While coaching and facilitating every day, I have yet to come across a person who is not telling me that they are busier, more tired and feeling more stretched than ever. Our lives are filled with projects, initiatives, meetings, emails, phone calls, household chores, family responsibilities, unexpected demands and more.
All too often, in the busy-ness, we can fail to get the most important things done (like self-care) and actually be wasting time. I’ve written about this before and feel compelled to again. Probably because I also need some extra reminding! I admit that I too fall prey to allowing my phone to disturb me after hours as I continue to answer emails or check social media. I often work after hours because I like to take on a lot. I allow my weekends to include catching up on admin and writing. I had tapped back on much of this and factored in more fun time and then Covid happened! I found myself working extremely long hours to adapt and pivot the way I worked ahead of the curve. You can probably relate?
Sadly, burnout is up, people are struggling under huge pressure and anxiety, and we need to get a handle on our time and take charge again because things are not about to slow down. It is up to you to take Key Steps to TAKE TIME for you and…
‘be the difference that makes the difference.’
- Recognise time as the most precious non-renewable resource that it is. Once a minute ticks past, it’s gone forever. You can’t get it back and you might not get another. One thing the past 18 months have really shown, is that life can be cut short unexpectedly. Yet, many of us are still living like we will live forever and ALLOWING our time to be spent without enough consciousness. At midnight, we all get the same gift, life is very fair in this regard. If we wake to live another day, we all get 1440 precious life units. I prefer this term to ‘minutes’ as minutes just does not give this critical resource the significance it deserves. What are you doing with your precious life units every day?
- Keep a time log. The only way to really be sure of what you are doing with your time is to keep an accurate log. We are more likely to do this for our money than we are our time. We make budgets for our finances. We think about how we can spend our money wisely. We check our bank statements, and the resulting pie charts that reflect where our money goes, and can see where we might be able to save. Why don’t we do this as diligently for our time? Well maybe you do track your life units and that’s a great start. If you are not, start today. Create your own Excel spreadsheet or use some of the top apps to support you: 12 Time Management Apps to Organize Work and Life (shopify.com). Next week I’ll give you some more way you can beat work specific time wasters but for now…
- Prioritise yourself! Do you constantly do things for others, while putting yourself at the bottom of your own list of priorities? Beware that if you do, it is highly like that your partner is right at the bottom of that pile with you. The things and people that get the lion share of your energy, care and attention will be your clients, stakeholders, staff, work projects, business deals, children, friends and so on. If so, it’s time to move yourself (and your significant other) higher on the priority list, where you belong. I’d recommend taking one small stand against the ‘busy-ness’ each day… Maybe spend 60-minutes technology free. Leave work at work… this means stopping anything work related around 17:00 at least a few nights a week – even one night off is a start. Eat dinner as a family at the dinner table. Have one pyjama day a month. Have at least one date every two weeks – that is if you are married, if you are single, have many more 😊. Give yourself permission to sleep an hour later one day a week. Play golf… essentially, whatever you consider ‘ME time.’ And…
- Don’t wait for burnout or a heart attack. So many of us wait until we have frayed nerves, get physically ill or have a near death experience before we take time for ourselves. Last week, I had a fall in Woolworths. I was rushing and I have no idea what I tripped over, but I went down hard and have a cut on my head and bruising into the bone of my left arm and thigh to prove it. Then this week, I had to visit the doctor for an ear infection. Coincidence, I think not! I am usually really good at listening to my body and maintaining my pace with a concoction of self-care methods including breathing rituals, exercise, eating healthy, reading, supplements, body talk, massage and recently emotions coding. I realise that I haven’t accurately factored in the emotional stress of some serious family health issues we have been dealing with. I am taking serious action. Please listen to you and take action too! Don’t wait for something detrimental to happen before you really live your life to your highest potential and happiness! You are better than that and you are worth more than that.
What Key Steps will you take today? Remember that every little step counts, and they all add up to…
‘be the difference that makes the difference.’
NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free weekly ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.
About Dr Sharon King Gabrielides
Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 20 years’ experience in leadership and organisational development and transformation. She is a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner. She is also one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – it’s the Oscar of the speaking business.
Sharon’s PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that has been published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of Henley Business School and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. Sharon has become known for her practical approach, useful tools and genuinely caring manner. She is really looking forward to working with you and taking Key Steps to ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’