Every January I see people make the same resolution for better time management. Like all well-meaning resolutions, it inevitably falls victim to the same thing, which is lack of planning and intentionality. Sure, the idea of time management sounds simple enough… “I just need to get better at doing things.”
Bam! Newfound efficiency!
I spent seventeen years in the field of early childhood education. My classroom eventually ran like clockwork. Everything had a place and everyone had a role. Even in the most disrupted moments or days, my classroom was a well-oiled machine.
Then I became a mom…
Six years later, I became a work-at-home mom and business owner…
I did what all efficient moms and business owners do and got serious about time management. Still I found myself drowning in both my role as mom and as business owner. Because both roles are done from home, and because my business is operated primarily from my phone, work never leaves my side. The two worlds are constantly bleeding into each other.
One day I took my schedule a step further and applied a lesson I had learned from an expert juggler.
When I was a kid, I tried learning how to juggle. I asked one of our resident juggling experts how to juggle. He said, “it’s easy, you keep your eye on the ball in the air.” Now see, I thought it was all about timing, but it’s actually about keeping your eye on the ball in the air.
I asked, “what about the balls changing hands?” He responded, “your hands will know what to do as long as you keep your eye on the ball in the air. If you try to look at more than one ball, you’ll drop them all.” To this day, I am extremely impressed by jugglers.
We are all juggling life, and in the name of time management, we are trying to look at all the balls at once. Once we begin to segregate our time, our attention is suddenly focused on the ball in the air.
While I still fall victim to time management struggles, my most successful of days are the ones I commit to segregating my time.
What does time segregation look like? It means there is an invisible wall, or boundary, that prevents anything else but “that ball” from being the focus of that time. It’s not just saying, “I have thirty minutes to do these five things.” It’s committing to taking that thirty minutes to focus on ONE thing. Segregating time does not require every thirty-minute block be planned out or filled with something. Segregating does require that if there is a home or work obligation that needs to be done, only one thing has your attention and devotion for that time. It brings about an ability to be present in that moment and experience that one thing that occurred during that block of time rather than look back at my day and say “what did I do all day?”
The difference between segregating your time and time management is this: time management is ruled by a to do list, while segregating your time takes into account the amount of time you have available and then determines the task(s) you can accomplish during that time.
Time Management: I need to make time to wash, fold, and put away clothes today.
Segregating time: I have from 10:00-11:00 to do the laundry and will get done what I can in that time frame.
Time Management: I need to go to the grocery store, the post office, and the bank today.
Segregating time: I have from 12:00-2:00 to run errands and will get the ones I can done in that time frame.
Start by writing down the time you get up and give yourself one hour time blocks until the time you go to bed. Pick a color and start coloring in time blocks that have set responsibilities (and account for loading/unloading and travel time). After you have colored in your responsibilities, what you are left with is your time for tasks. If you color in your responsibilities and find it to be one solid color, before you can segregate your time, it may be time to reevaluate what is a true necessity and what tasks you have considered necessary that actually aren’t. From there, you can begin to declutter your commitments and free yourself from being over scheduled.
As believers, we are commanded, to “remain in me and I will remain in you.” (John 15:4a) We are also commanded to “not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matthew 6:34) We were made to remain, not to multitask; to abide, not to balance; to be present, not to worry. We often approach time management by trying to balance and multi-task. Our failure to multi-task and balance it all inevitably results in worry, putting us in conflict with who we were created to be. When we are in conflict with who we were created to be, we will not find success or peace. Segregating our daily activities and obligations allows for us to be who we were created to be: women who remain, who abide.
Bonnie Galindo lives in Ventura, CA and owns a business named DotDotSmile. One day at a time Bonnie is growing in faith and learning to trust in Jesus, obeying in every area of my life and abiding in His presence more and more as she journeys in this life as a daughter, sister, wife, mother and teacher.”Don’t forget to twirl and keep on dotdotsmiling :)”
If you’re a stay-at-home mom who would either like to (1) carve out more time for yourself, (2) find the time to start that business that you’ve always wanted, or (3) put more time toward your current business so that you see growth, then consider registering for our 4-week “Take Back Your Time” Online Group Coaching Class starting on May 9th! Registration closes on April 21st or if the group fills up before then. CLICK HERE to learn more!
If you'd love to work from home but don't know what to pursue, download our Uniquely You Workbook! It's a free 20-page workbook that will take you through various brainstorming questions and techniques that wills how you what skills and passions you have that you can use to start a business from home.
Have you downloaded the workbook but haven't finished it yet?
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