Have you ever found yourself being the first one in the office and the last one to leave at night? If you don’t have three times the workload as everyone else then chances are you might not be managing your time effectively. We reached out to our friend and Certified Life Coach, Stefanie Ziev, to help us give us some tips on time management.
6 TIPS TO MASTERFULLY MANAGE YOUR TIME
Oh, time management… the ever-elusive, seemingly unattainable beast we battle every day. Where does that time go? Why does it feel so impossible to get everything done in an efficient, calm and easy manner? And how do you become the grand master of your time?
When it comes to the workday, whether you’re going to an office or working from home as a freelancer, we sometimes think the answer to getting the most done is starting earlier and ending later. The real opportunities for masterful time management, though, lie in the answers to the questions: How are you are spending your time? How much time are you spending? And what’s it costing you?
Here are 6 tips to help you masterfully manage your time:
1. Set an intention – Each day before you leave the office or complete your workday from wherever you are get clear about what you want to focus on the next day. Think about what you want to accomplish, what values you want to embody as you go through your day, and the time in which you want to achieve it. Setting an intention shifts your thoughts to what you want, like efficiency, productivity, and time for you, instead of getting lost in and distracted by the things you don’t want, which becomes a vacuum sucking up valuable time. It’s important that you write your intention in the present tense so you can feel like it’s already happening. Examples include: “I am inspired as I complete a rough draft of one, full chapter of my book by 5 pm or sooner” or “I am peaceful and present as I complete the tasks of my day with ease by 6 pm or sooner” or just simply, “I am happy, grateful and present to the good in my life.”
2. Consciously design your day – Once you have set an intention – which is the overall theme of your day – now you can consciously design the action steps to support that goal. Before you leave work, make a list of the top 4 action steps that will let you reach your intention for the day. The point here is to set yourself up to succeed by bringing your awareness to the table and creating an attainable plan. One or more of those steps may include personal time for you. If you know you don’t normally take a moment for yourself during the day, set one aside. When you have 4 steps you’re consciously committed to taking, look at your calendar for the next day and assign each step to a time slot. If you find 4 steps are too much, find the right number for you. Print or write your next day’s schedule with these action steps in place and also note a concrete beginning and end time of your workday. Leave this front and center on your desk for the next day.
3. Get present – When you come to work the next day, sit down at your desk and before you do anything else, take a deep breath. Become present to how the chair feels under you. Take another deep breath. And as you do, read your intention for the day. Know that this is your time and your opportunity to be the commander in chief of your day. Look at the day’s schedule. If something feels too demanding, put it to the side. Commit to what you know you can and are willing to complete for the day.
4. Set a timer – For each task you’ve committed to taking, set a timer for it. Tell your assistant you are not to be interrupted during that time. Do not answer phone calls. Focus 100% on completing this step. And when the timer goes off…
5. “Put your pencil down” – You remember this, right? The teacher says it and wherever you are, the pencil goes down – mid sentence, mid math problem, mid thought. For some of you, this may feel like someone is cutting your arm off, which I for one can totally appreciate. I invite you to try it, though. Just to have the experience of disconnecting so that you can start to get a sense of freedom. Choose to move forward trusting everything will get done when it’s supposed to.
6. Reward yourself – If your mismanaging your time then you’re probably the one who’s suffering. Most likely, you are sacrificing fun, self-care, time with friends and loved ones, right? And at what expense? Designing a conscious day allows you to carve out time for you. So give yourself one or more daily gifts throughout the day and most importantly, one directly after you end your workday at a reasonable hour. This will help you to consciously shift from work to play as you celebrate the expansive time you now have.
Here’s to you being the master of your time.
For more information about Certified Life Coach, Stefanie Ziev, Ziev Coaching’s services and upcoming events including a magnificent 1-day workshop designed to help you design your time called The Big Boards™: Plan Big 4 Big Plans, being held on Saturday, February 6th in NYC, please visit http://ZievCoaching.com.