I am an extremely visual person. I think in pictures more often than words.
I’ve identified that one of my challenges is time management and overloading myself, often because I don’t know how to say ‘no’. So between taking on too much and sucking at setting boundaries, I was always struggling with ‘ not enough time’.
Resonate with you?
I have heard a few different analogies regarding this issue.
The one I initially enjoyed was likening my time to Bandwidth. There’s a cap on that, a limitation. Unlike the old bandwidth from the 90ies, we can’t simply buy more of our own bandwidth. When it is done, it’s done.
I saw it as each day, you are rebooted through sleep with a fresh source of bandwidth. Depending of what you ‘download in the day’, will depend on how long it lasts.
Whilst I liked this concept, it still wasn’t working effectively for me. I found too many ways to fool myself into thinking I could simply extend that bandwidth.
I needed something more definitive which I found in a point system.
It’s a concept I created that 100 points per day are allotted to things you can do. Your energy points. It’s like a bank account with points. You draw down on them as you expend your energy. 100 points… that isn’t that much.
What this 100 point concept has done for me is to become very mindful of what I am using my points for as I start to do something. So, when I click on Facebook, I ask myself if I have enough points left to scroll through my feed. More often that not, I stop myself or I’ll give myself a few points but I limit it to one or two.
This concept has eliminated TV from my life. Instead I spend that time reading, doing Personal Development courses, listening to a podcast… I save that big chunk of points for many other things in my day!
On those days when you reach your boiling point, take time to reflect on what you used your 100 points for. If you are honest with yourself you’ll quickly pinpoint where you overspent and why you have nothing left in your account to barely lift your head.
This might mean you spent too much on a pointless argument. You squandered a few points on a daydream, or lingered too long on your grocery run in the supplements aisle.
If you find that you are still running out of points despite cutting back on wasted spending, then look at times during the day that could easily include two activities, meaning a task only needs 1/2 a point so you could double up on activities. You know those daily things you could probably go into robotic mode and do with your eyes closed?
For example, you can always listen to training, podcasts, e- readers whilst doing the laundry, washing the dishes, preparing dinner or school lunches or going for a walk or run.
Finally, I found there was often these ‘dead space’ moments in my day as a mother. The waiting in carpool/pick up line at school, the sitting through swim practice daily, the early morning hours and evenings when the kids were asleep. Those nooks and crannies of time are little gemstones for the likes of us always looking for more time. Sometimes those gems are right in front of us. Just take the time to reflect on your days, get a good night’s sleep and know that those bank accounts will be fully loaded with your 100 points for the next day.