Ownership is a powerful word. It’s the “act, state, or right of possessing something”. (Thank you, Google.) Now take that definition and couple it with the words YOUR TIME. Taking ownership of your time. Wow! That does feel powerful indeed.
Take a moment and think about your priorities. What are the things that are most important to you? Your list may include things like family, friends, career, health, volunteer work, or hobbies. Now look at your calendar. Are the time slots on your calendar representative of your priorities? Do you have time dedicated to the things that are most important to you?
When you look at it closely, ownership of your time really has 3 parts.
First, ask yourself the question: how would you like to use your time? Think of your time like you would your monthly financial budget. What time do you want to budget towards relationships with friends? Maybe it’s blocking off time to meet for lunch or chatting on the phone. What do you want to allot for time with your spouse? Perhaps it’s designating one evening a week for date night. You get the idea. Determine how much time you will set aside for the things that matter the most to you.
Second, to ensure that you spend the time where your priorities lie, you must schedule it into your calendar! Write it in or type it in. Note: be sure that you schedule time for fun and downtime! Avoid making everything work, work, work or you'll be less likely to stick with your calendar.
Third, you must commit to honor your schedule. Make it a habit to look at your calendar when you wake up (or the night before) so you know what’s coming up. Transfer the day’s plan to a small piece of paper if you don’t want to keep turning on your phone to check it. Create a mantra that will become your mindset and belief. Here are a few I like:
“I follow my plan.”
“I create a plan for the results I want.”
“I honor my calendar so I can use my time for what I want.”
Ok, you might be saying, this is all good stuff but what about my kids? Surely the inevitable interruptions will cause me to throw my calendar and plan out the window!
Not so! The fix to that is to block out bigger chunks of time for what you need to do. For example, you may decide that you want to exercise for 30 minutes. Well, make it a 60 minute time chunk on your calendar to allow for possible interruptions. That wiggle room will make it more likely that you’ll accomplish your task as well as tending to the interruptions.
When you follow these 3 steps, you will be able to take ownership of your time, no doubt. You are going to feel AMAZING and MOTIVATED and ultimately SUCCESSFUL when you follow your plan. You’ve got this!