HOW TO FIND MORE TIME

We have more time than many of us may realise.

Each one of us has 168 hours each week.

I know! It doesn’t feel like it right?

So, how do we find time for what matters most? Is it possible to finally learn to paint, exercise more, meditate or spend more time with our kids?

YES.

STRATEGIES TO HELP WOMEN FIND MORE TIME

 

Time management expert Laura Vanderkam studies how busy people spend their lives.

She has discovered many of us drastically overestimate our commitments each week, while underestimating the time we have to nurture ourselves.

Her talk was presented at an official TED conference, you can watch here. 

Here are the best bits:

Laura completed a time diary project, looking at 1,001 days in the lives of extremely busy women.

After studying  the successful women she discovered we don’t build the lives we want by saving time.

We build the lives we want, and then time saves itself.

 

“One of the women whose time log I studied goes out of a Wednesday night for something. She comes home to find that her water heater has broken, and there is now water all over her basement.
If you’ve ever had anything like this happen to you, you know it is a hugely damaging frightening, sopping mess.
So she’s dealing with the immediate aftermath that night, next day she’s got plumbers coming in, day after that, professional cleaning crew dealing with the ruined carpet. All this is being recorded on her time log.
Winds up taking seven hours of her week. seven hours. That’s like finding an extra hour in the day.
So the key to time management is treating our priorities as the equivalent of that broken water heater.

 

HOW CAN WE IDENTIFY OUR PRIORITIES?

 

1/ Laura says we could write a retrospective letter to family or friends, describing an amazing year we have had.
Then ask ourselves, what were the 3 things which made this year so amazing?

 

2/ Use the things you named in this fantasy letter as your goals for this year.

 

Laura says that if one of your goals is to run a 5K then you need a strategy.

 

First up: find a race and sign up. Treat it like a water heater and do it before anything else.

 

HOW DO WE MAKE TIME TO MAKE THIS LIST?

 

Try it out on a Friday afternoon.

 

Laura cites the economist’s theory that Friday arvos are, “low opportunity, cost” time.

 

If you have to do school pick-up schedule it for earlier in the day.

 

She also suggests making a three category list: CAREER, RELATIONSHIPS & SELF.

Laura is adamant we can find time for what matters most in 168 hours a week; even if we are working full time and blending family commitments.
 This talk has been shared with the Engaging Women community with permission from TED talks USA.
Want more conversation like this? Join us at the next soirèe.

About Martine Harte

Martine Harte is founder of Engaging Women, a platform for social good.
She is a dedicated voice in the advancement of women & girls. Contact martine@engagingwomen.com.au.

Learn more about her here and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.


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