Oh, Where does the Time go
Time Management in the Hyper-Time Era
Where does the time go when its gone? To a deep dark cave? Does it cease to exist? Or, more likely, do the lost minutes accumulate to something meaningful?
I do hope so.
But how do you know if your time is spent wisely? Have you ever felt that you have more ideas than time, more tasks on your to-do list than hours in a day? Is that a good feeling or a feeling of exasperation?
Time can be an unruly lion and you the lion tamer. Or it can purr like a sweet little kitten without any help from you at all.
Time is relative and yes, you, me, everyone, we all only have the same 24 hours in a day unless you live on another planet or maybe in a space ship… which would be cool because you’d be reading my blog in space!
Are some People born to be late?
I used to think so.
My mom once mentioned that her obstetrician estimated my due date to be the end of May… of course that was light years ago. But June is my birth month … the end of June to be exact.
But whether you are late or not has a lot to do with organisation. I use three tools for taming the creative and the real life chaos. They work best together.
But first you must accept that the universe loves to dissipate into chaos. That is physics – you cannot argue with science.
Next, you also must define what is most important to you. Where are your priorities? And while you are at it, figure out what recurring events, like meal prep, getting your kids off to school, date nights, meetings and even self-care need to be fitted into your day.
My Three Time Management Tools
I use my iCals as a reminder app – for example that it is time to stop working and get lunch ready. In Germany, the main main meal is taken at lunchtime. And Tap Forms can send me reminders through iCal
I use Tap Forms, which I wrote about extensively and for which Brendan Duddridge recently interviewed me for his newsletter. Tap Forms is in its simplest form a databank for IOS. And in its most magnificent state a powerful tool to manage almost everything in your life, from your small business to recording how many seeds you’ve planted in the garden and sends you reminders when to harvest them.
There the one tool I haven’t written about yet is one that I use daily, as well. It is called Tyme 2, developed by Lars Gerckens.
I love this app that runs and syncs to all my devices. It’s really easy to set up and use. For small businesses or even for teams, you can track the time you’ve spent working and travelling. For my, as an independent illustrator, it is a God-send.
I track my projects on it. That, I guess, is an obvious answer. But in using it, you can also detect those hidden time thieves – those hungry lions that gobble up time like chunks of fresh zebra meat.
Tyme 2 Interface
Home at Work
You see, I work from home. And in the eyes of my family, I am always there. I am the one who cooks. I am the one called if my kids took ill in school. I am the one who had to drop what I was doing because someone needed something right away. And that bugged me. So I began using Tyme 2 to track down the hungry lions and to assess how much time in an average day my family needed from me.
Things like meal prep became easy to schedule. But often around that time I am often in „The Flow“ which is why I set up a daily appointment in my iCalendar to remind me to start.
And knowing how long I needed to complete an illustration and to take care of the project management is empowering, too.
It assures me when I go to contract negotiations that I have a good fact based handling position.
Knowing what was involved in a project can help you plan the next one. Tyme 2 lets you write notes inside each entry and you can export them, too.
Creators are notoriously optimistic about time. Tyme 2 keeps me realistic without killing my optimism by raising my awareness of time.
My final tip for you is use the 60/40 rule. Only plan 60% of your day. That leaves room for Chaos – the unexpected events and challenges – to creep in, so leave him a chair free. Give yourself a 40% to catch the loose bits and pieces that drop in for a visit. Expect the unexpected and you’ll be the best time-tamer ever.