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Living the Adventuress Life, Issue #002, Mar. 18, 2014 - How do you manage your time?
March 18, 2014
|Dear VIP (Very Important Adventuress)
How do you manage your time?
Lately I’ve been thinking that I may have taken on more in my life than I can possibly accomplish.
The good news is that I found a way to get everything done, and I want to share it with you.
But first, let me tell you where I was coming from and how I made this discovery.
There’s my digital magazine, www.adventuress-travel-magazine.com (for women over 50 doing fun things)…there’s the book I’m ghost-writing for a client in Caifornia…there’s my new company, HealthMark Productions (producing the 2014 Cuenca Holistic Health Conference)…there are my five completed e-books to market…there are the one-day workshops on art journaling and writing that I want to teach…there’s my memoir, Coming to Las Vegas, to finish..there’s my “significant other”—the child I never had….
I’m not saying this to impress you with how busy I am. It’s just that I have what I call “the creative curse”—too many ideas for things to do in my “retirement.” Too many attractive projects, plus many of the same things you’re trying to find time in your ife to manage.
You may have a job…children…family…aging parents—all demanding your attention, seemingly at the same time
How can there be enough time to do all the things we want—and need—to do?
When I was working on one project, I’d feel guilty thinking maybe I should be doing something else.
I was always asking myself, is this the best thing to do right now?
Is there something more important I should attend to?
How will I ever accomplish anything creative when I have to go meet the insurance lady, go pay the electric bill, plan meals, cook dinner, water the plants—and I want to watch a television series, have lunch with my girl friends, read a novel and see what my friends are doing on Facebook?
I discovered that guilt = stress. No matter what I was doing I felt overwhelmed, on edge, and anxious about (what I thought was not enough) time.
Then I stumbled on a wonderfully motivating website called www.EarlyToRise.com.
I signed up for their newsletter and received a bonus free e-book, How to Achieve the New American Dream—Inspirational Daily Reading to Guide Your Life, Health, and Business by Craig Ballantyne.
In it he talks about getting out of your comfort zone and creating more order and discipline in your life.
Yeah, right. Like that’s easy to do!
Craig Ballantyne writes, “Cherish time, your most valuable resource. You can never make up the time you lose. It’s the most important value for any productive, happy individual and is the only limitation to all accomplishment. To waste time is to waste your life. The most important choices you’ll ever make are how you use your time.”
He goes on to suggest you plan every minute of your workday, and be detailed in your planning, and deviate as little as possible in order to accomplish significant results in minimum time.
One way he suggests doing that is called “time-blocking.”
Just like it sounds, you schedule, or “block out” in advance a period of time to work on one project. You do this to account for most of your day.
Sounds silly when technically I’m “retired”, right?
Sounds kind of anal as well, but—what the heck—what if it works?
Ballantyne says, “Plan tomorrow’s workday today. At 5pm, or whenever your workday ends, sit down with your to-do list and prioritize what needs to get done tomorrow. I like to script my workday so I know what I’ll be doing at any given hour of the day.... The more you have tomorrow’s workday planned out, the more work you will get done.”
But I love ALL my projects. They are my children. How can I choose among them? How can I possibly decide which one to work on right now?
I thought about how I could apply this idea of “time-blocking” to my list of projects and I want to share with you my decision-making process.
Here’s what I did:
I listed the 6 projects most important to me. Then I looked at each day (6 days a week—I gave myself one unscheduled “day off”) and decided I could block time for 6 hours of work each day.
Years ago, I read that you should never schedule more than 60% of your day. You must allow for the unexpected. After all, “life happens.” That’s always made sense to me.
So I have 36 hours each week to schedule. I decided I want to schedule a 2-hour work segment in the morning, and two 2-hour work segments in the afternoon. Then I simply filled in which project I want to work on when.
Of course, I’ve only been doing this for a week, so time will tell how committed I am and how successful I will be at this.
But since I did this exercise I feel more relaxed, more able to focus on one thing at a time and more confident that it will all get done.
How do you manage your time? Do you have a favorite time-management system?
Wishing you a productive—and satisfying—day,
Editor & Chief Adventuress
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