How you spend your time is how you spend your life. Period.
As we all know, time is always moving, and life isn’t promised to us at every moment. So how can we make sure we’re living a life that feels fulfilling to us each day? And I mean one that’s genuinely fulfilling. A life where most days we feel satisfied with what we do, who we spend time with, and how we show up in the world. We have to take an honest look at how we’re spending our time. Thankfully, we can prioritize reflecting and planning out how we want to use our time, like prioritizing taking care of our health and managing our money. Let’s explore how we can create a better relationship with our time together.
I like to work with themes and templates throughout my week to help me keep track of my progress and reflect on what I’m putting my energy and resources into. If you’ve been following me this year, you know that Money Monday is a perfect example of that.
So yes, when it comes to keeping track of how I spend my time, I have a themed day for that. It’s called Time Management Tuesdays (or TMT for short)! Every Tuesday, I reflect on where most of my energy went during the past week, and I ask myself whether or not I feel satisfied with how I spent my time. I created a PDF with questions that I answer honestly and as thoroughly as possible. Here’s a peek at some of the questions I ask myself:
What did I get the most out of (activities, relationships, routines, etc.)?
What did not serve me (activities, relationships, time wasters, etc.)?
What did I do for fun?
What did I do for my health?
What did I do for my purpose (life mission)?
I like these questions because they are focused on how I spent MY time in a way that serves ME. It’s easy for us to fill up our time with obligations or responsibilities that benefit others. Maybe you’re someone who is always putting in overtime at work, or you’re a busy parent trying to take care of your family. It’s fine and good that we serve and take care of others. However, when we don’t consciously look at how we’re spending our time, we miss out on so much. We can easily fall into the trap of ignoring our desires, being on autopilot, and living a very unbalanced life. The goal is to have a balanced life. Balanced, not perfect. But we can only get to that point when we ask ourselves real questions like this consistently.
At the end of my reflection, I make it a point to adjust next week’s plans according to what I need more of. For example, perhaps last week, I didn’t do anything fun for myself or anything related to taking care of my health. Acknowledging that, I can address why that may be and plan for next week to go to a paint nite with friends and schedule workouts for each weekday.
We must reflect, plan, and act on changing our lives by changing how we spend our time. With that, I want to offer you some action steps you can take to simplify your day-to-day and create more time for the things and people you love. Here are some tips I always keep in mind when thinking about my time:
Know what your time-wasters are and work on reducing them
For me, I have an issue with YouTube (as I mentioned in this previous post). It’s my vice of choice – I can be on there forever. So what do I do when I notice I’m spending more hours on there than I should? I block myself from accessing it using the Content Restrictions setting on my phone and laptop. I’ve also used other blockers that make this easy too. What’s a time-waster for you? Scrolling on Instagram for hours? How can you spend less time there?
Embrace the beauty of mono-tasking
If you’re like me, you probably think you’re great at multitasking. And if you are like me, I’m gonna laugh at you. LOL. But that’s because I know firsthand that doing multiple things at once splits up your attention and energy. When you do that, you sacrifice the quality of work you put into something, and you might feel more drained by the time you’re done. So embrace the beauty of focusing on ONE THING AT A TIME. Sit down, set a 25-minute Pomodoro timer, and focus solely on writing that blog post (@ me). See how much you can get done and how much better you feel while mono-tasking.
Build helpful, automatic routines and habits
You know I love good and helpful automation. Creating routines and habits that work for you allow you to accomplish what you need and want to do in a way that doesn’t take too much brainpower, energy, or maneuvering. You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but you need a routine! You need habits! They save you time, add to your life, and make day-to-day living easier for you. Build these routines and rituals to simplify getting what you need or checking off your daily tasks. There’s a whole set of books and videos I could recommend that would help you with this but the biggest tip overall is to keep it simple and ~ if possible ~ enjoyable.
Prioritize fun, health, purpose, and connection
These are four priorities I have for making sure my life feels meaningful and enjoyable. After all, what’s life without some fun? How can we function without health? Isn’t life more meaningful with a purpose? And can we all agree that we just want to feel connection and love at the end of the day? I encourage you to really make time for all of these in your life to the best of your ability. Set up time to socialize, have adventures, workout, and show up in the world. You deserve to live a good life; a fulfilling life. We all do.
My intention with this post is to encourage all of us to look at our lives from the driver’s seat and to spend it on our terms as much as possible.