Sometimes I get that moment where my past-self has thought ahead and put things in place that are super useful. My present-self, not expecting this, has had a an unexpected time windfall and cried out “I love my past self!” It’s when I’ve open a drawer and expected to find a mess only to find everything I need neatly laid out. It’s when I’ve opened a document and expected to have to play catch up only to find everything in order. It’s such a great feeling, especially to someone like me who feels like they have to wrestle with the monster that is chronic disorganisation on a regular basis.
There is a great TEDx video on YouTube called How to Multiply Your Time by Rory Vaden. Time management is the bane of most people’s lives in today’s modern world. Rory Vaden makes several points that resonate with me.
Time management is emotional
Time management is really self-management
But the biggie for me is “
What can I do today to make tomorrow better?”
This is the one that hits home and the one I really want to explore and apply because I’ve already experienced it’s potential. I’ve experienced those wonderful times in the present where my past-self has gifted me a time windfall or an emotional windfall (such as a reduction in stress) with her past action. She asked herself that same question and did something about it.
Christmas is coming!
The clearest gremlin on the time horizon is the festive season. What better event to use to test of this time management model than Christmas 2016. It’s a tangible goal, and a time when many of us feel like we are chasing our tail. So much so that rather than enjoying what should be a highlight of the year,the organisationally challenged such as myself tire of it, resent, try desperately to block it all out and are simply relieved when it’s all over. We vow every New Year that our future is not going to be like the past, only to find ourselves stuck in the same cycle over again.
I’m used to chasing my tail in the present so I might as well chase my tail and take an bit of time out to plan my Christmas season and work on tasks. It’s pointless waiting for the relaxing afternoon off that simply never comes! Doing it while I’m chasing my tail anyway it what will get me to the point when I can actually enjoy the season!
Last weekend I listed down all the things I’d like to experience over the season. I then created a November and December calendar. Next I entered all my booked work and my partner’s booked work which left the time we could potentially spend together enjoying festive activities. Then we decided what activities we wanted to do and agreed dates for these. So far we have a Christmas decorating day, a card writing evening, a carol service and a Christmas fair visit and a few other things. I’ve also got two deadlines for festive food shopping.
As a self-employed person doing this in advance also gives me a choice to make decisions based on where I want my priorities to be this season. Some of the activities I’ve entered I’ve come to realise are a priority for me this year, and the offer of work would be turned down on these dates. This pre-made decision actually gives me peace of mind going into the season.
Asking “What can I do today to make tomorrow better?” will be a really interesting experiment for me and one I’m looking forward to. I may, for the first time in a long time, properly “adult” Christmas this year!