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The Fit Mess Podcast Interview | How to Take Control of Your Time and Create Real Work-Life Balance That Works

July 26, 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Wish you could take control of your time in a way that works for you?

Chances are you don’t have a time management problem. You’re just lacking a vision and knowing your values!

I spoke with Jeremy Grater on The Fit Mess Podcast to discuss the importance of having a clear vision, tailoring time management to your personality, and practical strategies to try. Check out the episode here, or read on for a run-down of our discussion.

Most people just want a quick fix. They want to know the planner to buy and the morning routine to start. But none of that will work until you know yourself, your values, and what you want out of life. That’s the key to good time management. 
And knowing yourself can start with knowing your personality traits. For me, that started with Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before, talks about four different personality types that categorize how you respond to inner and outer expectations.

Gretchen Rubin: The Four Tendencies 

Obliger 

The Obliger responds to outer expectations, but is terrible at responding to inner expectations. That means if they tell themselves “I’m going to go on a run,” they’re likely not going to go on a run. But if a friend says “Meet me for a run,” they’ll be there with bells on.

Upholder

The Upholder responds to both internal and external motivations. If they say they’re going to do something, they’re going to do it.

Questioner

The Questioner responds to inner expectations, but not outer. Meaning, their to-do list has to make sense to them in order for them to follow through. I’m a Questioner who leans Rebel. That means I can create an absolutely beautiful time-blocked schedule… but if it no longer makes sense to me in the moment, I’m going to abandon it to grab a procrastination coffee down the street. Sound familiar to anyone?

Rebel

The Rebel does not respond well to inner or outer expectations. They’re the “nobody can tell me what to do – not even me” type of person. No shame if this is you – my personality leans this way, too!

Time management isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Once you know your personality tendency (with any type of personality test), you get a shortcut to finding out what kinds of time management strategies will work for you. 

Time Management Strategies

Since we know that time management isn’t one-size-fits-all, we can then agree that you can’t just copy and paste someone else’s work/life balance into your life. It takes getting to know yourself to know what works for you, before you can find work/life balance. 

Work/life balance is a thing – but it’s a feeling, not a formula. You know when you have balance, and you know when you don’t!

If you’re in a place of total overwhelm right now and you know you need balance, there are a few practical first steps you can take:

  1. Do a calendar audit. Look at the next few weeks of your calendar and ask yourself: what events or meetings do I avoid or dread? Why? What can I do about that? Could I delete or delegate those to-dos to other people? Are they truly necessary? Once you can shift things around on your calendar based on your values, you’ll be closer to living the life you want.
  2. Try time blocking. Take the most important items from your to-do list and put them on your calendar as time blocks – or basically, meetings with yourself where you check off those to-dos. This will give your tasks an exact time and space… so you can stop worrying about them throughout the day.
  3. Get some good sleep! Rest and recreation are essential for productivity and time management. 
  4. Read Time Management Essentials. Head over to annadkornick.com/book and grab a copy of Time Management Essentials: The Tools You Need To Maximize Your Attention, Energy and Productivity. It’s my new book dedicated to everything you need to know about values-based time management. You’ll find everything from how to create your vision, how to identify productivity pitfalls before they trip you up, and all the strategies you need for better time management.

Want more? Listen to the full episode here.

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