Getting organized matters very much to my clients. I’m often told that just getting our sessions on the calendar does a lot to reinforce their commitment.
Getting "out from under" small tasks is an important part of organizing and these small tasks are up to the client to complete on their own time. For example, if we are sorting papers in their office, we usually need to create a pile for papers that require their action. Working through these small tasks can be an obstacle for my clients.
This is where our work will turn to time management.
What I notice with these clients is that often they are caught in a pattern of reacting to tasks, projects, and engagements as they enter their orbit. In this paradigm, they have a hard time discriminating important from non-important, urgent from non-urgent; and they rarely have time or energy left for themselves.
When you manage your time reactively, chances are, you’re downgrading the things that really matter to you to “someday.” The trouble is, when you’re operating from this mode, “someday” never comes. You need to make time for the things that matter to you, or they won’t happen.
Put yourself first
I was working with a client on her to-do list and I noticed she did list personal projects and goals. However, they were listed at the bottom. Many women are used to putting themselves last. List your goals at the top of your list, even if it’s just one. This simple shift gives you some ground to stand on so you can identify and filter out distractions.
Reclaim your time
Once you’ve prioritized your project or goal, you need to create space in your schedule to follow through with action. Ask yourself what your next step is, and what time you need to take that step. Then, schedule a date with yourself. Treat this date like you would an external event. If anyone asks, you have plans!
Make peace with your to-do list
To-do lists are never ending. Paperwork, small tasks, phone calls, and errands are part of life, but they shouldn’t be dominating it. Sometimes, you’ll get thrown a truly urgent curveball, but most of the time, these things can wait a few days. I recommend scheduling time once or twice a week to handle them in batches rather than allow yourself to be constantly interrupted.
Don’t wait to make time for the things that matter to you. Decide that your time is valuable, and that it’s yours. From there, a little planning can go a long way.
With Love & Gratitude,