As a new month begins, we are reminded that our 2017 is drawing near. I think this is where we insert applause for all the women who have achieved their 2016 goals and for all the women who are still in the process of achieving their 2016 goals. One major ingredient that makes all that we intend to achieve in our life possible is time management. Our daily, weekly, and monthly demands as professional women can be overwhelming, but time management makes it all possible.
What do I mean by all? I mean living while achieving. It is important for us to meet our deadlines, complete our projects, and be punctual for those big meetings. However, it is also important for us to make sure we are living as we pursue our goals and progress in our professions.
Whether you own your own business or you work a 9-to-5, you need time management, because as entrepreneurs and business women, we are living in a flourishing time of opportunity for professional women. Therefore, it is imperative for us to implement some best practices to improve our time management for our professional and personal lifestyles. Here are some simple best practices I use to optimize my time with living while achieving:
- Balance vs. Prioritization
I know we romanticize having a balanced lifestyle, but newsflash—there is no such thing as balance. We can’t give the appropriate amount of time to all that matters to us in one day, or even in one week. We must always go back to the drawing board and identify what are our top priorities for the day, week, month, and year and work everything else around that. Here is where we can achieve a flow rather than trying to push through to give our time to every genre of our lives.
- Work Smarter, Not Harder
Hyper productivity will run us straight into the hospital, so you want to avoid the seduction of hyper productivity that leads us to the burn-out epidemic. You can work smarter by getting a virtual assistant. I like to use Fiverr.com. I have found it most reliable and economical. You want to learn to be creative with how you can get assistance and support in getting things done through delegating. The point is to get creative to work smarter.
- Find Time for Stillness
It is mind blowing what a stillness practice can do for your productivity and clarity. Instead of complaining about traffic, being on hold too long, or waiting in line at the bank, take advantage of that time to quiet your mind and appreciate your life. You can grab a moment to practice gratitude, imagine something calming or enjoyable, and affirm something positive within yourself. You reduce anxiety by utilizing time to become present and still.
- Early Beginnings
Start your day early. You can avoid procrastination and stress by just beginning the day a little earlier to complete a project and tackle deadlines little by little to get tasks done ahead of time.
- Do the Most Crucial First!
Don’t get dragged down by the details. On a daily basis, you should be in awareness of what is most crucial to complete. I suggest identifying the day prior what your top three most vital tasks for the day are.
- Date your Squad
Set appointments with those you love, friends, children, nephews, nieces, companions, husbands, grandparents, parents, cousins, and siblings. Whomever you consider apart of your love squad, don’t shy away from being intentional about setting time aside with those you love. Remember that no matter what you do professionally, no matter what the opportunities you get, the most important things in life are your deepest loving relationships that nourish your soul. Don’t abandon this for anything. Be mindful of not neglecting this aspect of your life. Set a date and commit to that date.
- Just Say No
I heard once before that a dishonest yes is a no to yourself. For effective time management, you must exercise and develop the practice of saying no. We as woman say yes way too much and there is this social stigma that if a woman says no, it is somehow negative. On the contrary, saying no is appropriate and fair to your time and yourself, therefore, it is the ultimate positive. It is all about how you say it. Here are some examples that empower me to say “no” gracefully: “I appreciate how important this is to you and no” “I know not to say yes to this. If that changes, I’ll get back to you”
Our time is our one true asset in life and as we use it to achieve our goals, don’t forget to manage it to where you live your life as well. Happy time management, ladies!
Be well in creating your legacy!