What is Time Management? Powerful Strategies for a Fun and Fulfilling Life

What is Time Management?
Powerful Strategies for a Fun and Fulfilling Life.

What is time management?

Here’s my quick definition: the set of skills and tools people use to be more effective and efficient with their time.

And why are you here?…

Because you are overwhelmed, stressed, afraid of not completing something in time, or you recognize that time is the one truly limited resource we have.

And you want to know how to manage your time so you can get all your tasks done and still have time for relaxing and fun.

You want to be productive and manage your time effectively.

This is totally possible. No matter where you are or what job you have.

There are ways to create more time in your life. And as much as all the little “hacks”, or planners, or systems that you read about can be helpful…

I want to show you the essential skills that always work and will set you up for success every day.

This doesn’t have to be boring or hard either, it can actually be fun.

The Benefits of Time Management - Why is it Important?

time management

Imagine what it would be like to design your day and then live it exactly like you’ve planned.

This doesn’t mean you have an overstuffed day filled to the brim with things to do, but rather you’ve designed your day to best serve you and your family.

I love being able to wake up each day and know that what I’ve planned is exactly what I’ll accomplish. To know that I’ve planned for the unexpected as well and that I don’t ever need to feel rushed.

Other benefits I’ve seen in my own life:

  • Less stress and anxiety (more calm and control)
  • Confidence in my ability to complete projects on time
  • Career growth (I’ve received promotions due to my productivity)
  • Trust in my ability to create the life I want – like telling yourself “I’m going to wake up and go running” and then you actually do it at the time you said you would
  • More time for family, recreation, learning, thinking, writing, etc.
  • More energy (you actually waste a lot of energy in all the stressing and task switching)

The Brief Story of Time Management:

How we view managing time today (in 2021) all started in the industrial revolution, where factories were focused on creating the most product in the least amount of time.

Frederick Taylor, one of the first management consultants in America, taught companies how to increase the efficiency of workers by studying their work process and finding the fastest way to get the job done.

Although Taylor wanted to find the best methods that would benefit both the company and the employee, companies were so focused on producing more that employee wellness was less important.

This focus on production over wellness is at the core of why you aren’t getting as much done.

How You’ve Been Programmed to Fail and the Time Management Mistakes that Follow.

Every morning I have to take my daughter to school, and guess what happens if we are “running late” (in other words, the clock says 7:20am and we need to be at school at 7:30am).

My shoulders tense up, I start to panic and say “hurry up” to my little girl. We feel rushed, worried that if we are late to school, something bad might happen.

And the truth is, if you are late enough times, the school WILL do something about it. Most likely you will be suspended from school for a time.

You see, we haven’t escaped the industrial revolution thinking.

If you didn’t get your work done fast enough in the old days, you were fired…and then your family would be in jeopardy.

Time management of the past was primarily FEAR based. And this same thinking exists today.

Ever since you were a kid, you’ve been told:

  • “hurry up!” 
  • “we’ve got to go, we’re going to be late” 
  • “this assignment is due tomorrow!” 
  • “if you don’t get this in today, you won’t get a good grade”
  • “The deadline is this Friday”
  • “The customer is waiting, don’t keep them waiting!”

 

See how stressed you feel after reading those things? It’s all fear based.

And when you operate from fear you get less done. You make mistakes, you forget things, you shortcut your work in order to “turn something in”. 

Fear may also cause you to work longer on things. This is what perfectionism is all about. You want the presentation to look perfect because you are afraid of what others might think if it isn’t.

So how do we solve for this fear based model? This is what we’ll dive into next…

The Perfect Time Management System - 3 Strategies you Haven’t Thought of (Hint... this isn’t about tips, tricks, or techniques)

Strategy #1: Shift from Fear to Love

To solve for the FEAR based model of the past, we have to take a completely opposite approach. To win in the new world, time management must be LOVE based.

What does this mean?

It means that you make choices and operate your life from the emotion of love rather than fear.

For example, let’s go back to my “running late” experience with my daughter.

Fear causes me to say “hurry up” and rush my daughter along.

There have been times where I even force my daughters shoes on and carry her out the door (even if she’s crying). This is what fear does.

Love, on the other hand, would lead to me telling my daughter why it’s important that we get ready quickly.

Love would look like me having compassion with myself and with my daughter.

Fear would lead to me judging myself for being a terrible parent.

Fear would lead me to blaming my child for her lack of focus.

Love would accept what happened and find a new way to solve the problem.

So listen. If you plan something and don’t honor it, show some compassion for yourself.

The brain wants pleasure and avoids pain…

…so of course you looked at Youtube videos instead of sending that important email.

Of course you decided to clean the house instead of create a video training. Your brain doesn’t want to do uncomfortable things that could lead to failure.

Your brain doesn’t want to “put yourself out there” for fear of someone not liking you.

Love also means that you take care of yourself.

So many people are eating horribly, staying up late, and distracting themselves all day with social media instead of doing their work in the world.

You may not realize that these actions show that you don’t like yourself, but if you operated from a place of love, what do you think love would do? If you truly loved and cared for yourself, how would you treat your body?

If you truly loved and cared for yourself, how would you design your day? Would you overschedule yourself? Would you overwork yourself and neglect your family? Would you fill your hours with social media?

I don’t think so.

The winning mindset for managing your time is not one based on fear, but of love.

All I know is that the more I love myself and the more I teach my clients to truly care about themselves, they improve in all areas of their life.

To quote the bible “charity never faileth.” – 1 Corinthians 13:8

Putting this strategy to practice is actually quite simple. You can start by doing the following:

  1. Watch your thoughts throughout the day
  2. Catch the critical thoughts about yourself
  3. Ask yourself “what would love say about me right now?”
 
Strategy 2: Decide Ahead of Time What You Will Do - Design Your Life From the Result Backwards

I don’t like the word “planning”. And my guess is that you don’t jump for joy when I say “let’s plan your day.”

At its core, planning is simply choosing now what action you will take later. But recent science has shown that the way you plan is important.

Researchers found that you are more likely to accomplish your goals when you practice “future retrospection.” Essentially, future retrospection is about imagining yourself as if you’ve already completed the goal or project and then outlining all the steps you had to take to get there.

This can be used in your long terms goals like starting the business or in the day to day experience where you envision the successful completion of each task on your calendar and how you’ll feel at the end of the day after doing your best work.

Imagining your successful future helps you to feel amazing in this moment. And when you feel amazing you act amazing. It is also helpful to anticipate the obstacles you will encounter as you envision the day.

For example, as I visualize a successful day today, I know that my brain will want to tell me that I don’t know how to help my client in our session later. To address this obstacle, I can visualize myself changing the way I think about it. I can also add a note on my calendar to practice some affirmations or review my success thread (article to come on this) to increase my confidence.

Here’s the step by step process of how I like to plan:

  1. Spend 1 hour a week planning the following week
  2. Write down all the things I want to do (notice how I don’t say “need”)
  3. Put those items on the calendar without overscheduling (put items on in a results oriented way, like “blog written” or “inbox zero completed”)
  4. Each morning envision the successful completion of the calendar
  5. Anticipate and plan for any obstacles

 

The important thing is that you design your life ahead of time. Think about what you want to do with your time and then put it on the calendar.

The calendar is simply a tool or resource. It’s the best way to organize your actions in a visual way (it’s pretty much blocks, with words, on a timeline).

So before you jump into your day, visualize it being successful first. When you have a specific end in mind, it makes a world of difference.

Now, the last strategy is one of the most important. If you nail all three, your ability to create more time will go through the roof!

Strategy 3: Create Self-Trust with Follow Through
duty bound dad

Have you ever met someone new and set up a lunch date or meeting with them? Or you might think about your first job interview.

If the person you are meeting with arrives 1 minute late, it’s not too big of a deal.

If they arrive 5 minutes late, you might look at your phone but are still expecting them to show up.

If 10 minutes have gone by you start to wonder if they are coming and you would have texted them by this time.

If 20 minutes have gone by you are likely to move on with your life (especially if they didn’t respond to your text or call).

What do you think happens with your trust in that person? With each consecutive minute that goes by, your trust lowers.

If you decided to try again and they didn’t show up again?…well, you can kiss that trust goodbye.

This is what happens to most people every single day. Except the person you are meeting with is YOURSELF.

You see, when you put on your calendar “morning run complete” and you don’t show up to the appointment, then your self-trust lowers.

And then you schedule another appointment and don’t show up. Again and again and again. You don’t honor your word to yourself and then you beat yourself up for not showing up and getting things done.

Think about what this does when done on the daily.

After working with hundreds of clients and students, I’ve found that the reason why people don’t plan is because they don’t trust themselves.

Why plan if you know you won’t follow through? This is the question your brain offers and it makes perfect sense because if planning just leads to more suffering, then there is zero incentive to do it.

This is why the first strategy is about shifting to love. If you can forgive yourself and love yourself and be willing to start small in building this relationship of self-trust, then you can start to make progress.

Being able to follow through on your plans is life changing. It’s at the core of every successful human on the planet.

All the millionaires out there, all the people with amazing relationships, all those with good health and awesome bodies created an intention to do something and then followed through. Again and again and again.

This is how you achieve any goal. This is how you get to the top.

So how do you build this self-trust? Try these simple steps:

  1. Decide one thing you will do tomorrow and put it on the calendar
  2. Act as if this calendar item is an appointment with your favorite mentor/celebrity
  3. Show up exactly when you planned and end exactly when you planned
    Celebrate in some way…because you honored yourself

 

The highest form of self-love is to honor your future plans. (Tweet this…haha)

You are worth showing up for. (this is also an amazing quote 😉 )

The more you honor your word to yourself, the more you trust yourself and the more you can design your life the way that you want it, knowing that you are giving the best of you to every day.

WARNING and Conclusion - Creating the Fun, Joyful, and Fulfilling Life You’ve Always Wanted.

These strategies are super helpful and can work for you on a personal level as well as a team level.

But I will let you know that there are tons of systems out there and everyone will tell you that their way is the best.

The perfect system is the system that you use. It’s about making this work for you.

I know plenty of successful people who list 3-5 things they want to get done in a day instead of using a calendar and time blocking. This works for them.

What many people do is try a system half-way, experience failure, and then decide it doesn’t work and continue learning about other systems without ever choosing to do what THEY want.

Listen, if you are reading this then you have likely been exposed to plenty of hacks, tips, tricks, activities, to-do lists, techniques, apps, and whatnot.

Take what you’ve learned, sit down, and create a system that works for you.

  • Stop judging yourself.
  • Stop dabbling.
  • Stop procrastination by removing the thought “I’m a procrastinator”.
  • Stop seeking for perfection and balance.

 

  • Start choosing what you want to do with your time. Prioritize what is important to you.
  • Start writing it down. Get it out of your head and onto a paper or calendar.
  • Start managing your attention.
  • Start honoring yourself by honoring your plans.

 

You are worth honoring.

The more you act on what you know you need to do, the better your life will be.

What’s fun is creating value in the world.
What fills you with joy is actually doing what you planned and feeling accomplished afterwards.
What’s fulfilling is being able to impact others through your unique contribution to the world.

So if you are done with the traditional view of time management and you want to learn from someone who knows how to help, then click here to get my FREE Video Training Series that will help you start applying these life changing strategies. (This is one of my favorite resources)

You know what you need to do, but you just aren’t doing it. This is where I come in to help you apply yourself. If you already know you want a coach, contact me for a FREE discovery call to see if working together would be awesome.

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