Time doesn’t serve you in business, it limits you. We all have it — for now — 86,400 seconds each day. So here is a better perspective.
Work with energy. Allow your day to revolve around energy management, not time management.
Stop viewing time within the confines of a limiting spectrum. Your body doesn’t care if its Monday at 1pm or Tuesday a 2pm. Your body, your mind and your soul care about energy. This means, how you feel, or how you are failing to feel.
Think about something you need to accomplish, and chances are you could have done it, or least started. But, its highly likely that you were thinking, “I don’t have enough time.”
I hate those words.
Delete them now and never say them again.
The reality is that you only have so much time when you have adequate energy. But you may not have done the things you needed or wanted to do, because you actually had a lack of energy not time.
Most people can get up earlier, most people can work with time and manage it well. I know this. I know you can. But in the long haul, it doesn’t serve you, it’s boring, and so many people give up trying to manage their so-called “time” because they lack to manage their energy.
1. Manage your energy
First things first, if you want to manage time better you need to manage your energy better. This may include:
Schedule time for proper self care of your mind, body, and spirit.
Clear your environment, your desk, your life. Clutter serves nobody.
Write down a list of everything that sucks your energy, drains you. List everything that you want (or need) to do. We need to get things off our chest, and out into the open where we can see them. When we do this they become real, actionable and less draining because we are not carrying them around anymore.
Every morning when you wake up, ask yourself: Where is my energy today? How do I feel today (on a scale 1-10; 10 being ecstatic)? How did I sleep? how am I feeling?
This allows you to work with yourself and your energy. If you feel you could go back to bed, do it. If you feel you can get straight into work, do it. If you feel that you need some time to yourself, do it. Remember, we are working with energy management. Focus on your energy, build your energy levels up, and you’ll get a ton more done.
2. Ditch expectations
One thing about expectations is that they are as deadly as time. It’s okay to want an outcome, but don’t continually place your energy on the outcome. When you do, you loose your energy by focusing on how you expect things should go, instead of allowing things to go the way they need to.
3. Choose your priorities carefully
Most people have a to-do list that is as long as my arms. That’s stressful and draining. When you look at your list each item will fall into one of four categories:
Important and urgent
Unimportant and urgent
Important and not urgent
Unimportant and not urgent
Schedule your diary/planner the night before and prioritize your list with these categories in mind. When you start your day you will know what work you expect of yourself the following day.
4. Use a pomodoro timer
I use the pomodoro timer throughout my day to stay highly focused. The pomodoro timer keeps you focused for twenty-five minute increments. During that time you focus on doing one task. So, when you click ‘Start’ on the pomodoro timer you get to work (e.g., you don’t get up, grab coffee, surf Facebook or Tweet). Turn off your phone, shut down email notifications and focus.
5. Take breaks throughout the day
Take breaks throughout the day. Eat meals, drink water, and exercise. If you feel drained, then stop and take a break to rebuild your energy. When we fuel our bodies properly we get more done and are much healthier for it.
6. Schedule me ‘time’
I know a lot of life coaches who are highly stressed and depleted. Scheduling ‘me time’ into your week can have a huge impact on your productivity and happiness. Schedule in 2-3 hours of ‘me time’ twice a week. You cannot take on the world if you cannot master yourself.
7. Focus on actions
Focus on building your energy up and planning your week ahead. The results will take care of themselves if you do the right action.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Sarah Liddle is a life coach trainer. She lives off the grid in an eco friendly house-bus/ haybale house with her partner and son. She is a coach trainer at Coach School and a mentor. Sarah is under 30 years old and has risen from humble beginnings in New Zealand to create an international six figure business. Connect with @thesarahliddle on Twitter.