Consider thinking about time management holistically to really make it work for you.
Our culture confuses effective time management and hyper-productivity. Hyper-productivity may work in the short-term (see start-ups), but filling every single 15-minute slot in your planner isn’t a long-term strategy (see start-up burnout). Holistic time management includes time for relaxation, joy, and regeneration.
Take a day or two to observe your biorhythms. When do you feel the most energy and do your best work? When does your energy ebb? Notice when you are doing work at times that run counter to your natural energy cycles. Ask yourself if there are there any tiny adjustments you can make, or things that can be left undone? Remember, the work of life will never be complete. What small task can you let go of to support your self-care?
Take note of how you respond on any given day when your body prompts you to rest. How do you react? I know the notion of rest when your body is tired is laughable when you are on deadline, or your child is sick and you’ve been up all night. Here’s my question for you: if you gently employ your curiosity in these situations, what tiny shifts (the smaller the better) can you make to support your need for rest?
Holistic Time Management Tools
Here's a couple holistic time-management tools you can use and do just about anywhere.
- Calm.com offers great 10-minute meditations for free that you can do at your desk, on your sofa, at the bus stop.
- Taking five deep breaths in through the nose, pausing for three seconds, and then breathing out through the mouth can shift you from a reactive state to a more neutral state in about 30 seconds.