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The Pulse

The Struggle: Time Management

 

Time Management is an issue that is discussed almost daily by people trying to figure out how to do it better as well as by those who believe they are experts in this area. The Questions and Topics you see on social media and other news sources range from…

“How Can I Create More Time?” “How Can I Use Time Wisely?”  “How Do I Master Time?”

The Answers and Information about Time Management come from a variety of interesting sources – Self-Help Gurus, Motivational Leaders, Spiritual Teachers, and, yes, Personal Trainers. Guilty as charged.

“Why” we all spend so much Time (pun intended) trying to figure out the enigma of finding more hours in the day is understandable. In our 24/7 World, the Value of Time is immeasurable, and the person who can Master its efficient usage and share that with the rest of us, is going to be a Hero. “Who” is dishing out all this advice to us though is more curious. Time Management has many practitioners, but how many of those people are truly In Control of it? We’re sure you even have your own opinions on how to organize your time optimally that are probably based on your own experiences, your own goals, and just plain common sense.

Well, you knew this was coming…. At IPF, we have our own very strong feelings about Time. Most of them derive from this one undeniable Fact:

Everyone has the same amount of Time.

Yes, you heard us correctly family of 8 kids and traveling business person and caregiver of parents and everyone else who feels like their day is shorter than the rest of us. It’s just not the case.

There are 24 hours in every human’s day and this doesn’t change, regardless of your Work, Family, Health, Wealth, etc. Of course, the more Responsibilities and Roles you have, the more your Time is Divided. And, since our society seems to put such a high value on being Busy, our Individual Skill at Managing Time is being perpetually Tested.

Are you getting to meetings on time? Are your kids making the bus every day? Are you getting to the gym at least 3 times a week? Are you caught up on emails and bills? Is your car inspection sticker up to date? All your endeavors – whether they are as significant as running your own business or as necessary as making the kids’ lunches – come with a price tag…. the Cost is your valuable Time.

Look, we’ll be honest with you, this blog is not going to provide you with some lightening rod Time Management idea. However, while there is no way we can help you HAVE more Time, we do think we can provide a tip or two on how to MAKE more Time. Not for the sake of getting more things done though; but to actually be Quiet.

Let’s look at one aspect of your day where we think we can have an immediate impact on your Time.

If you are like many of our clients, you get Home at the end of the day with just a few Hours left of your evening before bedtime. When we ask our clients how they use these last waning minutes of their day, we find that this Time is typically the Least Efficiently used moment of their day.

We understand; we’ve been there. You come home from a busy day and just want to Relax. Or, you’ve been home all day managing Kids, the Bills, the Household and now you want a break. Sometimes, when you walk in the door, thinking you are about to unwind, you just get more responsibilities heaped on you – Laundry, Dinner, Kids’ Homework, Walk the Dog. So much for putting your feet up!

Whatever these three precious evening hours typically hold in store for you, we argue that it is your Response, your Action, and your Plan, that are the keys to how each Evening is going to go. Here is a method that we use to find more Time at Night to Rest and Recover from our day. Plus, this strategy sets us up for Success in the coming day.

IPF’s 3-STEP PROCESS TO MAKING MORE TIME AT NIGHT:

STEP 1: KISS (Keep it Simple & Structured)

  • Make your Dinner (+Leftovers for tomorrow)
  • Leave Kitchen Clean (regardless of State when Arriving)
  • Handle Necessary Family/Personal Obligations (Partner/Spouse/Kids/Pets)
  • Choose your Tomorrow Clothes (Set-out or Pack In Bag)

STEP 2: SID (Shut-Down Individual Devices)

  • Set Alarm for Morning as you arrive Home
  • Set Alarm for Countdown to Bedtime
  • Shut Down Electronics 90 minutes Prior to Bedtime
  • Leave Phone Walking Distance from Bed

STEP 3: BYE (Bed at Your Earliest)

  • As Soon as you are Done Doing Everything, Lay Down and Do Nothing…

If you’re thinking to yourself that you kind of already do these steps every night, but you just haven’t used these clever acronyms, we challenge you to ask your Spouse and/or Kids and see what they think about your nightly routine. We’re guessing that they’ll say that you are actually pretty terrible at several of these things, and we have a sneaking suspicion that the one you fail most miserably at is shutting down electronics at least 90 minutes before bedtime.

The IPF team challenges you to try KISS, SID, and BYE for the next 8 weeks.  Then, let us know if any of these things happen – because we strongly believe they will!:

  • your Productivity Improves
  • your Sleep quality is better
  • you feel Healthier
  • you feel more Efficient
  • you Made more time for your Family, your Friends, your Pets, or simply for Yourself to be alone with your awesome thoughts

Now, we hope we can all agree that Time Management is not about How To Get More Hours in A Day/Night since this is cosmically impossible to do! Rather, it is about the ability to Plan how you are going to spend these hours to effectively accomplish your goals, even if those goals are to have More time to Relax and Rejuvenate.

IPF Baby, #LetsGetBetter!