Find Time by Planning Realistically!

shoppingFinding time can be a challenge under the best of circumstances.  Finding time when you don’t have a clear sense of how long things take can be a constant source of frustration.

Wendy Battles, over at Healthy Endeavors, addressed this topic from the perspective of Making Time for Healthy Living in her blog post (and video) today.  The challenge applies to all areas of life, and I enthusiastically endorse Wendy’s suggestion to use a timer to find out how much time your activities actually take.

Once you know how much time an activity takes, I suggest adding in some extra time for each activity right up front, as you plan your day.  This builds in a “cushion” for dealing with the unexpected.  It also helps relieve you of one source of stress – the stress associated with “falling behind.”

The amount of extra time you build in will depend on the activity. If there are lots of variables involved (traffic, crowds, etc.) you’ll want to factor that in.  If you are planning for a project and you don’t know how much time things will take, make your best estimate, and then double the time you allot.  This is what I like to call the Times 2 Rule and it is a very valuable planning and time management tool.

This is because your energy, focus and productivity won’t be optimized if you are stressing about the clock.  In fact, when you are feeling short on time you are likely to work less efficiently, thereby losing even more time (and adding to your stress).  This is a vicious cycle that the Times 2 Rule can help you avoid.

I also noticed in her video that when Wendy talks about the weekly food shopping, she describes it as a healthy activity.  This is powerful, as it moves an activity that many of us may think of as “just a chore” into the frame of “health and fitness” and “self care.”  This broadens and deepens the meaning of trips to the store, integrating them in a much more real, meaningful, and organic way into your life.

How much time do some of your daily or weekly activities take?  Try finding out and building your planning from there? And I invite you to share a comment here – I’d love to know how it goes for you!

What if you could find another hour every day? You can! For more Time Finding resources, you are invited to sign up and download The New Finding Time Boundary Template. It’s FREE, and when you sign up you will also receive (if you don’t already) my FREE, weekly Finding Time Tips and my FREE, monthly Award-Winning Finding Time E-zine!

Let’s explore time together …

Speak Your Mind