The quest for the biggest time saver will not lead you to an app, a planner, or even a system.
Many people who are chronically stressed out by a lack of time get lost on that path and spend years hoping to find the magic key that will keep them organized, in control, and on schedule. But unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
Systems and apps are great, and can help a lot, but they often fail to account for the fact that:
- Life is sometimes going to be unpredictable
- People aren’t always perfect at following their own systems
No matter how meticulously you plan your week, chances are that something unexpected will come up that might require some reconfiguring on the spot. Or, maybe one day you just don’t do the stuff as planned.
For example, last week I didn’t plan for having to clean up after my dog threw up (she’s fine), I wasn’t planning on driving anyone to medical appointments, I forgot to factor in the time for my comedy writing class, and I didn’t anticipate how exhausted I would be by the oppressive heat, which led me to not follow through as scheduled on a few things. These things all cost me time, about 6 hours in total. Six hours is actually a lot of time!
There is no way to plan perfectly for the unexpected. No organization system would have factored those things ahead of time.
The biggest time saver is about what we do in those moments. The moments when the unexpected hits, the moments in between tasks when we just aren’t in the mood, or the moments when we don’t know what to do.
The biggest time saver is making good decisions on what to do next.
What makes decisions good?
- Intention: Don’t just default to autopilot, understand that in these moments you can choose what’s next.
- Speed: Decide and act immediately with the information at hand.
- Alignment: Make the call that aligns with the results you want, it may mean sacrificing comfort now for what you want later on. Your actions always reflect your priorities in the moment*.
Making good decisions is the fastest way to take control of your time.
The biggest time saver is a habit. Making good decisions that are intentional, fast, and aligned with the results you want is a skill that can be improved over time until it becomes second nature.
So if you’re stressed about time don’t go looking for the right system, start by looking at your decisions every day.
Where are you succeeding, and what could use some tweaking. What situations lead to making decisions that are not aligned, or where do you avoid deciding for yourself? What could you decide instead?
Just remember that the goal is not to make a perfect decision, it’s to move forward, and sometimes that means learning what doesn’t work. Also, don’t forget that you’re human, and we all occasionally make ridiculous decisions when it comes to time.
In our group coaching for women program, we are doing a two-week deep dive on time and it can be hilarious to observe the subconscious decisions we are making that sabotage us (Hillarious because we know how to catch ourselves redirect).
If your relationship with time needs some tweaking or a complete overhaul, get in touch, we have the simple tools to help you.
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