How To Manage Your Time When Everything Feels Important.Jul 27, 2023
Entrepreneur isn't the only hat that we wear. We may also be employees, parents, children, and friends. On top of that, we're just human beings with our own personal desires. Managing all thee roles often means managing juggling multiple priorities and sometimes it can feel like we don't know what to prioritize.
In this blog, you'll learn how to manage your time when everything feels important.
Continue reading or check out the video replay from Instagram above where we discussed this topic live.
When I first started building my business, I was struggling pretty significantly, with workaholism.
I was in the sales job and I was working around the clock. I used to work around the clock all the time. And when I say around the clock, I truly mean like AROUND THE CLOCK. My laptop might open up as early as 7am and at 6pm, I'm shutting it, and I'm going to open it back up again around nine, then I might work until 1 or 2am. I quite literally worked around the clock, but I also had this desire to build a business and to start building something that ultimately I could leave my job for. It was a battle for my time because I couldn't continue to work constantly around the clock and build this business.
I needed those hours.
Not only that - I needed sleep. I also had so many goals at that time of my life and my work was constantly taking precedence. It was constantly the thing that was always like eating up my time right and it felt like I don't know how to do this job, and make time for the other things that are important to me.
One day, I got to a point where decided I would shut my laptop at five.
In my mind, it was like, if somebody needs me or like has an emergency, I'm not available (nobody was dying at my job - it wasn't life or death).
Once my laptop was shut at five, all these hours that I was spending, working past five, working until 2am working and well before 8am, they became available to me for the things that I really wanted to do with my life.
So how did I make the decision to shut the laptop at 5 no matter what?
I created metrics.
If we are asking, "how do I decide what to do or how to spend my time when everything feels important?", that showcases that we have not defined our metrics for importance.
The proof is in the pudding when we hone in on this question.
We're not saying everything is important, we're saying everything feels important. Feelings are not always fact, but are a guide. The fact is that not only is everything not important to us, but everything is not as important as we've determined.
We feel that things are competing because we are more focused on what we think we should do, than what we want to do or need to do.
What I find when I look back on my life and I think about all of these priorities that felt like they were competing, what I realized is that the the common denominator was I truly just felt obligated.
I felt obligated to work this extra time.
I felt obligated to commit these hours.
I felt obligated to make these different commitments.
So now it feels like everything is important because I feel like I should be doing this.
If we want to create time for the things that matter to us, we have to learn how to decipher between what is obligation (the things that feel important) and what we actually desire (the things that are important).
Creating our own metrics for what is important helps us do that.
For example, currently at my 9-to-5, sometimes people send me meeting requests and I decline them. I might actually be totally available at that time, but I decline the request because:
- I don't have something to contribute.
- They don't have something to share with me that I need/require.
- I don't feel like I'm going to benefit in some way from participating in this meeting or conversation.
These are the metrics I utilize to keep my time focused on what meetings are important at work.
When we start to define importance, we come to the realization everything is not actually important or as important as we thought.
Generally, when it comes to my 9-to-5, what I deem important are:
- The opportunities that are going to support me in the business that I am creating.
- The projects that excite me.
- Projects that won't require me to commit more than 40 hours per week.
So if an opportunity comes up and it's doesn't relate to a skill I want to develop or something I really love or enjoy, and it may require more time from my life, I don't offer up my time.
These metrics help me create boundaries around my work, so I can leave time for my business and my life after 5.
In similar fashion, my business and my personal life often compete for my time after 5.
I've had to create a personal metric for when to stop working on business tasks and get back to my life. The metric is, if this (activity/project/etc) will keep me from keeping a commitment to myself, I won't do it.
So on Sundays when it's time for me to head to my mom's house for our weekly meal prep session, but I have a laundry list of to-do's to complete, I use this metric.
I have multiple choices:
- I can keep working and show up late
- I can cancel and work through the night
- I can stop working and go to her house.
When I'm adhering to my metric, I choose door number 3.
If I'm being 100% honest, I've also gone through door number 1 and was not happy with my choice.
Having metrics helps us create and sustain time for the things that matter to us.
Until we make that decision, our time is going to feel cluttered, our mind is going to feel cluttered, our life is going to feel cluttered, because we're ripping and running, being stretched thin, and trying to create space when we don't have the capacity.
You want to build a business, you want to take care of your parents, you want to go on date nights with your partner, you want to spend time with your children. All of these things are going to vie for your time and all of them will feel important.
Creating metrics will help you identify:
- Are there things that I am committing to that actually don't meet my metrics for importance?
- Are there things that maybe I'm overcommitting to that are keeping me from creating time for what I deem important in my life?
If you're asking yourself, "how do I manage my time when everything feels important?", it's time to start identifying the metrics for your time.
How do you know when to say yes to a commitment or opportunity?
Learn how to improve your time management.
Not sure how to build those metrics?
Join the 'Achieve Any Goal' email community to learn more about our upcoming workshops that will teach you how to use this concept to declutter your time so you can launch and scale the business you want without dropping the ball in your life.
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