you can use to make some positive changes in your life.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, please be sure to like it and leave your comments below. And share it with others who are struggling to “find” time and need some help taking back control of their time and attention.
If you have a question or need advice, send your question to AskTamara@TamaraHartley.com. You can also send me a message on Twitter using the hashtag AskTamara.
I would love to hear from you. Comment below to let me know how you put these strategies to use in your life. Also, let me know if there’s a topic you would like for me to cover. I love getting your comments, your feedback, and your suggestions.
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