Although I love working with a client to declutter and organize their ‘stuff,’ I also really enjoy working with them on their time management, calendar and scheduling. It may not seem like it, but both the physical stuff and the intangible time revolve around the same thing — your priorities. I have clients (and know many people) who just take on too much and they don’t have time for everything they want to do. That’s why I wrote my eBook on the subject. (Get your copy of Take Care of Your Time So Your Time Can Take Care of You here.) Here’s a little tidbit of something I write about in the eBook, but wanted to put at the center of discussion:
One key piece of time management is to change the way we think about our time and how we spend it. I’m guessing you probably often say this to people whether it be coworkers, friends or family members, “I didn’t have time to _______ (fill in the blank with almost anything).” Or maybe that’s what you tell yourself when you don’t complete what you set out to do. Sound familiar? What if you instead start to say/think to yourself, “I didn’t make time for ______.” Did you feel that shift? You make time and take the time for everything you do, so start owning up to it. If it would make you feel badly to tell someone, or yourself, that you didn’t make time for them or the task, then good. That will help you decide where to put your time and energy based on your priorities.
If someone asks you do to something and you say, “I don’t have time for that” what you’re essentially saying is, “I don’t want to make time for that.” What if that was how you had to answer? I’m not advocating being rude to people; please be considerate, but the goal here is to learn to think differently about how you spend your time and to be honest with yourself. You can use this mental exercise to help you clarify what you want to spend your time on, and it’s okay to be honest with people if their request falls outside of your priorities (be clear and kind!).
Here’s a great article written by my friend and colleague, Sara Caputo of Radiant Organizing on a topic we love to talk about entitled, “Are You Busy?” Sara offers some great ways for you to simplify and spend your time how you choose to, so you’re not so ‘busy.’ Between her article and my eBook, you can soon be spending your time intentionally and on the things that mean the most to you.