A couple weeks ago my web-guru Olga Polyakova updated her FB status saying that it was nice to not have a 9 to 5 job, the flexibility gave her the opportunity to enjoy her life the way she wants to. (This is her below :))
I agree with Olga. Owning a business can give you freedom, I love my mid-day naps and mid-afternoon French movies, yet the flexibility brings it’s own set of complexities. With freedom you have to make choices, whereas with a 9-5 job the organization makes these choices for you. Without an enforced structure finding a balance can be challenging. My main challenge became simply to have a day off.
I work with a lot of different people, some of them have 9-5 jobs and some of them do not. All of them have projects they are excited and passionate about, and together we try find a balance between their projects and their lives. While it is a gift to be able to work on your passion it is easy to forget to take a day off. And this is the fastest way to a BURN OUT!
After working with individuals for a long time and trying to balance my own life, I realize that whatever our time management systems are they must change along with the changes in our lives. Which is why I encourage my clients to review their time-tables on a monthly basis. Some of us may get a new job, have a second baby, get married or divorced, become part of a new organization, or move to Ethiopia for a month. All this adds new layers of responsibility to an already busy life and so it is natural that a new time management system is required.
By now, you are probably wondering what is a ‘ time management system’, and ‘do I have one?’, or ‘should I get one?’ It is possible you already have a time management system in place, or not. Either way here are the things that I consider when I work on a time management system for myself or a client. But before that always remember that each person’s time management system will be unique. This makes sense because you are unique, with unique goals and unique circumstances, after all each of us has our own map for success (you can read more about it here). Also be aware that theory and practice are seldom friends, you may want to spend 5 hours a week on writing your book and end up only with one hour. Face it and work on building up to your 5 hour goal – so be realistic!
Now to get started you must:
1. Define THREE main activities that are important to you and create your time management system based on these activities or core values. For example mine are SLEEP, MEDITATION and YOGA. My time management system takes in to account the hours I need for these three activities (yes – sleeping is an activity!). My client Radhika’s three activities are writing, going to the gym and preparing for her monthly shows. So all of Radhika’s new projects and plans must develop around these three activities.
2. A DAY OFF.
We all need a day off. A day on which you do nothing, or at the very least take away form your projects/business. I have put in place SACRED SUNDAY, on this day I do not check emails, and I do not talk about my business no matter how much I love it. You can do a MELLOW MONDAY or TIME-OUT THURSDAY. It’s up to you but you need a day to re-charge.
3. REVIEW your time management system.
Give yourself time to perform a weekly review. I do mine every Monday, I look back at what my plan was, what I could achieve, what came up, what created a challenge, and then I ADJUST my time management system accordingly. FLEXIBILITY is key in a changing world. It means that you are moving forward.
Your will find that your time management system will continuously evolve and you can succeed at being more organized if you are flexible and adapt your calendar to accommodate the changes in your life.
And then just like my web-guru Olga Polyakova you too can enjoy the freedom that flexibility brings.
This post is co-written with Radhila Vaz www.radvaz.com