Some people simply suck at time management. Accept that you might be one of those people.
Is this you?
- Do you find yourself getting to the end of the work day and you feel BEAT and tired and run-down, and you know you have been working hard all day but you are baffled at all you DIDN’T GET DONE?
- Do you start the week with big goals for eating right (cooking at home) and working out, and then you get to Friday and look back and realize you did about 50-75% of what you intended to do?
- Do you get to Monday and often feel like you had no weekend because you spend all weekend running around doing STUFF and errands and fitting in everything you can’t during the week- and thus, by Monday you are more exhausted than you were heading into the weekend?
I can relate to ALL OF THE ABOVE. And sadly I can say it’s been my life not just for weeks and not just for months but years.
I have read dozens of books and blog posts on time management. I understand all the concepts. I have bought more planners than you can possibly imagine, in addition to Todd Herman’s 90-Day Year, and I have completed maybe 10% of that.
Nothing has clicked for me. I have been challenged by (that’s professional speak for “I suck at”) time management for longer than I can remember, and I know it got the most out of hand when I left corporate america to run my first startup.
Holy Heck. Talk about being busy and understaffed!
I’m writing this blog post to tell you that I feel I may have found the answer to finally conquering time management and productivity problems. Read on.
What's the missing link in becoming a productive goal-reaching person?
Based on my own experience and some pretty epic A-HA moments, I believe strongly that the missing link below is what will help all of us make massive change in our unproductive, procrastinating, time-wasting days.
The Missing Link is this:
You have to define your two primary lighthouses. (Watch out here comes a possibly bizarre but hopefully effective analogy). What do I mean by lighthouses — well, lighthouses help ships aim toward a destination when it’s foggy and/or dark out. In other words when they can’t see where they are going. They focus on those lighthouses to guide them.
The problem with time management and getting the stuff done we need to get done is this- we focus way too much on the tactics vs. the bigger picture.
What do I mean by that?
We focus on “should I use an online calendar or a desk calendar?” or, “Sally swears by this program to help her get organized, I should use that….” or, “Everyone says it’s all about getting up at 5am so I should do that…!’
These are tactics. Any of them might work for you. What you need to figure out are the 3 primary components of the YOUR big picture:
- What do you ULTIMATELY want? (This is your to die for goal: I want to be a size 6, I want to be at 18% bodyfat, I want to be debt free, I want to start my own business) Far too many people haven’t taken the time to REALLY think about- in specific terms- what they want. They’ll say “I need to lose weight” – that’s great, we ALL say that. But- if you were more specific and said “What matters to me, what would mean so much to me would be to be able to wear whatever I want. I am tired of going in my closet and only being able to wear half of the clothes in there because some of them are too tight. I’m tired of feeling not 100% confident in my clothes. I work out hard and eat right, I want to LOOK the part”– that’s far more specific. And of course, you can take that further by enhancing those statements with only positive ones– what you DO want not just what you DON’T want. So you’d say “I want to be confident in my own skin. I want to rock my bikini, all times of the year, not just after a “diet”. I want to be able to wear any and all clothes in my closet and not feel fidgety in them because they are too tight.” Figure out what you really REALLY WANT in specifics and — you know what is coming- it’s recommended you write this down in a journal or a spot you can see daily.
- What’s been keeping you from getting there? This is also something a lot of us miss. We might say- again, being far too ambiguous (are you picking up on this- that ambiguousness doesn’t help us reach goals…??) “I need to eat better” but hello how do you know when you are doing that? What exactly IS “better”? The other thing a lot of us do is we aren’t honest enough with ourselves to admit where we are really dropping the ball. In my world, I’ll give you 2 examples. I knew I was doing something wrong with getting to my fitness goals- I’d lost a good amount of weight earlier in the year but started to plateau again. I KNEW deep down that my food was off but until just recently, I did not get back on MyFitnessPal and start TRACKING MY FOOD. I just kept saying “I’m sure I’m not getting enough protein and I’m probably at too many carbs”. In my work-life, I kept getting to the end of the day frustrated AF because I’d be working hard all day but I’d always say to myself “what did I actually get DONE today??”_ and I’d look at my list of things to tackle and a lot of them were on my list in January (things like Continuing Education/Training classes I bought a LONG time ago– you know it’s bad when you are on a 6-month payment plan for a course and you are paid in full before you actually start consuming the content…..grrr!!) I knew I was not effectively managing my time but— I just kept doing it, kept working the same way.
- What do you need to do differently to make progress and reach your goals? Ok this is a KEY point. You might think this is the same as the above point but it’s not. When you are really honest with yourself and see how you have been dropping the ball, that’s part one. Part two is being VERY SPECIFIC in what you need to do differently to stop the bad trend: — For me, I realized I needed to 1) Schedule my workouts in my calendar and STICK TO THAT COMMITMENT to myself + 2) Religiously track my food in MyFitnessPal and do it in advance each morning so I’m not trying to catch up on macros at the end of the day + (in my business world) 3) I need to get back to writing out my top 6 most important TO-DO’s for each day and start with those, nothing else + 4) I need to SCHEDULE my day in chunks of time and schedule my priorities vs. just winging the day and going from one thing to the next to the next and never really finishing anything. If you don’t do this last part– and ideally announce this as a big commitment to yourself– share it with your partner or your bff or your online accountability partner– I’m telling you, sharing my new challenges/goals/commitments online keeps me going so much- if you don’t identify how you change your bad habits and then implement them while being accountable to someone for it– you will be back at square one shortly.
Why you can't 'BACK END' success into your day anymore.
Watch this video I recorded on instagram live (are you following me on instagram? I’d love to know if this hits home with you and what changes you plan on making for greater success– starting TODAY!! Let me know in the comments below and be sure you are subscribed to my newsletter (you can do so in the sidebar) so you don’t miss a thing. Cool things coming up my friends! It’s so good to be back blogging again!