Spending Time

February 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Photo by Nancy Arseneault

It’s called “spending time” for a reason, yet how many of us view our time the same way we view our money?  You wouldn’t toss $20 out of a moving car on the interstate, would you?  So why would you spend your time searching for supplies for a project or sitting through yet another long, boring committee meeting?

Rather than “time management” think of it as using a limited resource more effectively!

  • Energize yourself to be more effective

Sleeping and eating have the most immediate impacts on your energy levels and consequently your productivity.  A third pillar is how do you recharge yourself?  Are you taking time to do something for yourself such as exercising or reading that trashy romance novel?

  •   Consider your energy levels

When are you at your peak energy?  When does your energy ebb?  Take some time to note your energy levels through the day and then plan your day accordingly.  Don’t feel guilty about leaving dirty dishes in the sink until late in the day.  Think about it – do you really want to waste prime energy time on dirty dishes which won’t suffer if you do them while you’re tired?

  •  What (or who) are your energy Sucks?  Create boundaries and say “No”.

Women in particular have a very difficult time with this.  We want to be liked and be team players and so we have a tendency to say yes.  Before you accept something, consider:

What’s in it for me? – does that align with my core values/current priorities?

How much time will it take?

Do I have time available?

  •  Write it down.

When you have stuff written down, you don’t forget it.  Put it on your calendar and slot it into your schedule.  Ideas, dates, information – keep a small notebook handy and write it down.

  •  Mise En Place – not just in the kitchen

Create an environment that is conducive to what you need to do.  Have everything on hand you need so you’re not losing time looking for stuff.  Have multiples of common items, create routines, and put things on autopilot.  Make a weekly meal plan so dinner isn’t a surprise, keep snacks in the car, take time to mentally walk through your day and try to anticipate what you’ll need during the day.  Prep the night before.

  • Create backups

Backup your data and files.  Stash an extra key with a friend. Keep an extra outfit for your kids (or yourself) in the car. It’s a little extra work but the peace of mind is worth it.

  • Lower Your Standards

Is your to do list superhuman?  Can you realistically accomplish all that?  Is there time for stuff you profess to hold dear such as your family or reading that trashy romance novel?  Do you really want to spend your time cleaning or will “good enough” suffice?

Think of your time as a precious resource.  Put your YES stuff higher on the list!

Posted by Heather Comstock

Check out the Empowerment Center’s “Using Time Effectively” workshop on Thursday, Feb. 9th at 10:00 a.m. or March 22nd at 6:30 p.m. for exercises and tips on how to align your calendar with what you really value!


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