Time management is something that everyone believes they could be doing better. I find myself, every week, feeling like I could have done more or that I could have been more productive. Even though I have succeeded in many aspects and hit many other goals in that week, it always feels like I should have done more.
Where does that come from? And how could your time management be better?
When you start to look into better time management, the same advice and tips will pop up. They’ll include:
- Make lists
- Plan your day
- Be realistic
I’m sure we’ve even listed many of these tips in past blog posts. These tips do work for a lot of people, but there are also a lot of people who wonder why they just never feel productive. You can achieve everything you aimed to do, be organised, and have it planned down to a tee, but why doesn’t it feel like enough?
What I remind myself is that real time-management comes from creating a happy narrative for yourself.
Productivity can only be satisfying if A. You enjoy what you’re doing and B. There is a reason for everything that you do.
That’s not to say that you need to drop everything that bores you – life comes with some tedious tasks a lot of the time. What you do need to focus on is the long term gain from completing a task.
Here’s a narrative:
You find cleaning the oven boring, but it has to be done.
If you dwell on not enjoying the task, your procrastinating mindset will kick in and stop you from doing that task.
But why is cleaning the oven on your list in the first place?
It’s making the house smell when you use it now. You love to cook, but it’s making you avert to ordering more takeaways.
So imagine all the things you could get to cook again once you clean that oven – that’s something to get excited about. This then inserts a clearer narrative as to why you want to do it.
If you set out to do tasks that you don’t enjoy, then consider what the end purpose is for doing them.
If you can find real purpose in anything you do, it will all feel worthwhile and you can find far more satisfaction and productivity when completing those tasks.
Setting out goals in order to tick a box is all well and good, but what do you want to gain from it in the long term? Once you do it, it should feel like a step forward, not just that short-term gain of ticking a box and then moving onto the next one.
Creating a habit out of making lists and daily goals can be hugely successful, but there can only be long-lasting fulfillment in doing them if you find the reasoning behind what you are ticking off.
So what’s on your to do list? And WHY?