People don’t necessarily enjoy talking about time management after divorce; however, it’s one of the most common issues and concerns we hear as coaches.
“There’s never enough time in the day!” or “If only I had more time, then I’d be able to…” No one feels like they have enough time.
Most people give in to these thoughts because they feel captive to their situation — they don’t believe anything can be done about it.
Once your divorce ends, it’s time to make the most out of your life. It’s been said that it’s not the time you put into something, it’s what you put into the time that counts.
Imagine starting your week with your mind clear and focused on what you want to do. The first hour of your workweek on Monday morning (I do this on Sunday), empty your brain and onto paper. Write down everything you think you must do or get done during this week and into the next week.
How to Prioritize Your Tasks
A critical step in creating better time management after divorce is learning what tasks need to be done first. This will help you work more efficiently and allow you to offboard tasks that don’t make the best use of your time. I recommend prioritizing the list into four categories:
Tasks You Must Do
These are the most important and urgent tasks on your to-do list. They require your brain and unique skills to get done. Figure out the time of day you’re most focused (maybe it’s after your morning cup of coffee or perhaps you get an afternoon burst) and schedule these tasks during that time.
Tasks You Should Do
Consider these tasks priority two. They’re important, but not urgent. You’ll need to find time to complete them during the week, but they don’t necessarily require your best brainpower. An example of this type of task might be working on a non-time-sensitive work project or even knocking out a load of laundry. You should do it, but there are no negative repercussions if it doesn’t by a certain date.
Tasks You Would Like to Do
These tasks are your “wishlist” of to-dos. This might be something like organizing your desk or getting your inbox to zero. Sure, it would feel great to have these done, but they could easily be done another week if needed. It’s not worth stressing over these getting done when you have other things to prioritize.
Tasks You Can Delegate
One of the most important parts of time management is learning how to delegate. This is especially important for entrepreneurs and business owners. It’s been said that the more successful you get, the less available you are. This applies to tasks as well. If you’re focused on growing your business, you should no longer be worrying about smaller tasks. Find someone you trust and delegate these tasks to them. You can still oversee the end result, but don’t waste time doing the busy work.
Once you’ve prioritized your tasks, decide how much time you’re going to take on each of those things. Be careful not to give yourself too little time. This could throw off your whole schedule and make the day more stressful. On the other hand, don’t give yourself too much time as this affects the number of things you get done in a day.
Setting Your Calendar Up for Success
Next and most importantly, you must put them on your calendar. Use the paper with all of your to-dos to determine what needs to get done this week, then throw away your to-do list. This forces you to rely on your calendar and not the piece of paper that might simply vanish into thin air (for me it always does).
Using a calendar to schedule your time is one of the easiest ways to reduce your stress levels and work towards achieving your goals and dreams. This frees up resources so that you can invest in yourself and your relationships and experience more of life after divorce. Let’s take a moment to explore the top three benefits of using a calendar to schedule your time.
Benefit Number 1
Using a calendar to schedule your time helps build and reinforce a habit of mindfulness of your priorities. Stop getting the least important things done first simply because they’re the easiest. You’ll have a clear view of what’s a top priority so you can focus your best energy on that.
Benefit Number 2
The second benefit of using a calendar to schedule your time is that it’s great for your health. Life is busy, and often one of the first things to slip through the cracks is personal care & fitness.
Benefit Number 3
Finally, using a calendar to schedule time for your relationships is one of the best ways to show your friends and family how much you care. One of the only things in life we can’t make more of is time, so when you give that to someone, it shows them that they’re worthy of your precious and limited time.
Just the simple act of putting all of your “to dos” outside of your brain onto a piece of paper allows you to see it. When you transfer it to a calendar, you can free up your thinking, creativity, and ability to get things done.
What we have discovered is that time management after divorce helps us to build trust in ourselves. Most people don’t have a clue how long a task might take. Time management helps us trust ourselves with time decisions, honor our commitments, and follow through for ourselves and others. If you don’t know how long something will take you, there is a good chance it won’t get done — or at least in a timeline manner.
I want to emphasize that a lot of us believe we need more time to get things done. It sounds legit, and you can get people to agree with you, but that thought will steal every dream you have.
Stop telling yourself, “If I had more time, I could write a book,” or “If I had more time, I could get more clients,” or “If I had more time, I could do higher-quality work.”
Instead, say, “If I had one hour per day to create a successful business, how much time will it take me to create it?” Then attack that hour with laser beam focus. Success will happen in an hour a day.
Some people will claim they don’t have any freedom or any free time. They might say they don’t have time to go to the gym or take a bike ride. You have to calendar everything, including personal time, fitness time, and time with family and friends.
My Sunday Hour One is on my calendar every Sunday. We always prioritize scheduling time with our loved ones first, then everything else gets filled in afterward — planning vacations, visiting our parents, whatever it is, and scheduling our free time (even your pedicures and workouts).
Do you want to learn more about managing your time and setting yourself up for success after divorce? We’d love to work with you one on one through our coaching program – Life After Divorce. You can visit our website to set up a free Discovery Call today.