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  • Writer's pictureMaylen Rafuls Rosa

Three Powerful Principles of Time Management (Number 3)

This is the last blog post in a three-part series about powerful time management ideas which can help us all enhance the way we spend our time.

Time management is one of my passions because I believe that what we do with our time is what we do with our lives, and unless we deliberately align our choices and activities to the type of life we want to live, we risk living different lives than the one we truly desire. This last statement may seem obvious or even somewhat circular in reasoning, but consider this: one thing is wanting, another thing is executing. It takes so much more effort to commit to change and to actually make an important change happen.

The third principle I will share is very practical, and will help us all start to make those desired changes. But before I introduce the third principle, let us remember the first two:

Number 1: For as long as we are alive, the ability to make increasingly better choices about what to do with our time is available to us.

Number 2: In order to make better choices about what to do with our time, we need to be clear about our priorities.

Once we are clear about our priorities, we need to commit to change, and assuming that commitment is present, then what follows is a redesign of how we spend our time. Of course, there are as many ways to redesign the activities we choose to engage in as there are people on earth. Redesigning time could look like a complete overhaul of your time, or could look as simple as adding activities, taking away activities or "moving" activities. All of these are completely valid and there are probably more ways to repaint your time canvas, but the third principle that I would like to share really advocates for one of these ways of redesigning:

Number 3: Consider taking away before you add.

There are several reasons why I believe letting go of activities and roles which do not serve your ultimate purpose and desires is a good starting point.

First of all, many of us do not know how to say "no"and as a result of wanting to please others or meet their expectations, we have accepted many more responsibilities than we truly want. We are in over our heads, and given the complex and changing landscape of our communities, our country, and the world, this creates an enormous amount of stress for us. We vibrate at a higher frequency than we should.

Rather than trying to squeeze even more activities into our day, which then results in us feeling more stressed and overwhelmed, consider taking away. This will enable you to focus more on the things you do want to do. You will have more free time, time for stillness, time for creativity and inspiration to visit you... time for whatever it is you want.

A very practical way to go about this is to make a list of your different roles and activities you do within each role. Consider eliminating roles that do not fill you with joy, those which don't bring value to your life, which don't make the societal impact that you want to have. Consider also lowering your standards when it comes to housework; what are some chores that you don't need to do as often as you currently do (for example, clean less or do laundry less frequently)? Once you have eliminated what does not serve you, then you will naturally have space in your calendar to make decisions about what to add, if anything. To paraphrase a great mentor of mine Dr. Zachary Green, when you say no, rejoice in that no because you are saying yes to something else that truly matters.

Discussion question: 1) Where can you say "no", and what "yes" will that "no" enable you to activate? (What activities can you let go of and what will letting go enable you to invest more time in?) 2) How do you go about redesigning your use of time?

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