June 21, 2019

TAKE BACK YOUR TIME

True story, I came to a breaking point in my career/ life a few times. Little did I know, that these moments were spiritual awakenings. As a result, these moments made me have a drive to change my situation. Looking back, I can see now the problem was I was not managing my time efficiently. I was in a model of working for someone else. I was trading my time for money that was ultimately not filling me up but draining my life.

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Buckets of Time

Everyone has 168 hours in a week, me, you, Oprah, everyone you know. It is the one thing that makes us have the same advantage as the next person. If we get 8 hours of sleep a night… Ok lets be honest 7 hours of sleep a night, that’s 49 hours. If you look at the number of hours you have of screen time a day maybe it is 2 hours (ok if we are being serious it’s more like 3) that is 21 hours!

Already that is 70 hours! All we did was sleep and scroll through our phone on social media, games, or email.

A work day is approximately 8 hours. That is 40 hours, so 70 + 40= 110 hour of 168 hours! You now only have 58 hours to eat, spend time with family and friends, bathe, travel time, etc.

Who has time for anything else, really?

How are people able to do so much with their time, but I can barely sneak in a second to do something for myself to refill my cup?

—> I think, I found the secret!!

Erica Steeves drinking a cup of tea in a black and white striped shirt.

Actual image of me right before I spilt the T… 🤣

 

You need to leverage your time, and you do this by doing 3 things

The 3 things you need to start doing immediately! 

  1. Plan your day with intent.
  2. Remove all unnecessary decisions from coming to your attention, prioritize, automate, and delegate!
  3. Set rules for you to live by so there is no second guessing or negotiation.

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When I learned this it was so liberating! I had created a detailed journal and documented what I did each 15 minutes of the day.

Did you know that 15 mins a day equates to 90+ hours a year! You can do a lot in 90 hours that’s over 2 work weeks!

From this, I learned and was shocked by was, what I actually thought I was doing was a lot less than it should be! The things that were actually moving the needle in my career and life, I was not actively making a priority!

I was all over the place from creating custom emails for every person that contacted me, down the social media rabbit hole. I was trying to decide what to wear, what to eat, what I’m going to do on the weekend, giving detailed instructions to my team of what needs to happen on projects etc. Do you see what I am getting at?

Step 1 Planning my day with intent.

Freeing up my time meant, I was sitting down at the end of the day and planning out with intent what I needed to do the next day! Make a list of your top 3 priorities and make those the first 3 things you do! When I wake up, I already know what I need to do that day and can put myself in motion. Anytime you have momentum on your side, you are going to have a productive day.

Step 2 Eliminating decisions from the equation.

If you make on average 120 small decisions a day that on average takes 1 minute to process. To make that many choices is 2 hours of wasted time! Decisions like,

-Standing in front of the fridge or cupboard.

-Standing in front of your closet.

-Choosing what to post on social media.

-Should I go to the gym or not.

-Which machine should I use.

-What bus route am I going to take.

-What does someone think of me.

-Which project should I work on next.

-How do I start this project, etc.

All these small things add up, but if you remove as many decisions as you can from your day you are freeing up mental. You need to do this  so you will be able to make better decisions when important questions come up. Ways to do this is by batching tasks. Try eliminating a lot of your clothing to a seasonal capsule wardrobe, so there are not infinite decisions. You can pre plan your meals so they are ready to go, or by taking the same route to work.

Step 3 Setting rules to live by.

I thought, I was master of breaking Rules! “Can’t tell me what to do, oh no.”  But when I made the mindset shift that my job and my life were owning me and not the other way around. I committed immediately to making a change.

-I deleted all games off my phone.

– Cut back TV time from whenever I want, to only if I really want to see, and if it will add value to my day.

-No phones in bed!

-Set times to check my emails.

– Unsubscribe to as many emails as I could that were taking time for me to delete anyways. (did you know if you go to unroll.me you can unsubscribe and see everything that account is linked to instead of going through each individual email!)

-Made templates for emails that were personal to me and what I do but easy enough to tailor if needed.

-Automated my monthly expenses

Mindset Shifts

I replaced this mindset of making custom work. From how can I tell this one person but also share it with everyone. By doing this I can create more branded content that is relevant to my mission and will actually move the needle forward. If I send that information by email to that one person, it only adds value once. But if I’m thoughtful and create say a blog post I’m also helping others.

Over time, as I can afford it. I want to introduce a VA to my team, and anyone else who can take simple tasks from my plate so I can serve a wider audience and make a bigger impact.

The goal is that while I’m resting, I still want to be a resource and available to anyone who is stuck or needs the next few steps.  I want to be on the journey to have a better and more fulfilled life.

What are you waiting for, be Oprah already!

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