I wasn’t always good at time management.
In fact, I used to be straight up bad at it. I was the “late friend” – and I was once written up at work for being late 17 times. Yes, really!
So what changed for me? I learned how to cast a vision for my life, and after tons of research and work, the pieces fell into place.
I spoke with Jono Petrohilos on the Fitness Education Online Podcast to discuss how to cast a vision for your life, how to set your priorities from there, and my journey to writing Time Management Essentials. Check out the episode here, or read on for a summary of our chat.
Casting a vision
Time management doesn’t start in the pages of your planner. It starts with casting a vision of what you want your life to look like – today, a year from now, five years from now, and beyond.
To cast a vision for your life, start by asking yourself:
- What stories do you want to tell when you’re at the end of your life?
- What stories would you tell right now? How you rushed from one meeting and appointment to the next, watched a lot of Netflix, and scrolled on your phone every day? Or would you say that you went on adventures and created memorable moments?
- What do you want those memorable moments to look like?
After you’ve thought through this, it’s time to give yourself permission to daydream. You’re going to write out 100 things you want to experience in your lifetime – 100 dreams you want to see happen.
These could be books you want to read, places you want to visit, or businesses you want to start. But you have to get specific. Don’t just say you want to travel. Where do you want to travel? What would travel look like for you? Once you get clear about what you want your life to look like, THEN we can start determining how to organize your time.
For example, one of my former clients struggled with working non-stop. She was working full-time as a consultant, part-time building a side hustle as an event planner, volunteering in her community, and skipping out on exercise and healthy eating.
She knew she needed a change, but didn’t know where to start.
Her problem? She was living day-to-day, instead of casting a vision. Most good things take time, and when we’re only living day-to-day and not looking into the future, we get stuck on that hamster wheel of life.
After stopping to cast a vision, she realized she didn’t want to stay in the two industries she was working in. She wanted to spend time volunteering in her church, work out every day, and to have a firepit in her backyard to enjoy with girlfriends.
Write a letter to yourself
Then, I had her write a letter to herself, from herself 5 years in the future. She was supposed to tell present day her:
- what life looks like now
- what she’s achieved in the last 5 years
- what felt amazing along the way
- what obstacles she had to overcome to get there
She told herself that good things are coming, and her letter was amazing. Because friend, guess what?
Everything in her letter has come true today.
She wrote about changing industries, owning a home, and watching The Bachelor with her girlfriends. She wrote about an office with brick walls and a giant glass window in a job that she loves… and she has all of that today!
She made her vision a reality because she put it into words. Her specific dreams allowed us to figure out her next steps in her time management strategy.
Setting your priorities
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to set your priorities. The Pareto Principle states that 20% of our inputs result in 80% of our outputs.
Think about the Pareto Principle like your closet. You probably wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. Some clothes in your closet are just more important and useful than others… and the same is true of your tasks. Focusing on the most important tasks that will result in the biggest impact will be the most beneficial to moving the needle closer to your goals.
Prioritize the activities that align with your vision, that will give you the most bang for your buck. For instance, maybe you realize that appearing on podcasts leads to booking lots of new clients, so you prioritize that in your business.
Once you prioritize your tasks and decide which tasks get you closer to your vision, it makes organizing your time much easier.
Want more? Listen to the full episode here.