This past Friday I had the opportunity to speak at the Virginia Women’s Business Conference about “Time Mastery” … one of my favorite topics to discuss!
Every single one of us has the same 24 hours in a day, but then why is it that some people seem to be able to accomplish so much more, not just in their day, but in their lives? It is because they know how to master their time.
The reason I am so passionate about using my time wisely is not just because I want to be as productive as possible and to accomplish as much as possible … it is actually because I place a very high value on down time (or any time really) with my family. I love my work, I need to work, I’m very driven, but I also crave, and thrive on, my quiet times with my favorite people. Being efficient with my time, making it work for me, is the way that I can do both.
It’s quite funny, and very ironic, that in the week leading up to my presentation I was pretty frazzled and didn’t do or forgot several bits of my own advice … and paid the price for it. Instead of saying yes to working on my presentation I chose to do online Christmas shopping instead, which left me scrambling with last minute preparations. Instead of setting the alarm on my phone I overslept which left me grouchy and running behind the whole day. Instead of setting the timer on my phone so I would know when to leave the office I forgot, and wound up being late to pick up my youngest son from school (which of course when I pull up he and the aftercare teachers are waiting outside the door and he greeted me as soon as he opened the car door with, “where were you?”).
I realized too that not only was I not as productive as usual last week but that I had a constant feeling of “running behind” … and what came along with that was extra stress. And I don’t know about you, but I for sure don’t need any extra stress in my life right now.
The best advice I can give you when it comes to being a master of your time is two things … 1) be clear on what is most important/highest value to you, and 2) know where your time is going. Also, be prepared to be flexible. What works for you in your schedule right now probably didn’t work for you 6-12 months ago and probably won’t work for you 6-12 months from now. This is especially true when you have children at home. Things are constantly changing, and so you have to be open enough to adapt to those changes instead of fighting against them.
Monday is here … what is your highest priority task for today?