How to Become the General Manager of your Time

Hershey Cat

Okay, we’ve all been there. You finally have a day off and you’ve got full intention to do all the things you’ve been putting off all week… grocery shopping, cleaning the toilet, going to the gym…yadda yadda. Suddenly it’s 5:00 pm and there’s stale coffee in your mug and you’re on the ninth episode of Friends reruns. Stress boils up from deep in your chest and your armpits start sweating. There’s no way you’re going to get everything done. Overwhelmed, you settle deeper into the couch and order a pizza, trying to justify the waste of another precious day off. “I had a really long week,” you say. “I deserved a day to do nothing.”

Let’s take a minute and reframe the phrase, “time management”. A cliché, I know, but really think about it. Time management. You are the General Manager of your time! An hour may seem like a miniscule amount of time, but what is our life but an accumulation of hours? As the General Manager of your time, you decide what your core values are, what your goals are, and how best to use your time to get to where you’re going. Let’s take a snapshot look at what values and goals are reflected in your actions this week. What did you actually do with your time?

Weekly Planner 02.01.15

You probably filled in your work schedule and any appointments you had first. But what comes next? Be honest with yourself! Did you spend 2 hours on Pinterest yesterday? How many episodes of Dance Moms did you watch on Saturday? How many to-do items are left unchecked?

Now, write down what your intentions are for this week. Be realistic with yourself! If you have a hard time motivating yourself to work out at all, don’t schedule yourself for a two-hour gym session. Start small with 20-30 minutes a day. Instead of spending 4 hours on your day off catching up on cleaning, dedicate 30-45 minutes per day to maintaining your living space.

Weekly Planner 02.08.15

I put two reminders on my phone for each calendar event (I use iCloud to keep everything synced). If the event is something I am doing at home, I have a reminder for 15 minutes before and at the time of the event. If the event is something I have to leave the house for, I set the reminder for 1 hour before and then again either 15 or 30 minutes before. The second reminder tells me I should be leaving the house if I want to be on time.

Now, do I actually accomplish everything on my calendar every week? No way! Life is unexpected, motivation wavers, and sometimes your cat is being abnormally cuddly that morning. I always re-adjust my calendar to reflect what I actually did with my time though. I know, it sounds like overkill, but I know that it’s in my nature to justify and stretch the truth if I rely on my memory. My calendar keeps me accountable. Whether I effectively did meal prep, vacuumed the bathroom, made the bed and brushed the cat … or watched 4 episodes of New Girl (because it’s that good). Cheers to a productive week.

Thank you for reading!

-J

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One thought on “How to Become the General Manager of your Time

  1. Wonderful blog and hilarious cat picture. I totally identify. I’m wondering if you should think about what you might do as a writer. You obviously have talent. Last night a friend told me her granddaughter, who is a little younger than you, had been paid $500 for a short story she had put online.

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