I am not really good at time management. Timekeeping, yes, but time management, no. I think there are a couple of good reasons for this: The first is the fact that I set myself high standards and want to achieve the best I can, and the second is that I give time to others. Both of these are admirable attributes, but they don’t always stand me in good stead when I have lots to do. And I always have lots to do. I am a busy person and so I feel that often I am juggling and spinning plates in order to achieve what I have committed to do.
Setting High Standards
I have written quite a lot about setting high standards, both directly and indirectly and those of you who are regular readers will know that I struggle to manage what I want to do for my blog and other sites, for my family, and also for my work. All of these things are important to me, all of these things bring me pleasure and reward, and all of these things take up enough time on their own to be a full time job. I am not a fan of cutting corners or taking the easy option. I value quality, I would say at the expense of quantity but this is not true. I want quality and quantity, and so I keep going until I feel I have achieved this.
I love people. I am a people person and it is in my nature to be interested in those around about me. Because this is the case, I will give my own time to others, and I will do this even when I don’t really have the time to give. I will have things that I wish to achieve, but I will put that aside if I feel that someone needs me. I don’t give them the time at the expense of my own goals though, I do it in addition and so I am left beginning work on my other prioritise afterwards. The result of this can be that I have to eat into time which was set aside for other things, begging, stealing and borrowing from other sources, the most obvious one being sleep.
My Work Life
It happens that my career has taken a path where I am much more in charge of my own time than previously. This sounds like a good thing as the day is, to a degree, flexible. However, a large part of my role is responsive. I am required to drop what I am doing and deal with the urgent situation that has presented itself. This would be okay but the workload is too great. It is not a manageable job and because of the way we approach it, that doesn’t really become evident. We work harder and longer and faster, to try to do the things that we didn’t get done due to the interruptions.
I can see that this suits my nature and my way of working, but it takes its toll. There is always that feeling about the thing that you haven’t done and the concern that it may be important. It is difficult to tell when something forgotten, or something put off until tomorrow will be that thing, the one that really mattered. There is a fear of the information missed, or not recorded, or not acted upon. It plays upon my mind and means that I find it hard to switch off, and there is often something in the background being processed. The amount of information that I carry in my head and can recall is phenomenal, but I worry about the piece that I have forgotten.
I know that I need to be better at managing my time. I need to try to block it off in sections and learn to say no. I need to pass things to others and learn to delegate, rather than trying to be all things to all people. I need to work to priorities, be clear about those with others, and measure myself against outcomes which are achievable within the time frame and the resources that I have. I need to stop comparing myself to others and trying to achieve the best of what others can show. I need to find time to switch off, time do things for me, and spend time on some of the things that I don’t currently.
A while ago now, we agreed that managing time would become part of our power exchange. Essentially, HL would give me time in pockets. We thought that this would allow me to use it more for the things I wanted to than for the things that I felt I should, and in many ways it worked quite well. That was until things got busier, busy enough to challenge what we had set aside and then we sort of fell out of the way of it. Being given time is something that I would like to go back to as I think it would allow me to be more available at home, emotionally and sexually.
I suppose that really I just need to see where things go. Sometimes the things that are your greatest strengths are also you largest failings and I think that perhaps my management of time falls into this category. I do very well with what I have, but there is a price to pay. I am hopeful that awareness of it will allow me to improve things and to be better at working with what I have and making sure the things that bring me the most pleasure, are not pushed to the back of the queue. Instead of hiding from time, I will try to own it and make it work for me!
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