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Time Management - A Kanata Chiropractor's Story (Part 1)

Now that I have two kids, I am realizing more and more how important “Time Management” really is.  When I didn’t have any kids, it was easy to find time to go to the gym, tackle the home to-do list, etc., but now I find myself “looking for time” anywhere I can find it.  I’ve reflected a lot of this subject because I think that “Time Management” is one of the key components to being disciplined, and what I mean by discipline is doing what is necessary to lead a “Maximized Life”.
Now I don’t have everything figured out, but here are a few things that have helped me.

1. Stop Procrastinating!  If there’s one thing that I have noticed since having kids, is how procrastinating (i.e. tv, internet, pretty much anything that you decide to do as an excuse not to do the work you should be doing) can not be part of my lifestyle anymore.  I now realize that even though I might not want to be doing a particular thing right now, pushing it back will cause further stress down the road.  And you know what?  Most of the time, if you can just get yourself off the couch and do it, you will feel a great sense of accomplishment when you get it done because you decided to take action and you took something off your to-do list.

2. Plan!  After speaking with a good friend of mine (thanks Chris!), I realized that I had a problem with over-loading my weekly planner.  The result: more stress!  I was feeling overwhelmed during the day because I was running out of time, meaning that things were not getting done and getting pushed back.  Be mindful of what you put in your planner and when.  Take the extra few seconds to read what is already booked and be realistic in determining if you have “time” to get that specific task accomplished.  If yes, great!  If no, it’s simple, just pick another time.  You need to get comfortable with the fact that your to-do list does not all have to be done in a week! (I’m still working on this one.)

3. Prioritize! On the subject of the weekly planner, every week (Saturday or Sunday would be best), sit down and take a few minutes to review your planner to see what the upcoming week will bring.  Based on your commitments, pick 3 things that ABSOLUTELY must get done, no excuses, and highlight them in colour in your planner.  The highlighted colour is important because it is a visual cue for you that this is an important issue for you.  If you have any issues with procrastination, you will be amazed how just highlighting something will get you to take action because you will remember that at the beginning of the week, you selected this item as a “must do” in order to alleviate any potential stress.

4. Delegate! Is someone (i.e. wife, mother, friend, co-worker) able to help you?  Don’t be afraid to ask.  This is a great way to get things done faster, therefore creating more “time” in your schedule.  This also includes hiring someone if you need to.  Now I’m not speaking about getting a personal assistant in this case; what I’m saying is: “Are you working on something right now, which is not in your field of expertise, and it is consuming alot of your time and energy?”  I can speak from experience because in the process of creating the blog that you are currently reading, I realized that I was spending WAY too much time and energy on something that I should just have hired somebody to do.  Who am I kidding, I’m a Chiropractor, I’m not a Programmer!  I love the saying: “Penny wise, but dollar dumb”.  Yes, you might save some money if you do it yourself, but what will it cost you in the long run?  How much is your time really worth? 

5.  Be Accountable!  We are all human, and lets face it, things can happen in our lives which throw us off track.  For some, they bounce right back.  For others, they stay off track longer and this is where the problem lies.  The solution: get an accountability partner (i.e. a friend that you trust, your spouse) and share with them what your goals are.  This way, when you talk, they can help you keep on track with your goals, or at the least, remind you that they were once a priority to you.

I think that’s it for now.  I’ll post again on this subject down the road as “life” teaches me some more lessons.  I hope what I shared will help you.

Have a great weekend!