owning your timeIt is time to start owning your time, unfulfilled duties, responsibilities, tasks, and projects.

The moment you realize you are the problem with your time management, a whole new world opens. It is just like the Aladdin song, “A whole new world…a dazzling place I never knew!”

When I first realized that I was my issue, I was the problem, I then started seeking help and guidance. I learned that not everyone’s ways worked for me and that I took many pieces and tidbits from a lot of different areas. But the hardest part about fixing my time management, the way I schedule my time and the way I use my time was getting real with myself and realizing that I am the culprit.

I am the one who is creeping Facebook. No one is making my thumbs scroll. I am the one who is enjoying Instagram a little too often. I am the one who is lying on the couch a little too long on the weekends. It is me who chooses to have a bath instead of finishing a project. I am the one who says yes to too many things. It is me who creates my schedule. I am the one who figures out what needs to be done and when. It is me who doesn’t know how to say no. I am the one who decides to take on more than I can do.

I am the problem.

Start owning your time

To start owning our time, we need to change our inner beliefs about ourselves, so we can say, “I am the one who is a master scheduler. I am the one who can kick butt in this project. It is me who’s got the family’s time management down to a science. I am the one who knows how to say no. I am the one who creates epic times, situations and scenarios for my family and me.” To get there, you have to understand, that it is you! You are the reason why things aren’t working with your time. You are the reason why you find yourself “too busy.” And you are the reason why your plate is not big enough. “Sorry, my plate is full.” How big is your plate?

I am being honest with you. The reason is, you need to get honest with yourself. When we decide to look inward and accept that we are the problem, it becomes a lot easier to fully comprehend and understand why, for example, we say yes all the time.

We usually say yes to things we would rather say no to because we don’t want to offend people. We want to help them, but we forget that helping other people when we don’t have the time or energy to do so is detrimental to our health. It is important to understand that saying yes to one thing means you’re saying no to something else. Are you happy about what you’re saying no to? I want you to think about that one for a little bit.

You create your own schedule

It’s also important to comprehend that you are the one who creates your schedule. For example, you need to be somewhere for 9:00 am, and you know the traffic is going to be busy at that time of day. You recognize that it usually takes you 15-minutes to reach your destination, with all green lights – not in rush hour. Who’s with me here? Because that’s how I roll a lot of times, accounting for traffic with no delays. With that being said, you know that the traffic is going to be heavy at 9:00 am, and you will need more time. If you leave at 8:45 am, and you are late, that is on you. That is your problem. That is not on anyone else for making you late.

Since you need to be there by 9:00 am, and you know the traffic is going to be heavy because it is rush hour, you need to plan to be out of the house by 8:30 am. If not, you need to own the fact that you are the reason you are late. OWN IT!

Owning your time - rush hour traffic

Take Ownership and Move On!

You are the reason you procrastinate. You are the reason you can’t get things done. And when you understand that, that’s when it becomes important. You take ownership of who you are, what you do, how you believe, how you complete tasks, and how you add things into your schedule. Taking ownership of messing up is important. What’s not important is staying there.

When you mess up, own it by saying something like, “Yeah, I messed up. I didn’t book enough time for this. That’s my bad. Thank you for your patience.” Thank you for your patience is what you should say to the person you made wait. You don’t have to apologize using “I’m sorry” because that is putting it back on you, make it about them. Use a response like, “I thank you so much for bringing that to my attention” or “thank you for being patient.” These are great ways to apologize. Other replies for messing up can be: “Thank you for bringing this to my attention, as I need to figure this out. I need to change that schedule and then do it differently next time.”

A Different Planner Won’t Fix Your Time Management Issues.

It is kind of like getting a new notebook. Just because you have a new notebook doesn’t mean you are going to write any differently. It is like getting a new planner, right? We try all different planners thinking it’s going to solve the problem when the planner is not the issue. Pretty paper is not going to change the way you run your time management and your schedule.

Owning your time - hard copy planner

Here are a few ways I have taken ownership of my lack of being diligent in my time management:

  1. When I show up late for a meeting, I thank them for their patience, and I make sure they understand this is not an ongoing situation. I will be on time if not earlier, next time.
  2. I don’t make an excuse for being late. Though I will say, I am honest. For example, if a train comes and you weren’t expecting the train and you did give yourself extra time, I would mention that you got stuck by a train. But still, thank them for their patience.
  3. I make a point for the next time we meet to put it in my calendar for 15-minutes earlier than the actual meeting time.
  4. I choose to book appointments that work within my schedule. Taking ownership means that if I overbook or double book something, I have to connect with the person that I am cancelling on. I have to explain to them as soon as possible what has happened and why I need to reschedule.
  5. If something comes up regarding the kids and I’ve missed a deadline or something, I apologize, but I don’t make it a habit. I create a new habit that helps me move away from that type of feeling, attitude and expression so that that doesn’t happen again. The word sorry doesn’t mean anything if you’re not willing to change how you’re operating.
  6. I turn off all notifications on my phone. I keep myself accountable to not surfing social media when I should be working on a project. And I schedule social media within my day, so I know when I am “allowed” to be on social media. If I end up scrolling and I go over time, then I must take accountability. I need to be accountable to myself, and I have to take ownership of that knowing that I messed up because I chose not to turn off the phone.

The biggest way I take ownership of my time is this based on this quote by Philippe Kruchten:

If it’s not written down, it doesn’t happen.

If it is not in my handwritten daily planner or in my Google calendar, it doesn’t happen. I use my calendars and my planners as my way of taking ownership and being accountable. For example, if my son comes to me and says, “I have a volleyball game tonight,” I will look at my calendar, if it’s not on my list, I’ll do what I can to try and move things around so I can get to his game. However, if it’s out of town or it’s not nearby, he’s going to have to find a ride because it was not in my schedule, and I need to stay accountable to my schedule.

Make sure you have everything you can think of in the schedule.

I always look at the week ahead, so I know what’s coming up. I can take ownership of speaking at a conference on Wednesday and being there before my speaking time or being there before the conference starts because I know what’s coming up. Taking ownership can also be a preventative measure in looking into the future on what is coming up and then working your schedule correctly and navigating it around what is coming. You must take ownership of who you are in your daily life, in your schedule, and stop lying to yourself and telling yourself that you’re better than all this. You are ready to take ownership of your habits and schedule.

You’ve got this!

Exercise:

Asking ourselves questions is the best way to discover where we are in our journey of life. Please take some time to answer the following questions, which will bring shed some light on how you truly take responsibility for your lack of time management situations.

    1. Think of a time when you were solely responsible for being late for an appointment and how it made you feel? What excuses did you come up with? Did you lie to cover your behind?
    2. How long did the negative feeling of covering your behind stay with you?
    3. How does it make you feel when people are late for a meeting?
    4. When someone is using an excuse for their tardiness, how does it make you feel?
    5. What actions can you take right now to change the way you own it?

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