Time Management: Awareness

Time management is something many people struggle with. There is only a certain amount of time in a day.

How can we fit it all in?

man folded over desk with calendar, clock and schedule

Most people have a schedule if they work full time. I have mainly been a freelance worker my whole career. I am used to working hard and having time off.

I found early in my career that I needed a plan for my days off, even if it was to go to the movies, volunteer or work around my house. I want to accomplish things.  I found that a plan kept me on track and helped me feel like I got things done. If I started a day without a plan I really didn’t do much or feel accomplished with what I did do.

I have been planning my time most of my life. I am the type that likes to work hard and then have time off.

This became very evident when I worked at a bed and breakfast. I liked a lot of the job. The part I didn’t like was that I felt I was always working. I was there to answer questions, socialize with the guests and answer calls for reservations. There were no set hours. I thought this would give me freedom. It didn’t work like that for me. I felt like I was always working with very little to do.

When we opened the coffee shop it took a lot of work. I was always working and working long full days. We had very little time off. Even on Sunday the one day that it was closed we still had things to do or we talked about the business.

When my life changed, I went back into film production. At first, I felt at home. This was the lifestyle I was used to. Work hard, then time off.

But my schedule was at the whim of the employers. When I worked I couldn’t plan my life. The rule in production was that if you didn’t have work, just schedule something you wanted to do and the calls would come. I started to resent this. I wanted to make plans and keep them instead of cancelling all the time.

I decided I wanted more control of my schedule. I found coaching. Now I had total control of my schedule.

Starting my coaching business brought out my time management issues. Coaching was new for me. I needed to build my business. I felt like I should sit at my desk for at least eight hours a day.

This was not working. I found it difficult to be creative and get things done. I was only working but the business wasn’t growing. And my yard, social life and home all suffered.

It was time to really work on my time management skills.

Just like I tell my clients, I started with awareness. I began by logging my days. I needed to see how I was spending my time.

Then I looked at how I wanted to spend my time. After all, I was in control of my schedule.

I wanted balance in my life. I love the coaching. But sitting at the desk is not my most creative time. I wanted time to garden, hike and cycle regularly and see friends.

This took me time to master.

At first, my week’s list was huge. It didn’t matter how much time I had, I couldn’t finish it. I needed to be more realistic about what really could get done. Each week I learned more about my schedule, my work and my life balance. It took some time to perfect. I am much better now. But I still adjust it as needed.

Over all, I am rocking it. I exercise and bicycle regularly, I keep up with my friends, I network and I accomplish my week’s goals. I have also been able to housesit, vacation and hike on beautiful days.

I have gotten better at last minute schedule changes. I take a minute to breathe, adjust and embrace the change.

After all I am my own boss. I want to be a good boss. Which means, I want to be kind to myself along the way.

Are you ready to master your time?
I am here to help. Sign up for a free consult call.

Lesley King is an Empowerment Coach based in WNC.

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