If you are anything like me, you would have questioned: “Where does all the time go???” – Several months ago – I was fighting a battle against time, I simply found myself saying “I don’t have time” all the time – Where did all my time go?
I would read out my to-do list as follows: I have to work on website, I have to call vendors, I have to schedule meeting with JV partner, I have to call my mom, I have to go for yoga and I have to cook dinner – all in the same breath – just imagine I was saying something as relaxing as yoga and something as tedious as scheduling the meeting in the same breath – I was sure I was missing out on something.
I was kind of becoming anti to-do list person – I would feel burdened with my to-do list instead of feeling relaxed – As in something that helps you manage your time better should make you feel stress-free right?
One day I simply decided to streamline things and Voila, I came up with a system that required just 5 sticky notes, to begin with, and now I use only 4 – Who would have thought just 4 sticky notes could make this transformation of no time to I HAVE time!
Read on to find out more….
Step 1: From Mind to Paper – The good old To-Do List
Write down all that needs to be done. Think of everything – bills to be paid, calls to be made, projects to be done, meetings to be scheduled, gym class, painting class – every single thing that’s occupying your head space simply empty it onto paper
Step 2: Convert your to-do list into I HAVE time – Seriously, I m not joking!
Your starting point is the to-do list. Now simply go through your to –do list and categorize the items as follows:
Have to get it done:
These are the activities you must get done or a great deal of discomfort may be caused to you and to those around you. Not doing these activities will typically leave you stressed out! Schedule them on your calendar right away
Alterations can be made:
See if there are any items on your to-do list where alterations can be made. Maybe the activities can be delegated or there is a more efficient way of doing it. Example groceries can be done online, kids can be car pooled, dinner can be take-away or be a simple recipe, maybe someone with spare capacity can help you out with a project – You get my point.
Veto for today:
Search your to-do list for activities that need not be done today at all. For example, yes the idea of re-doing the garden is nice – but does it really have to be done today? You wish to change the curtains of the house – will it be done today? Is doing the groceries critical today or can it later? Is having the meeting with the vendor critical today or can be scheduled for next week? You get the drift!
These are what I call – simply love to do activities. These activities make life fun and stress-free. Calling your friends/parents/family, going for a walk, painting, cleaning for some, cooking for some, are activities which energize you or refresh you. Yoga and cooking were my Energizers and yet I put them on the “to-Do” list – and it just felt like more work.
When you see your time represented this way, you will always feel you HAVE time.
The truth is I got habituated to saying everything as a to-do list and did not even realize, there are many things in the day I was doing because I love doing them – If I love doing them – why was I complaining about them taking up so much time??? Worth a thought!
I don’t have time is a lame excuse – the truth is we all have the same number of hours at our disposal every single day – It’s just that we at times we put a priority on all those items, which at the end of the day, are completely avoidable.
Busyness leaves us feeling “I have no time!”, look carefully we do manage to do a lot, it’s just that we have forgotten that many activities we do out of love and care – and they are not to-do things, they are love to do things!
This system will help you prioritize and represent your day better. I have reached a point where I don’t even need a to-do list – I simply list them out as I H-A-V-E time and yes that makes a huge difference in life!
Initially I used post-its (given I am a stationery freak!) but today since I work mostly online, I use the sticky notes app on my desktop and have fun alternating between different tasks.
So what do you think? Let me know if you end up trying this or have a time saving tip of your own.