Are you sick of your life running you? Want to start running it instead?
We tend to feel this way when our time is constantly dictated by guilt. Our calendar is filled with things other people have told us to do, we fill it up with activities we feel we should be doing – because all the other mothers/businesses are, we do things just because we always have, we do things so that we feel accomplished – because we are busy, and finally we run around putting out fires, tending to the urgent things while the important things languish on our desk unattended.
This way of filling your time will keep you busy, but you will end each month wondering – “what the frack did I actually do with my time?!”
Perhaps you wanted to read a book, or catch up with your girlfriends? Maybe you have a project that you really want to share with the world, but you have no idea where you would find the time or energy to actually get started. If this is you – if you feel like your days are not your own – read on!
Run Your Life – Intentional Living Key 1
I believe that there are 3 keys to taking back the reins to your amazing life! Today I’m talking about key 1, or step one in your journey to living intentionally. That is; fully awake and in charge of where your life is going, what you are doing and who you are doing it with.
The first step can be the scariest – but you will reap huge rewards from this alone! Key 1 – Declutter your schedule!!
Yes, it is time to get ruthless with your schedule!
Step 1. Track your time on paper for the next couple of days. Notice how you spend each waking minute. Be honest and don’t suddenly change your habits just because you are tracking them.
Now sit down and get analytical with your time;
-Where are you loosing chunks of time?
-Do you want to do all of these things?
-Can you outsource some of these tasks?
-Can someone in your household take over a certain job?
-Are you doing this out of guilt and obligation?
-Are your activities inline with your long-term vision and goals for your life?
-When are you most productive?
-What are you angry about when you look at how you spend your time? (For me it was hours spent on Facebook, scrolling to wind down at night).
There are 3 deeply entrenched assumptions we must conquer; “I have to”, “It’s all important”, “I can do both”. You can reframe this way; “I choose to”, “Only a few things really matter”, “I can do anything, but not everything”. Greg McKeown – Essentialism
Step 2. Map our your vision for your life. Identify your priorities. What is your number 1 priority in this season of life? What is number 2 & number 3? What tasks do you need to do each week to keep these priorities at the front?
Step 3. Get ruthless – cut, cut, cut. Hold in your mind the plan you wrote down for yourself and your family. Look at the time you tracked above and the answers to those questions. What needs to go? What is dragging you down and sucking your energy?
If you want to write a book, what needs to leave to make space for that in your calendar?
If you are spending a large portion of your day cleaning and picking things up, you may need to prioritise physical decluttering for the next month or so. (More about this in part 2!)
If you are spending too much time on social media, try charging your phone in a different room. Or you can delete those time-sucking apps for a week until you break the habit of always reaching and checking for those little red notification buttons.
Step 4. Block out time for your priorities & long-term goals. Design your time = design your life.
If writing a book is a long-term goal of yours, you aren’t suddenly going to wake up one day with a finished manuscript if you never make the time to sit down to write. You need to create space and block out the time to write – time where you have the energy and focus to be productive at it too!
This comes down partly to planning, and partly to knowing your own rhythms & energy levels. I am by far the most productive in the morning. To make space for time to write, I started going to bed earlier, so I could get up earlier, so that I can have time to write in the morning. That way I know; no matter how hectic my day gets, I have still made progress on my writing.
Know yourself and let your natural energy work in your favour! If something doesn’t work for a week, try changing it up the next week. You haven’t failed, you’ve just learnt one way that doesn’t work for you.
Step 5. Make you priorities visual. Post them on your desk, your mirror and in your planner. Keep them at the front of your mind so you know each day what you are working towards.
What needs cutting from your to-do list? I would love to hear from you! Come over and join my free Facebook group for women entrepreneur who are decluttering their lives & living intentionally.