Time is one of our most valuable resources – as valuable as our body, our health and our relationships. There is so much we can do with it! But most of us don’t think we have enough of it and thus, we always crave more of it.
We live in a society that demands fast and instant gratification. Products in our marketplace, including (frighteningly) us, are forced to become more efficient and effective in order to get a higher place on the shelf. Companies, individuals and organisations pride themselves on efficiency and effectiveness – qualities which are highly related to good time management. One that manages their time well is one that is effective not only in managing time, but in creating value for themselves or their company.
‘Time is money, my friend’
We live in a time paradox – we are always looking for the quickest and easiest way to do something, but sometimes we use these ‘quick’ things as procrastination. Think scrolling through Facebook in order to see what people are doing without needing to contact them, or downloading new apps to help us do something better or quicker or more informatively (and then never using them!)
One of the biggest lessons that we need to learn as ambitious, striving women is that we actually can’t be everything, let alone to everyone. This can be such a difficult pill to swallow. But learning to swallow is so important – because if we don’t, we are sacrificing our health, our wellbeing and our quality of life.
You might be reading this blog because you’re looking for a way to be superwoman. To be the woman that somehow fits 50 hours into her 24 hour day whilst juggling 1000 balls in the air and still managing to do it with style. Don’t we all want to be this woman at some point in life? We at Lumi sure do!
Having said that, there are things we can do in order to be better with our time, and feel proud of ourselves that we are able to do all the important things with the time that is allocated to us. Here’s a few tips that can help you better manage your time on a regular basis:
- Make lists with action points and deadlines. We Lumi women love lists – for shopping, for work, for life admin. This is because they can be so helpful! Each work day, we make lists of the things we hope to achieve at work and then tick them off as they get done. The sense of reward for ticking off even a simple task is a great motivator. Same goes for life admin – are you procrastinating calling your energy supplier, mobile phone company or the tax man? If you have a Thursday night or Saturday afternoon free for such things, write them down as a list and get them done point by point. Even if you just do one of these (let’s face it, boring) things per week, then you’ll eventually get through that list.
- If you are spending the most time in your life in one thing, it better be worth it! Good time management is about prioritising the important things in our lives. If you are spending the majority of your time at work, at the gym, on your side project, or even volunteering for a worthy cause – you want to know that the huge amount of time spent on these activities is worth your headspace and energy. If you are spending so much (over)time at work on a regular basis that the other parts of your life are crumbling (health, relationships, Personal peace), then you need to think about prioritising what’s important and manage your time based on that.
- Quality time is worth the time, especially in our personal lives. There is a big difference between any kind of time and quality time. Two hours spent having a nice dinner out with your partner where you properly talk about your week is very different to two hours spent in front of the TV where you barely grunt at each other. The same goes for work or any other activity – you could sit at your computer for 10 hours a day and get nothing done, or you could be super productive in a 2 hour time slot. We need to ensure that as much as we can, the time spent with particularly the people that are important to us is quality. If you are always distracted or have your mind focused on something else, then your time is split between that person and your next task.
- Time is to be allocated – which includes time of rest, sleep and fun. Good time managers allocate regular time to themselves. When we first started Lumi, we interviewed a bunch of you to find out more about your needs and desires as women. One of the questions we asked was ‘On average, how many hours do you spend on yourself on a weekly basis’? Some of you said 7 – an hour a day, which is wonderful! One whole hour a day dedicated to you – whether it was going for a walk, doing yoga or having personal reflection time. Some of you however, said 0. Absolutely no time to yourself in an average week. Is this good time management? Even some of the most ‘busiest’ women in the world such as Ariana Huffington of the Huffington post, talks about the need for rest and sleep. Ariana, for example, has a time of night every night where she ‘signs off’ from work, social media and looking at a screen. She sets this time every night in order to manage her sleep and down time. Whether it’s 7pm or 11pm, make this a priority in your life too. Similarly, setting aside time for holidays and fun activities is just as important as managing your work time or life admin. For what is life without such things to look forward to!
We are never going to be absolutely perfect at time management, but if we stay committed and (dare we say it) organised, then the high priorities in our lives can remain priorities – and our time will reflect that. Use your time as a resource, and you might just be able to complete all those things on your list!