The struggle to be everything to my different interests and aspects of life, has become more intense as I experience more days and gravitate toward forty.
I just said I’ll be forty, soon. I never used to be able to say that. It took a lot of effort to be able to say that. Its freeing to be able to say that.
Turning forty has been a constant ringing alarm in my spirit since I clocked thirty-five. Some days, it is a dull sound. Some other days, it is a clanging cymbal driving me into panic mode.
I’m not sure who set the timing. Or what it was that influenced my decision to set the time at forty, if I was the one who set it. But for a long time, forty, to me, has signified stability; a firm invincible base on which additions can be affixed and modernity built upon. So as I see it approaching, I am feeling an intense pressure to achieve more, because time is running out. Yet, the time I have, has to be split among different areas of my existence, in order for me to achieve balance.
For this reason, I scoured the internet in search of time management tips, specifically, how to do more in less time, and found many different suggestions. These four are working wonders:
- Plan your day the previous night: Waking up with a plan and a sense of purpose, as against getting out of bed without a definite action plan, then scrambling to work one out, is helping me start each day with an image of what a successful day will look like. That image sets me into taking the actions I need to achieve it. It is like a jigsaw puzzle, every daily task becomes a piece that will form my picture of success, for the day. So, my list of to-dos, have been serving to direct my actions, energy and focus toward results that will help take me to where I’m trying to get to.
- Work according to your chronotype: I am not a lark nor an owl. My time clock is somewhere in between. Therefore, early mornings leave me dragging throughout the day, and late nights make me irritable the next day. For that reason, I swiftly took the counsel to align my work hours with when I feel most energetic and mentally ready for work. And that is helping me focus better, produce high quality results and spend lesser time on tasks.
- Leave room for life to happen: Wanting to do more, can lead to taking up more tasks and cramping up ones day with too much work, such that there is no time to breath, smell flowers, love, or feed the soul. But leaving room for rest and activities that are not related to your work, ensures a balance in lifestyle, gives space to welcome unplanned miracles, and an opportunity to liven up the spirit.
- Prioritize your goal throughout the day: Saying no to distractions like, the internet, people, etc, has reclaimed, for me, time I didn’t know I had. It took conscious effort, but not checking twitter at night, between sleeps; not opening Instagram first thing in the morning; not letting my child determine my day, everyday, has resulted in my proclivity to focus more on my goals. And maintaining that energy throughout my working hours, is helping me do more.
At the end of the day, after I have done more than I usually do, or done all I had in my to-do list for the day, I go to bed feeling happy and fulfilled.