Wisdom//

Manage Your Time: An Excerpt from The Empowered Mama

"How many times have you wished for more hours in the day?"

Morsa Images/Getty Images
Morsa Images/Getty Images

“Time is a created thing. To say you don’t have time, is like saying ‘I don’t want to’.” Lao Tzu

Almost every mom I meet seems frantic and overwhelmed, wearing busy like it’s a girl scout badge. Take a breath. No, really, stop and take a deep breath right now. Slow down. It’s not that easy, you say? I know. Believe me, I know. I, too, was that person running so fast, all the time. Truth be told, I still am. But I have put myself through rigorous training to get out of “overwhelm” and get into a slower and more peaceful life. I’ll help you do the same.

How many times have you wished for more hours in the day? Poof! I’ve just given you three more hours. How would you use your hours? Would you exercise more? Meditate? Play? I doubt it. I suspect your mind went right to your To Do list, and getting more things done. And anyway, having more time is just a fantasy, right?

Wrong. The truth is that we have all been given more time. Think about how much time technology has given us through efficiencies. We don’t have to get up to turn the channel on the television (yes I am that old). We can order things online and never go to the store. We have fast food. Fast phones. Fast cars. Fast lives. So yes, we have been given more time, but the problem is that we just fill those hours with the same old stuff. We wake up, we make meals, do laundry, drive kids to places, go to work. You work off a never-ending To Do list. Go food shopping, buy gifts, volunteer in class….

Most of us get through our day by reacting. We get done what seemingly has to get done. That’s right, I said seemingly. Some of what you do might not actually need to get done. Or at least it might not have to get done by you.

MITs

We all have the same 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. They will go by no matter how you plan to use them, so we need to choose how we use those hours. I learned that the hard way.

A few years into my business, I was the one running crazy with my head cut off. Until my sister confronted me about it. She said that I always seemed stressed, and didn’t have time for family or friends. Ironically, I didn’t even have time to enjoy my kids, which was the reason I started my business in the first place! Ouch. Slap. Honesty like only a sister can share. But she was so right about all of it

I knew things had to change, so I sat down at my desk and looked over my to do list, which at that time was still on paper. It was pages long, and most of it had nothing to do with what was important to me. Instead, it was a list of work and errands, more work and more errands. I stopped right then and figured out the three most important areas of my life. At that time, they were family, business and friends. I later realized that I needed to alter that because the energy I was putting in to family was just my kids, and my marriage needed more attention too. So, I changed my list. I started making my To Do lists based on what was important to me. I called them my MIT’s (My Most Important Things). That activity was transformational for me so I want to share it with you.

MIT Exercise

Take another long, deep breath. Close your eyes and clear your head. What are the 3 most important areas of your life? I know there are many important areas, but what are the 3 most important?

1.
2.
3.

Now take a look at your current To Do list. How much of it ties in to your three most important areas?

Re-write your To Do list, including only tasks that tie into your MITs. Did you find yourself saying “No, wait, I can’t take THAT off my list!”? My challenge to you is to go ahead and remove those things from your To Do list.

Next, put your MIT’s (Most Important Things) in the three large circles below (one per circle).

Now, fill in that middle part and write ME!

You cannot take care of those other areas of your life if you aren’t taking care of you.

There are different seasons of your life, and your MIT’s will change depending on your season. When you start your day, choose one small thing you will do for one of your MITs. A little goes a long way, so when I say “small thing” I really mean it.   

Published with permission from The Empowered Mama.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.