Time management. Pretty boring term, huh? It’s right up there with net neutrality and that is being kind (to net neutrality). Besides sounding overly corporate, time management sounds boring because most folks have negative associations with managing their time. A lot of us feel like we can’t get it all done, so we must be poor time managers. #nottrue
I remember doing a food journal a while back and being astonished at how much I ate in one day. A latte here, a cookie there – it added up so quick it made me feel a whole slew of emotions. For one, how could I not realize that I was eating all that junk? I mean, I’m the one living my life, I’m the one making the decisions. The other big thing that I noticed after starting at a page of tallied calories – even though it felt like bad information, it was ultimately good information. The reappearance of salty + sweet (aka my favorite food group) over the course of several days spoke volumes. And even if I sorta knew that I had a thing for dark chocolate covered in sea salt, there was no question that these treats went down my gullet more than I would have liked to admit. The biggest problem I realized while tracking my food is that we are on autopilot; we have the same routines day in and day out so it’s easy to lose awareness of the tiny decisions we make each day. We don’t step back and look at our daily decisions on a big-picture level to see how they affect us over time. But they say the first step towards change is awareness, right?
Which is why I want you to track your time for the next few weeks. And don’t go all Google on me and try to find an app to tackle this. Use a pen and paper, or notes on your iPhone, or a Text Edit page (if you must, here’s a template to print out). The last thing I want you to do is get caught up with all the bells and whistles of a fancy new app. Warning: time tracking will do two things right away. First, it will make you hyper-aware of your decisions (even if you make the same choice you always do, you’re going to take note #literally). Secondly, you are going to sob into a pillow at the end of each week wondering how and why you’ve squandered away your time all these years (not really but you might be hit with a teeny bit of guilt and regret). So obviously, I can hear you bah-hum-bugging this task because it sounds like a real bummer. So I’m going to hit you with an inspirational quote, “Nothing worth having comes easy.” And what is it we all want more of? MORE TIME.
And not to worry, I’m not going to leave you hanging. In the April newsletter we’ll talk about what comes next. And in the meantime, can we all agree that we’ll put our creative thinking caps on and come up with a new word for time management? What’s that? You’re not signed up for our pretty awesome newsletter?! Problem solved; sign up here.
P.S. And not to worry– you won’t be alone… I’ll be joining you on this time tracking journey