William Penn said it best, “ Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
Do you consistenly day dream about ways to add more hours into the day? Do you feel overwhelmed and feel like you are juggling and about to drop the ball all day, every day? Do you feel like you start out with the best intentions, but by 10am, your schedule is out of control? For many of us, myself included, we have all experienced this feeling. If you are of the group who says you have not felt this way, then you are either not facing the truth or a huge kudos to you! The reality is though, you can control your schedule, but you have to manage your life, not time.
Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in the movie, “ I Don’t Know How She Does It,” is a prime example of a business executive letting life control her schedule instead of her character managing her life. We live in a world where we are expected to do it all; job, significant other, family, friends. But just as Sarah’s character learned in the movie, you can’t do it all, the reality is YOU CAN, but you need to take control of your schedule by managing your life.
How do you do this? Let’s take a look:
Is your time spent on activities and tasks that have meaning? If not, you need to evaluate if they absolutley have to be done. If not, say no or delegate them to other team members. If they are not helping you achieve your objective. Move on from them. Don’t do something just because you feel you should be doing it (like staying up till 1am making homemade cookies for the school bake sale - store bought is perfectly acceptable) or staying at the office till 8pm because everyone else who is single and childless is just hanging out. (side note - you should socialize from time-to-time to establish relationships, but not to the detriment of your other relationships.)
Do you need additional help? Are tasks taking you longer because you are struggling with them? If so, ask for help! If your company is not able to provide or pay for additional assistance through training, mentoring or coaching, invest in yourself and get the help. It will provide growth, but more importantly, empowerment and control of your career and life. The same principle goes for at home. If you need help at home, ask for help. Asking and receiving help is never a sign of weakness, it’s actually the opposite.
Do you create a plan? If not, I highly recommend that you start creating daily lists, along with monthly, quarterly and annual lists. You can then priortize activities and tasks based on their importance and plan accordingly. When someone walks into your office and throws a new item at you, prioritize and pivot your list if need be. I am also a huge fan of time blocking. When you make your daily list, assign length of time to each category. This will help you plan your day and let you know the total hours of work that is on your list.
Remember that you are in the driver’s seat of your life. You may feel out of control at times, but take back that control. Carl Sandburg says it best, “ Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent. Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you.” Sarah’s character eventually learned these lessons at the end of the movie and so can you. Now take a deep breath, go and decide how your coins will be spent!
Kendra Clark Leadership Strategies is a global agency located in Stockton, CA focusing on executive coaching and leadership, business and marketing strategy consulting with a focus on sports and entertainment, hospitality, tourism and non profit organizations. As a member of the John Maxwell Team, Kendra helps organizations and executives overcome any hurdles they may be facing through purposeful leadership and strategy. To learn more about our services, please email Kclark@kclstrategies.com or visit www.kclstrategies.com.