What is the Best Time Management Question When You Are Overscheduled?
Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 8:25PM
Linda Samuels in Cameron Gott, Mindfulness, Too Little Time, focus, let go, love, mindfulness, nature, organizing, overscheduled, overwhelm, projects, relationships, time

For all of the overextended, cup-runneth-over, and time-poor people out there this post is for you! If your life consists of a steady flow of appointments, events, projects and responsibilities with little or no time to catch your breath, then keep reading. Even if life isn’t always hectic you’ll want to keep this one question at the ready for the periods of time that are.

 

Before I share the question, I’d like to give you some background. A while ago my coaching friend and colleague, Cameron Gott, shared a series of wonderful questions with me. I jotted them down and rediscovered them recently. While these questions can be used for many situations, one of his questions works beautifully as the best  time management question to ask when you are overscheduled. It is . . .

 

“What’s most important now?”

 

I love how simple and direct it is. The question helps us to work through overwhelm and competing time demands and then focus on the present. The question is action-oriented. It helps us prioritize. We can then mindfully use our time to focus on what is most important.

In recent weeks, I found this question extremely useful as I navigated various time-intensive activities. By continually coming back to, “What’s most important now?” I was able be more mindful and engaged with the present. Simultaneously, I let go of thoughts relating to everything else that needed to be done. The question was liberating.

 

These are just some of the things that needed my time, focus, and presence:


Time for Fixing – The washing machine broke. My computer crashed. My car needed to be replaced.

 

Time for Emptying – Tag sale season arrived. I prepared, edited, and let go of stuff to be ready for our June 9thand 10thtag sale.

 

 

 

 

Time for Self-Caring  Aside from tag sale season, it was also doctor appointment season. I scheduled and had my annual medical appointments. After all, if we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we take care of others?

 

Time for Being – This most often meant getting outside and being in nature. I spent time walking in the woods, sitting by the river, bathing in the sun, taking photos of spring blooms and bubbling brooks. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time for Updating  We were overdue for updating our wills and other legal documents. It was time. 

 

Time for Working – Organizing is one of my passions. I spent time writing, presenting, being interviewed and organizing with clients.

 

Time for Family  I’m acutely aware that good relationships need a time investment. I invested fully in time with our daughters, visits with my mom, and conversations with my siblings and other relatives

 

 

 

 

 

Time for Nothing  As important as it was to get things done, at times I also needed to not do. I took time to just be without an agenda or pressure to accomplish something. Especially when I felt the “to do list” stress, taking a time out became even more important.

 

Time for Entertaining  With Memorial Day being the unofficial start of summer, we hosted a (last minute) BBQ for our friends.

 

Time for Meditating  I practiced. My daily mindfulness meditation helps me focus on being in the present moment.

 

Time for Loving  For a pre-anniversary (35 years) getaway, my husband and I went to Saratoga Springs for a long weekend. Focusing on fun, connection, and relaxation is an essential. Our time can easily be filled with everything but so it’s important to make love a priority.

 

 

 

 

So going back to where we began. What’s most important now?  What helps you manage your time when you’re feeling overwhelmed and overscheduled? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!

 

 

 

 

Article originally appeared on The Other Side of Organized by Linda Samuels (http://theothersideoforganized.com/).
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