Not Time, Priorities
What do I mean when I say “time management?” Time is impossible to manage! It just keeps on ticking no matter what we do. When I talk about organizing your time, I’m really talking about priorities. You can’t manage time, but you can certainly manage what you DO with your time.
YOU get to choose what you do each day (within reason), and that means you have some decisions to make! But what do you spend your time on?
Finding your Priorities
If you don’t take a moment and take stock of how you spend your time, it’s easy to fall into a routine that includes lots of wasted time. Keep a quick diary of what you do for a normal week (what you REALLY do, not what you think you should do), and at the end of the week look at how you’ve spent your time. Was there anything you wanted to do but couldn’t get to? What could you cut out of next week to give you the space for important activities?
The first step toward managing your time well is deciding what’s important, and what’s not. Spending quality time with your kids? Important. Taking time to care for yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually? Important! Binge-watching hour after hour of TV that you’re not even that into? Maybe not important.
It’s important to note that great time management doesn’t mean you’re constantly in work-work-work mode. If you realize you need a nap at 3pm each day to be a healthier, happier person, then that is important!
There are always consequences to the choices you make. If you spend a couple hours at the park with your kid, that’s a couple hours you can’ t spend on chores. If you take a 15-minute walk around the neighborhood every day, that’s 15 minutes every day that you can’t also spend making yourself a nice cup of tea and doing a crossword. Note that I’m not placing value on any of these activities—that’s for you to decide! The point is to make choices about how you spend your time deliberately, instead of being passive and letting things happen as they may.
When you take stock of how you spend your time, prioritize things that are important to you, and actively decide what you want to do, you’ll be surprised by how much more freedom you have than you think. The un-examined life fills up quickly with tasks that aren’t important in the grand scheme, but you have the power to change up your priorities, change up your schedule, and live more deliberately!