“You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.” Charles Buxton
Do you have a plan for the coming week, or are you reliant upon others directing you? Of course, some work is boss-directed but that accounts for one third of 5/7ths of a week (5/21ths = 23.8%). In other words, using the ‘my work is chosen for me’ excuse covers ¼ of your week; sleep accounts for another third, which means that the remaining 41% of your week remains within your control, or lack of such.
If you have goals, that 40% must – must – be spent, at least in part, in pursuit of those goals. If your goals are work focused then work time should include activity directed towards those ends, but some effort towards work goals will have to take place in the 41% – studying for professional exams, for example. But remember that life is there to be enjoyed, too.
The objective for time managing your life is to make sure that you plan time for what has to be done, but also for what needs to be done in terms of self-renewal. By that, we mean renewal in the 4 human dimensions – mentally (growth), socially (relationships), physically (exercise, rest, sleep) and spiritually (meaning).
Plan your week with those 4 parts of your life in mind. Around those necessities created by work and ‘life’, plan time with yourself to exercise, read, meditate, learn, and so on. Plan an hour’s exercise at least 3 times a week – exclude travelling time in that hour! Plan to read at least one book – two, if you like fiction, because non-fiction makes you better, too. Listen to your loved ones and express your love for them. And think about what it is you’re about – connect with your Personal Mission Statement and remind yourself about the way you chose to live your life. Serve others as much as you can while you do all these things.
And do all this before the week begins. I do it on Friday, at the end of a week when I can see what progress I’ve made and can choose what further effort is called for. You might choose Sunday night, Saturday or Monday morning, or the start of a series of work shifts.
People tend to use the start of the working week and do that planning at their workspace. This means that their plans tend to be work-focused. This isn’t necessarily wrong – just don’t forget the other stuff.
Plan weekly, adapt daily. But focus on your mission.