Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Resources to Reclaim Your Time

To say the last two months have been hectic would be an understatement. My world has been a whirlwind of projects, events, audits, deadlines, and never-ending to do lists. Needless to say, my personal time has been nill and my belly dance practice has fallen by the wayside. In short, I've been busy.

Busy. That ever present word in our modern day society. Ask someone how they are, and they'll likely tell you "busy". Some of us wear it like a badge of honor, with busy bestowing a mark of importance and purpose to the cycle of our lives. 

But if you're feeling like me and are ready to jump off the hamster wheel and reclaim your time for the activities that resonate most deeply with your spirit, consider utilizing some of the following resources and ideas to reclaim your time and ultimately your life.
  1. Discover how you spend your time. It might surprise you. Most of us actually have more time than we think, but we fritter it way with social media, Internet browsing, and TV watching. Consider tracking your time for a week or two to discover how you really spend your days. If you sign up for time guru Laura Vanderkam's newsletter, she'll send you a free template for time tracking. Or you can create your own template. If you want to take it a step further, read Laura's book, 168 Hours.
  2. Get organized. You can't use your time wisely if you can't keep track of what needs to be done and where you're supposed to be. If you don't already have some type of planner system for tracking appointments and to dos, get one. I personally like my iPhone calendar coupled with Toodledo. It's free to open an account on the Toodledo website, while the Toodledo iPhone app is $3.99. I use both and they automatically sync with each other. The website/app allows you to create categories, set recurring tasks, prioritize by importance, and set reminders. I love it. However, if you are more of a paper planner gal, try the cute planners over at Erin Condren. They also have lesson planners that belly dance teachers could utilize for planning their dance classes.
  3. Manage your passwords. Ever wasted time searching for an account password? Ever practically pulled out your hair in frustration because you can't get logged-in into an account, or your account is frozen from one too many incorrect tries? Then try a password manager. iTunes offers a number of choices, including a free and well-reviewed one by Norton
  4. Let it go. Is there something on your to do list that you don't really need to do? Be honest now. Are there things listed that you feel you should do, but aren't really necessary? Analyze your list and see if there are things you can let go of or perhaps delegate to someone else. Hello kids and husband! 
  5. Schedule time with yourself. Want to have time to practice your dance, attend a class, exercise, or cook a healthy meal? Then schedule it. Most people's schedules only include time they have scheduled with others, while any time they need for themselves gets whatever is leftover, which usually isn't much. Want to fit in a belly dance practice session? Look at your upcoming week and block out the time for yourself right now. 
  6. Explore further to reclaim even more time. Like where this is going? Then consider reclaiming even more of your time by pursuing time management best selling books or utilizing more tools to stay organized. 
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