I’m so excited that my book, Out Of Fear, Into Love:Life Doesn’t Have to Be a Struggle is going to be launched in just a few short weeks. At last! I never realised just how long it would take me to write the book and complete all the tasks involved in getting it published.
But you know, alongside the actual writing I’ve learned a great deal on this journey.
One thing I’ve learned about is how to manage my time better, to not be overworked, to be kinder to myself. A particularly helpful lesson I’ve learned is something that can be applied to all sorts of things we want to achieve in life: the big things, the medium things, and even the small things.
It’s been a helpful lesson for me so I want to share it with you
We all want more time. Life can be extremely busy; it can sometimes feel that there just isn’t enough time in the day, but time is something we can’t borrow or buy. But we can find ways to make time work in our favour.
We make the mistake of being a Task Person
One common mistake that I’ve made, as have many of the people I’ve met, is to approach life as a list of tasks. We think that by getting through tasks we’re making way for some free time at the end of it.
I’ll just get this done and then I’ll take a break, we say to ourselves. The problem is that those tasks never really end.
As soon as we complete one thing, another seems to pop up in our estimation of importance; and before we know it time has slipped away and we feel too tired to enjoy any spare time we do have.
Approaching life as a Task Person means we often feel stressed because we’re thinking about the next thing that has to be done; we can’t relax until that’s ticked off our list, and then the next, and the next. We’re definitely not being kind to ourselves when we live in a constant state of stress; and in fact approaching life this way means tasks become more of a burden than enjoyable, more tiring than inspiring, more drudge than a pleasure.
How to make time work for you—instead of you working for time
It’s very helpful to think Time before you think Tasks.
When you set aside a designated time for the things you want, and need, to do, they become more enjoyable, more easily achieved and less stressful You’ll find that they get done so much more easily—and almost magically, spare time will appear for you.
Each week,(or month if you prefer), set aside a specific time to do the tasks you have to complete. Plan it out in your diary or calendar. Make sure you have it set out clearly:
- You know what you’re going to be doing
- When you’re going to be doing it
- And most importantly how much time you’re going to dedicate to that task
Start your task at the designated time and when that time is up STOP!
Don’t worry if it’s a bit hit and miss at first. As you get used to being a Time Person you’ll find you get better at assessing how long it will take to complete things, so your planning time will get better and better. You’ll quickly notice that you feel less stressed because you’re no longer worrying about getting things done.
- You know when something is going to be done
- It’s written out clearly
- It’s not going to be forgotten about
- It’s not going to be pushed to the side
And because you’re less stressed, your creativity will be much more in flow, you’ll find you become more efficient and life seems effortless.
Switching from being a Task person to a Time Person is a great way to start being kinder to yourself— it’s part of a happy balanced life.
In the next post, I’ll be sharing more on my experience as a therapist on working with self-kindness and the power it has to change your life. In the meantime here are a few more tips on making time work for you.
- If you find a routine task tedious, match it with another thing you enjoy, For example, watch your favourite TV show while ironing.
- If you catch yourself moaning about not enough time, remind yourself that time is there for you as a gift and that you can have mastery over how you use that gift.
- If you really find something arduous break it down into 30-minute sections.
When we think negatively we block our own creativity; you’ll be amazed how easy something becomes when you take the pressure off yourself.