Time Management VS Emotion Management
Nobody told me this retirement thing was so challenging!
In the corporate world, your time is not your own. Oh, you may have some semblance of control in your schedule, but unless you’re the the CEO – not so much. Even CEOs likely can’t control their calendars as much as you’d think.
Being without that structure, at first, is tough. I feel sort of like a deer in headlights. It’s been 3 months now since I’ve been officially ‘not working’ or, at least not working for an employer. This blog and other writing projects are very important to me. Continuing to reclaim the property around my new house is important to me, as is doing, going, experiencing things for which previously, there was no time.
Now, I have the time. And it takes discipline to not waste it. I find myself thinking – I don’t have to get up at 6:00 any more. If I want to work out I can work out any time. If I want to practice piano, French, painting, …. I can do that any time. But, here’s the thing – many days it doesn’t get done. Granted, the past 6 weeks has been abnormally challenging with caring for Mom and then her death. I’ll cut myself some slack, there. But, still – I have so many things I want to do, see and learn. I realized I need a system so I don’t lose time to stupid stuff.
How many time management books, webinars, podcasts, seminars have I done? Unlike the number of tops in my closet, I can’t even count. On Monday, I listened to yet ANOTHER webinar about productivity. Something hit home for me and (I hope) I can make this change. What hit home is:
We KNOW what we need to do. We just don’t do it.
How many self-help books, seminars, podcasts, etc. are in your history? But, still here we are. Not speaking for you – here I am. What hit me was we cannot manage time. It ticks by 24/7/365. We have to learn to manage our emotions. For me, that’s managing my choices. There are just too many things that I can do with my time, there’s always a path of least resistance. Things I need to do to improve this blog, learn French or landscape my yard – are difficult. Facebook chats, Forensic Files, walking little Pablo – those are not difficult.
This week I started keeping an old-school calendar. Each day I have a list of things I can do and the amount of time that’s required. I have to get to ALL of the things and spend the allotted time on those tasks before I can chat on Facebook or watch a Forensic Files episode. (I love Forensic Files.)
It’s important to be reasonable and not schedule 8 hours without time to breath, eat lunch, go to the bathroom or enjoy an impromptu game of tug-o-war with your pet. I’m choosing to schedule 5-6 hours a day. I’m still looking at an 8 hour “work-day”, thinking if I schedule 6 hours, I’ll either be totally productive and have 2-3 hours free or get things done in at least 6-8 hours. AND I’ll get everything done! Still there’s discipline. But choosing to manage my emotions and my choices, will improve my productivity – which is what it’s really about. Not time.
So far, so good. Except I didn’t schedule this post in for today. It just hit me and I wanted to share. It’s 1:30pm and I’ve still got 2 hours of scheduled tasks to do. If I’m on track, I’ll be thinking about my evening cocktail about 4pm. Cheers!