One of the things I hear most from Self Employed Professionals is that they feel they can’t get everything they need to get done in the time they have. They often feel that they are running to stand still. This often results in feelings of frustration, overwhelm and failure.
There are all sorts of Time Management related subjects that can contribute to this. Things such as procrastination, ineffective planning, lack of focus and so on (those are topics for another post).
But what I have noticed is that one of the biggest contributing factors to that feeling of not having enough time to get everything done is this:
People are trying to do more than is possible in the time they have.
It is not uncommon for people to be trying to run a successful full time business, be the world’s best parent, be a domestic goddess, taxi driver to every family member, nurture relationships – the list goes on.
That is like trying to do more than one full time job each and every day. So here is what I would like to suggest.
STOP. Yes, stop. I know this can feel impossible as I often hear “I don’t have time to stop”. But really, give yourself permission to stop, take a step back and take stock.
Ask yourself “Is my perceived lack of time the result of trying to do more each day than is possible or reasonable?”
Because here is the reality – often all those feelings of frustration, overwhelm and failure don’t come from not having enough time. They come from placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves of what we can physically fit into each day.
Try this experiment.
Get a piece of paper and make out a timetable like you used to have at school. Days across the top and hourly slots down the side. Fill in for next week all your priority stuff giving them set time slots. ALWAYS put your most important stuff in first.
Now, if you are trying to stuff more in than your timetable is showing you is realistic you can see where you are actually creating that “I don’t have enough time” syndrome yourself. Run this experiment ongoing. It will help you to stop overscheduling and placing unrealistic expectations on yourself.
What strategies do you have for not overscheduling yourself? Or do you regularly overschedule yourself? Please share your experiences and views below.