Are you ready to understand your time challenges and take control?
Want to get to grips with your time? Be more productive? Live a more balanced life?
With many of my clients, time (or lack of) keeps coming up as a big issue. I decided it might be useful to help everyone get to grips with their time, and came up with the Time Challenge.
It can be started at any time and can run for as long as you want. If your days are quite similar then you might want to only run it for a few days. Otherwise, I would recommend a week.
Okay, so if you ready, time (excuse the pun) to join in with our Time Challenge (you might find it useful to quickly grab a pen and paper first, to jot down a couple of things.)
There are three parts to this Time Challenge. It may be that only one part is of interest to you, or that you want to do all three.
1. For two days (or more) use a time sheet to record everything you do
Choose whether to include your whole day, or your working day.
It will help you understand what your time-stealers are. Record everything, including your calls, meetings, social time, sleep, travel, emails, breaks, and social media. Record as much detail as possible. For example, emails can be broken down into subject areas, or to/from people or departments, reading or writing them, or subscriptions.
Once you have recorded everything, take a look at your day to see what you might change, tweak, or stop. To improve efficiency and save time.
You will find links to blogs, with practical tips to help, further below.
2. For one week, aim to work to your contracted/preferred hours
What did you feel when you read this part of the challenge? Are you excited, fearful, or angry at the suggestion?
Simply noticing this can help you to understand more about what choices you might be making unconsciously, and its impact elsewhere in your life.
This is an extract taken from another one of my blogs:
‘There are many mindset and behavioural reasons for people to work late (or go in very early). These can include:
- using it to avoid being at home (loneliness, unhappy relationships)
- it has become habit (if your working hours are until 5pm, yet you always work until 6pm, this is probably habit)
- lack of confidence or assertiveness, or wanting to avoid conflict (this could be related to a boss, or team member)
- to fit in with a ‘culture’
- wanting to be in control, perfectionism, unwilling to delegate, fear of saying ‘no’ or asking for help
- it feels good to be able to ‘boast’ about the long hours worked, or to feel ‘needed’
Again, simply being aware means you can decide if you are comfortable with it, or if want to change anything.
3. Record any mindset, behaviours or other emotions which come up for you.
The time sheet you created can be used for this purpose too. Notice what comes up with the tasks as you do them, or think about doing them. Do they bring out a strong emotion in you? Do you love an activity, yet hate doing something else? Is there anything that causes you worry, or makes you feel annoyed?
Understanding your thoughts and reactions can help you:
- be clearer on your strengths
- notice if there are any changes you would like to make to your role (or indeed career choice)
- identify any gaps, or areas, for development,training or mentoring
What if nothing major comes up?
Great! If you still need some practical tips on time management and productivity, take a look at these blogs for some ideas:
Wow! That was interesting, something came up and I am unsure what to do, what next?
Explore it. Do whatever works for you to understand it better. Some people write freely everything that comes to mind (journalling), others meditate, some talk to their friends. Once you become aware of what is happening and why, you can start making conscious decisions about what to do instead.
If you want to delve a bit deeper, find it hard to fully explore some aspects, or want to significantly change a behaviour, then do get in touch for further support at email@example.com