Personal Power is the taking control of one's inner experience, mindset, goals, and time.
However, many of us can experience time as being outside of our control. We may feel like endless chores, job demands, even friends, "rob" us of this precious asset.
As we stand on the brink of 2021 and reflect on the resolutions we would like to accomplish, I wanted to share with you some strategies that can support you to take charge of your most important asset.
1. Invest in a planner
A planner can assist you in identifying your yearly goals, then dividing these into half yearly, quarterly, monthly, even weekly milestones (refer to my "goal setting" blog for more goal-setting tips).
The reason this is super important is that this assists you to clarify and take control of where you chose the focus of your energy!
Our brain is very clever at "protecting us" from effortful work by "helping us" to avoid it. We can often find ourselves getting easily distracted or lost in a procrastination rabbit-hole, “maybe I should just check my emails again,” “maybe I feel hungry, let’s get a snack…” It is our brain's natural way of helping us to avoid the danger that may lurk around in taking risks, making sure we stay safe in our comfort cave…
Mr Anxiety would love nothing more than to take over our attention, so he can keep pointing out for us endless "what ifs" about all that can go "wrong." Most of these will either never eventuate or are grossly catastrophized, and don’t put nearly enough weight on our resources, strengths, or potential for growth and success...
Having a daily planner is a simple, effective tool that supports you to develop good time management habits and take control of your focus and energy; whether personally or professionally! I love scheduling into a planner anything I want to prioritize, whether a phone call to a dear friend, spending time with children, taking time out for a spiritual meditation, or concentrating on a work related task.
2. Watch how you speak with yourself about your time
A lot of our self-talk about how we spend our time can come from a place of feeling like a "victim" of time constraints and circumstances. This can distract you from being aware of the choices you can actively make over what to prioritize and where to focus your attention.
One popular counseling intervention is to monitor one’s inner dialogue for "I should" statements, which can reflect other people's expectations that we took on board vs "I chose to" ones that express our self-directedness and feel more empowering. Another related statement to watch out for is "I have to," which can also take our attention away from the choices we have over how we spend our time...
3. Let it go...
Time management is all about time-prioritizing. There are only 24 hours available to us in a day, and knowing what to let go of is just as important as knowing where to focus. A helpful exercise is to spend at least one day monitoring where you spend your time, watching for habits that won't necessarily make-or-break your goals, but can be reduced or avoided, such as time on social media, procrastinating, or like in my case, checking emails...
With dedication, time management can be an important component of personal power, one that we can continue to get ever more efficient and competent at, and feel good about, as we welcome the New Year!