I recently came across this post from Michael Hyatt and wanted to shout from the rooftop, “NO!”
“How could your life look different if you were fully in control of your time and energy?” – Michael Hyatt
I respect Michael and his work. His work has helped me grow as a business owner. My clients benefit from many of the courses I have consumed. But still, I respectfully say, “No!”
Control Your Time and Energy?
This sentiment makes me cringe. I am being asked how my life would look different if I had full control of my time and energy. But as a businesswoman, wife, Mom, and daughter (let alone all the other hats I wear), I am never in full control of my time and energy.
This language puts me immediately on the defense. My inner dialogue starts…
“Well, you must be doing something wrong; your morning was just shot. You didn’t get one of your to-dos done.”
“You are such a mess girl. You let those squirrels distract you again!”
Do you have these conversations? I say STOP!
My Monday started with great intentions. My husband had several errands to run, and I made sure he had all the details he needed. He leaves, and I head for my office. Sounds good, right?
I sit down, and I start my morning rituals. Right away, I get an email stating a meeting has shifted to another day. Sigh. Shift things around and move one.
Just as I get moving forward again, the phone rings. Hubby rarely calls me when he is out, so I pick up right away. Someone had called him about a potential family emergency. He was not able to handle it, so I dig out my contact list and start tracking down resources. An hour later, it is sorted, and we get on with the day.
One of the errands my husband had was to meet up with a contractor. Wires were crossed, the contractor didn’t show up, and then rescheduling happened. Again, more time and energy expended to control the chaos.
My to-dos are still waiting for my attention. I get some things done but feel distracted and unfocused.
Lunchtime has come. I decided to take a break, eat and regroup for my afternoon. I’ve got this! Deep breath, lunch was yummy, sit down, focus!
My Mom texted me! She has a full-blown crisis occurring 600 miles away. If I wanted to be in control of my time and energy, I would have ignored her message and proceeded to work. I didn’t start my business so my time would be so rigid, I couldn’t help my Mom.
So half an hour goes into listening to her and trying to find a solution to her crisis. More time and energy slip from my control.
So why write about this? Why be transparent and showing you my dirty laundry?
Manage our Time and Energy
I feel we should manage our time and energy, not control it. It is not work-life balance but work-life rhythm.
As women, we wear so many hats. We put so much pressure on ourselves to conform to outside standards. You know what? I will get the things done, but it just may look a little different from what an outsider may feel is the best way.
Here are three thoughts to provoke you, two ideas to inspire you, and one item to act on!
Three Thoughts to Provoke
Number One. Control.
Michael Hyatt uses the term “control”. Let’s look at the definition.
- Control: “to exercise restraining or directing influence over (regulate)” – Merriam-Webster
- Restrain: “prevent (someone or something) from doing something; keep under control or within limits.”
- Regulate: “control or maintain the rate or speed of (a machine or process) so that it operates properly.”
Do your many hats keep you from having control of your time? Do you feel you have to restrain your day to day activities to fit in a prescribed regiment?
We usually don’t have the luxury of offboarding life crisis and chaos to others. They have to be handled, often in real-time.
Number Two. Time.
Michael Hyatt also uses the term “time”. Again, let’s look at the definition.
- Time: “the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues” – Merriam-Webster
- Measured: “having a slow, regular rhythm.”
- Action: “the face or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.”
“Be the designer of your world and not merely the consumer of it.” ― James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
Number Three. Time Management.
If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that I love to manage my time. If I get up in the morning and I have not spent a little bit of time planning my day, it will just be complete chaos.
What I am talking about here is not tools, or even systems, but having a purpose or plan for your day.
An example? Monday is my content creation day. I catch up on things for clients that came in over the weekend. I review my calendar(s) and make sure appointments are not overlapped, and my time is blocked off for my current client load.
How do you spend your Monday? It may be totally different than mine, but what works for you?
Two Things to Inspire
Are you planning without action? Often, we spend our day constantly reorganizing our to-do list. As the day progresses, more tasks crop up, and other essential duties are pushed to the bottom of the list. As a result, we plan but never act. Start your day by determining what has to be done.
My Monday was a mess, but I worked through the chaos and got my three essential tasks done.
- Wrote content
- Reviewed client needs
- Updated calendar to reflect changes
Reflect on what you are doing. Do you wear too many hats? Whenever I start dropping the ball, I know it is time for me to take a deep breath, pause, and reflect on what I am doing with my time. Often, I am overcommitted.
Here are several areas to reflect on include do you have too many…
Your Action Item
We all have the same measure of time:
- 24-hours in our day,
- 168 hours in a week,
- 5 hours in a month, and
- 8,766 hours in a year.
Listen to your inner voice and your rhythm. If someone’s formula of success (even Michael Hyatt) doesn’t align with your vision and goals for you, then look at what does work for you and change your rhythm.
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