We’ve all heard the term “time-management” whether its our boss telling us we need to manage our time more effectively in order to be more productive or us telling ourselves that we need a better “work, life balance”. Is this actually achievable or are we chasing the impossible?

According to Lyndelle Palmer-Clarke creator of The Daily Greatness Journal (Dailygreatness Business™)* we have no way to control or manage time but we do have ability to control and manage our thoughts and emotions in time by following these four core principles:

1) Focus – How we use our time. Making a choice every day about how we use our time helps us to remain focused on the daily tasks at hand. Some refer to this as setting a daily intention. How did you choose to use your time today? What was your intention, and did you achieve it?

2) Organisation – How we plan our time. Once we know how we want to use our time we need to set ourself some goals to help us get there. Throw away that never ending to do list and instead focus on 3 key actions or goals to help you achieve your daily intention. Do your actions align with your intentions? 

3) Personal Growth – How we manage our thoughts and emotions in time. By setting an intention for each day and establishing the actions we need to take in order to achieve this we give ourselves full control over our emotions and our thoughts. This is because we are in “proactive” mode rather than “reactive” mode; which means we are better prepared for what life may throw at us during the day. Even if the day takes an unexpected turn that could send us off course, we are able to anticipate this more effectively and therefore, maintain a sense of calm as we tackle these curveballs. Are you in control of your thoughts and emotions or are they controlling you?

4) Finances – How we manage our money so we can spend more time doing the things we love. By being more proactive instead of reactive we give ourselves real control over our finances. Of course there’s nothing wrong with the odd impulse purchase every now and again but when those impulse purchases are happening on a weekly or daily basis we have to ask ourselves whether they truly serve us. What value will this bring to my life? Is this a short-term solution to a much bigger problem? 

Sometimes implementing these four core principles can be easier said than done so let’s break it down into four easy steps:

1) Get focused and choose how you wish to use your time today. 99% of us have to work in order to survive and that is something we don’t have a choice in. Regardless of what your job is you have a choice every day to feel the burden of being in a job that perhaps you do not enjoy; or being thankful that it keeps the roof over your head and puts food in your tummy. Maybe you love your job but your home life is often placed on the back burner and this is affecting your relationships. You too have a choice to either remain the same and continue putting your work above those you love and who love you; or choosing to hit the pause button and refocus your attention to your personal life. Get focused and set your intention every day. The beauty with doing this is you don’t need to meditate every day (unless of course you want to!); you can set your intention whilst in the shower, eating breakfast or even during your morning commute

2) Organise yourself and choose how to plan your time today. To make sure you actions align with your intention set yourself some goals. For example, if the intention is to be more thankful for your job then your actions could be as simple as smiling at more people, and stepping away from negative work conversations (read “office gossip”) before being drawn in. If you’re intention is to dedicate more time to loved ones each day then make a point of agreeing “home time” with yourself when you will close the laptop, put your phone on “do not disturb” and be in the moment with the people around you

3) Allow yourself personal growth by choosing how to manage your own thoughts and emotions today. Now that your intention has been set and actions agreed, you’ve immediately given yourself full control of your emotions by focusing your thoughts towards your goals. You are more prepared for whatever life may throw at you today that could set you off course because you are already in “proactive mode” rather than “reactive mode”. Be mindful of your emotions throughout the day in order to remain in control

4) Control your finances by choosing how you manage your money today. There’s an old saying that goes “Take care of the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves”, and it rings so true in this case. Do you really need to buy lunch and your morning coffee today? Or could you make lunch and coffee at home instead? By taking small, daily steps to manage those seemingly insignificant purchases you make without really thinking about it, you allow yourself greater financial control in the long run

These steps seem so simple when we read them but with the busy lives so many of us lead today, these small reminders allow us to refocus our attention and get back on track