Want More Time in Your Day? 4 Things You Can do Today to Own Your Schedule
How often have you found yourself wishing for more hours in the day? I've been there, too. And honestly still find myself there at times! The never-ending juggling act between work, family, and personal time can leave us feeling like time is slipping through our fingers.
I vividly recall a conversation I had with an executive coach during one of my career growth phases. I was venting about how I needed more time because it felt impossible to give my all to work, family, and myself. I was overwhelmed, and something had to change. But then my coach asked me a simple yet profound question: "How much more time do you need?"
I was stumped. I knew what I didn't want – long work hours that left me stressed to the point of being unable to sleep, being tethered to all forms of communication devices at all times – but I hadn't ever quantified how much more time I actually needed to feel balanced and fulfilled. It was a moment of clarity that challenged me to define my ideal version of a day with "more time."
We often daydream about a future with more flexibility or envisioning a better work-life balance (or as I prefer to call it "work life blend"). But here's the kicker: if we don't establish boundaries and manage our time effectively today, those same challenges will follow us into the future.
Let's focus on maximizing the time we have right now. I've broken it down into four actionable steps to help you make the most of your current situation:
1. Quantify Your Time Needs: The first step is figuring out how many additional hours or minutes you need each day or week to feel more balanced. Maybe it's an extra hour to work out, two hours to spend with your kids, or time to meal prep. Be specific about your time requirements.
2. Define How You'll Use That Time: Once you've identified your time needs, get specific about how you'll utilize that extra time. Whether it's exercising, quality family time, or self-care, a clear plan ensures you make the most of the gift of extra time.
3. Conduct a Time Audit: Take a close look at your daily schedule. This audit will reveal where your time currently goes, providing insights into potential areas for optimization. Sometimes we think we know how much time we're spending on tasks or priorities...when an audit reveals a surprising truth that could turn into the catalyst for change.
4. Maximize Your Opportunities: Look for opportunities to optimize your time based on your audit findings. Carpooling, batch-prepping meals, and multitasking are just a few examples. Make the most of every minute.
This approach is all about being present in the here and now. While future goals and career aspirations are important, it's equally vital to maximize the time you have today. By setting boundaries and efficiently managing your time, there is opportunity to create the work life blend you crave.
Whether you're driving, multitasking, or simply curious about how to reclaim your time, check out my recent podcast episode that gives an in-depth description of these strategies.
And remember, you're not alone in this journey to maximize your time as a working mom. We're in it together, striving for a more fulfilling and blended life.