In this article, Helaine Iris gives a powerful approach to time management that talks about using a purpose driven life approach to manage your time. In a Stephen Covey like “First Things First”, She talks about how focusing on what is most important to you is the best way to manage your time. I personally think this makes sense and is very powerful because we don’t have time to do everything, but we probably do have time to do everything that is truly important to us. How important is it for us to watch TV, or to read all of our emails?
“I don’t have enough time in my day.” If only I received a nickel each time I heard those words. Come to think of it, I do. Sort of.
Plenty of smart, successful people hire me to help them deal with the issue of time management. Some have read the latest time management books. Most use the perfect day-planner or latest hand-held computer. Yet, they still struggle with the ever-shrinking twenty-four hour day.
Even I, on occasion, have suspected some sort of global conspiracy to rob me of my most precious commodity. Do each of us really get only 24 hours in each day? I’m certain some fortunate souls get more. And some, it seems, get far less. Have you ever wondered why?
Having more time. Is it really as simple as learning a few new skills? Is it enough to make your daily list, prioritize that list and check them off as they’re completed? I donâ€™t think so.
I propose the root of the problem lies not with a lack of time but with how you experience your life in relation to time. How is your experience of time different when your day is filled with things you love to do versus filled with things you feel you HAVE to do.
Already, I can hear you passionately interjecting.
â€œHelaine, be realistic. How can I only do things I love to do? I have to work. There are mouths to feed, tasks to achieve and responsibilities to fulfill. People rely on me.”
I agree, and hereâ€™s a taste of some foundational strategies I invite my clients to adopt in conjunction with any time management program. I challenge you to consider how these strategies might positively shift your thinking about not only managing your time but enjoying it.
You Come First
This strategy applies to everyone, but it especially applies to women. People do rely on you. Which is why it’s so important to take care of you first. Surely, you’re aware of the golden goose idea. It serves no one to starve the goose.
Oprah said it better in a recent “O Magazine” article. “If you allow yourself to be depleted to the point where your emotional and spiritual tank is empty and running on fumes of habit, everybody loses. Especially you.”
Our culture teaches otherwise, but the paradox is that you owe it to yourself and those who rely upon you to become more selfish. Yes. Selfish. You can put yourself at the top of your list without being mean or taking away from those who are most important to you.
Just let the idea sink in. I’ll admit, in practice, it’s not easy initially. But try it for 30 days. I can almost guarantee your life will look and feel dramatically more fulfilling than it does today.
The Purpose Driven Life
Yes, it’s a recent best-selling book. But it’s also a [tag]strategy[/tag] I’ve been teaching my clients long before the book was published. Your life is always being shaped and driven by something. For most, it’s the past — beliefs and habits based upon survival and fear.
There’s another option. You decide what’s going to shape and drive your life. You choose the vision for what your life is to be about, the values you hold most sacred and the kind of person you are to be. And you allow those three to shape and drive your actions in each moment. Life becomes much more joyful and productive when you can filter out all the things that are not in alignment with your self-defined life purpose.
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