What would you give to have more time? Most of us would like more time, but the truth is, we have all the time we need if we’re doing the right things at the right time.
Time is a finite resource. We can’t manufacture more of it, but we can direct our efforts to enjoy more time and space. Time well organized helps us to walk more confidently and feel more accomplished at the end of the day. On the contrary, every minute we use our time haphazardly adds fuel to the raging inferno inside when we are pressed for more time.
In conversation with others, we may say yes to an idea, project, or task prematurely and have not fully considered the obligation. A good rule of thumb is to be realistic with the time commitment that the task will take and then multiply your realistic estimation by at least 1.5. Some sources may contend that doubling the time is often necessary since we tend to underestimate how long a task will take.
I do not enjoy looking at my calendar when it’s jam-packed and void of white space. The thought of it makes me anxious. As an introvert, I prefer well-spaced assignments and obligations that allow quiet thinking time. There are some notations I’ve made over the years as I attempted to reclaim as much intentional time as possible. Perhaps the following will help you think differently about your time and begin the redemption process.
Consider whether these may be stealing your precious time:
- Tasks that shouldn’t be done. Not all projects are created equal. And some tasks or projects shouldn’t be done, period. In other words, it is essential to identify critical actions and interventions to redeem more of your time. What are the things you’re doing right now that shouldn’t be done because they don’t align with your outcome goals? Perhaps you’ve always done them, but the more you think about them, they have no long-term purpose or immediate benefit. They are not even a nice-to-do one day. Take them off the list!
- Tasks that you shouldn’t be doing. Some things should be done, but you are not the one who should be doing them. This is an opportunity to outsource. We spend a great deal of time doing urgent things that aren’t important. These are the things we could delegate to someone else. Write your book or clean the house? I agree that both should remain on the list, but only one is essential for you to do and therefore have your attention. I used to outsource cleaning my house and have gotten away from it. Now, I struggle to get it all done without compromising important work. As I write this, I am again considering what outsourcing would look like for me in this busy season. What are you doing that someone else could do faster or better or well enough so that you can get the most important things done?
- Tasks that you haven’t correctly prioritized. Lastly, most of us have our essential work or projects on our calendar, but we have not correctly prioritized them. No shade. I struggle here too. There are so many passion projects that we want to do them all at once. However, priorities don’t work in that manner. If all are a priority, then none are the priority. There must be a dedicated ranking. A balanced life originates from knowing how to rank priorities so that we strive physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. It’s assigning the right tasks at the right time and for the right reason. That already feels aligned!
If you’re constantly strapped for time and feeling like there is never enough, take the time to ask yourself powerful questions in these three areas. Your answers may illuminate how you might reclaim our most important resource. You can never get back the last few hours, but you can make better decisions about the next few.
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