On a to-do list, all tasks take up a short line. But some will take 5 minutes. Others 5 days. Some require your best energy. Others can be done when you’re tired. Some require an office to be open when you make the call. Others can be done late on a Sunday night. ⠀
But you don’t know any of that looking at a to-do list. Instead, every single time you look at the list to decide what to do next, you have to do all those mental gymnastics in your head before you even start. ⠀
This is why I love throwing tasks in your calendar. By tying a task to a date, time and window of time, you can schedule it for when your energy is best, when the office is open, break a big task down into smaller steps, and decide when to work on it with time before the deadline. ⠀
grab your coffee
Let’s make your life less stressful through the nerdy power of time management
[heads up: lightbulb moment below]⠀
Sometimes the “what do I prioritize?” question blurs with the “work-life balance” concept. You know — when the competing priorities vying for your time are work and family/fun. How do you prioritize/find the balance?⠀
This next point made by @lvanderkam had me smiling and saying, “yessssss” out loud like the nerd I am as I drove and listened to her book on Audible.⠀
“I feel like I have 10,000 things on my to-do list and when I finally turn to one of them, I can’t focus on it because I’m thinking about all other things I should do – like cook dinner.” – A woman during a recent initial chat with me.
This sums up a feeling a lot of us have and I hear echoed often by clients. The feeling of being stretched too thin, always “busy,” and often feeling ineffective because our thoughts are pulled in too many directions.
If you know this feeling all too well (and we’ve all had them), keep reading – I have some strategies I’d love you to try AND an exciting secret I want to share with you.
A couple of days ago, while driving down the highway, I remembered I needed to call the vet in the morning (Olive’s on the mend now – don’t worry!). Obviously, in that moment, I couldn’t break out my Google Calendar app to calendar that call. But I also knew I’d forget to call if I didn’t put that task in a system right away.
So, I held down the button on my steering wheel that activates Siri and said, “Remind me tomorrow at 8:30am to call the vet about Olive’s paw.” Done. And, at 8:30am the next morning, I got the reminder, called the vet, got my pup in for a 10:30am appointment, and by 11:30am she was home and on the way to recovery.
Why am I sharing this? Because sometimes the things we need to remember to do flash through our minds when we’re driving, out with friends, or have our hands full of a project or child at home.
Now, you may be thinking, “Kelly. You talk time management. Not relationships. Stay in your lane.”
Yes and no. Here’s the thing: the only reason I care about time management is the impact it has on your life and happiness. I don’t want you to be productive for the sake of being more productive or so you can squeeze in even more work.
I want to help you manage your time so you can devote more of it to what’s important to you, which is often your relationships and, more specifically, the one you have with your partner.
So, how can I help make that relationship all the more awesome?
I once worked with a man who we’ll call Joe.
Before we met, during our pre-session phone calls, I could feel Joe’s anxiety about our work. In short: “What exactly are we going to do? I’ve tried getting organized digitally before, and here I still am. Is it even possible for me to feel in control of my time?”
Even I started getting a little nervous. If Joe had tried tons of methods before, would my system work? Was it possible for Joe?
At the start of our session, I was still a little nervous but just decided to focus on taking one step of my methodology at a time.
30 minutes later, I relaxed. I could see the lightbulbs going off in his head. Joe said, “man, this stuff seems so basic, but I just didn’t know to do it.” Because of this simplicity, Joe said he truly thought he could keep the system up to help him make time for what was important to him.
While I live in California, my happy place is Colorado. If you also have a happy place in another state or travel for work, just a reminder that starting October 1 of this year, our normal driver’s licenses won’t cut it. You’ll need a federally-compliant card called a REAL ID (or your passport) to fly domestically.
Part of my goal when it comes to time management is to help you avoid those last-minute scrambles. To that end, I just want to make sure you’re aware of and acting to be ready for this big change.
Recently, I had a great conversation with one of my favorite people. On our walk to get coffee, we talked about the difficulty of saying “no” or “later” to a new project.
We both like to say something like, “given everything on my plate right now, I can turn to this on X date” — and either hope they’re good with the later date or, in some cases, turn to someone else.
But here’s the problem: Due to people-pleasing guilt, we often throw out a date that will only work if we work nights/weekends on our current projects to make ourselves available. Time we’re sacrificing from our people we want to spend time with.
Whether you’re an attorney managing a partner or client’s expectations or an entrepreneur managing those of a client or collaborator, you know what I’m talking about.
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Realistic time management designed for professional working women
I'm a former big law attorney who got overwhelmed as a first year and slowly pieced together a time/task management system that actually reduced my stressed, helped me stay on top of it all (and know it), feel confident drawing boundaries, and soak in time with my family and friends. I'd love to get you there, too.