Feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? Does everything seem like the priority? Do you constantly feel tired and overwhelmed? According to Carla Reeves, #ladyboss and productivity guru, you probably have all the time you need if you spend it a little differently.
Time, like anything else, is a resource you invest into your business. With each 24-hour day, you have complete control over where, when and how much time you invest in each aspect of your day, your business included. So, are you ready to get the time you thought you lost back? Here’s how she helps people reclaim their time, be more productive, and get everything done.
Thriving or Simply Surviving?
When people admit that they don’t have enough time, it is less about their schedule and more about an outdated approach. In the early 20th century, work culture invested in the idea that staying busy equates to success. Today, we see the remnants despite this approach proving time and time again to be unsuccessful.
Entrepreneurs who earn “the busy badge,” as Reeves refers to it, often find themselves wrestling with a constant and relentless sense of overwhelm which can lead them to forget the smaller tasks or forgo taking care of their general wellbeing. However, this approach rarely cultivates long-term, sustainable success and wares on the individual as time goes on.
To break the cycle, Reeves advises taking 20 minutes to address your relationship with time:
Step one: Tell yourself a story about time. Write it in your journal, tape yourself on your phone, but record your story somewhere. You will need to revisit it.
Step two: Look back at your story and answer:
- Who or what is time? Is time the hero? The villain? A natural force like the weather?
- How does time change where your story goes?
- What is going on with time in the beginning? At the end?
- How does time evolve throughout the story?
Step three: According to Reeves, “your thinking is the lens through which you experience life,” meaning how your character experiences and interacts with time is a direct, subconscious representation of you feel about time. Ask yourself:
- What does my story reveal about my relationship with time?
- How does my story impact my actions?
- Does this relationship with time encourage me to multitask, rather than monotask?
- What kind of results do I see on my tasks?
Stop Earning Your “Busy Badge”Time For A Better Approach
Trade up your thinking from no time to more time. Somewhere in your day, there was a time you could have completed a task, or at least made a serious effort at it if you set aside your overwhelm and got to work. Reeves offers the reminder: “Trust that you’ll have all the time you need because you have more than enough if you invest it right.”
Rank Your Priorities
Ask yourself what the top three tasks you need to achieve today are. Do you need to accomplish all these tasks by the end of the day or can some of them wait until tomorrow? Anything that can’t wait, schedule time into your day for. Scheduling out those critical tasks will create a clear vision of what are the priorities and help you manage your stress.
Everything that doesn’t need immediate attention should wait until after the scheduled tasks are complete, even if this means putting them off a couple of days. These are the things that can rest on the back burner for a little while without starting fires. Keep a running to-do list with the tasks you need to do, but don’t realize there is no need to stress if they wait until tomorrow, later this week or the end of the month as long as you get it done. If you have extra time at the end of the day, getting going on this list.
Stop Losing Time By The Seconds
Recognize your mental energy leaks. We all have them. Are you managing other people’s lives? Mediating other people’s problems? Worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet? Constantly checking social media or email to ensure you haven’t missed anything?
Regardless of the source, these moments redirect energy that would be more productive elsewhere away from what needs to be done. That is not to say never tend to others or check your social media. But knowing when is the best time for each of these will promote productivity.
Reeves suggests using a timer to remind yourself when you need to move on to your next task, whether the task is checking your email, calling your mom or taking a quick emotional break. Alarms tend to ground you at the moment and direct your mental energy toward why you set it in the first place. An alarm set to tell you to move on to the next task will prevent you from spending too much time on any one task and alleviate that feeling that you need to check the time.
You have enough time to do everything if you invest your time smartly. There’s no need to take on extra work, especially when it distracts from priorities like your family, your wellbeing, or the success of your business. Instead, implement your results from Reeve’s exercise and gain 15-minutes back for your business every day.