Time management begins by separating these different parts of our lives. At Doctor For Total Health, we call it drawing solid yellow lines around each of the areas (hats) in our lives. When you are driving, if there is a dotted yellow line, you can pass or cross over into the other lane. If there is a solid yellow line, you cannot pass and you cannot cross over. Others cannot pass or cross over either.
We must learn to paint solid yellow lines around each part of our lives (the hats we wear). When we do this, we can dedicate a certain amount of time in the day for certain areas. Our other lives (hats) cannot pass or cross over, and we cannot pass or cross over into them.
For example, on Monday morning you decide to give time to your athlete hat, your Parent Hat and your Work Hat. In order for you to accomplish all three of these important areas of your life, you must create focused time for each one.
A typical day may look like this: From 6:00 A.M. to 7:00 A.M. you might wear your athlete hat. At this time you are nothing else. You have drawn a solid yellow line next to that hat, so you are not a parent or a spouse. During this period of time, you are an athlete. You are exercising, going for a run or doing an aerobics video. You do not have your cell phone with you, you do not read the paper first, or look at e-mails. You get your exercise done and then move on.
At 7:00 A.M., your parent hat is worn. There is a solid yellow line between athlete hat and your parent hat. Once it is 7:00 A.M., athlete hat time cannot cross over. This is the time when you get the kids ready for school, dressed and fed. Then at 7:45, when the kids are out the door for school, you can put on your Work Hat. You can start thinking about work as you get showered and dressed. This is only allowed when it is 7:45A.M. and the parent hat is taken off.
By painting solid yellow lines, you are able to make time for all areas (hats) in your life. While work is important, so are your spouse, family, and your health. Probably the most important part of painting these solid yellow lines is having a place to paint.
Daily planners are incredibly important. You are able to schedule each of these important areas in your life and plan accordingly. Planners do not have to be huge or sophisticated. A simple one will work fine. Even better use your Smart Phone Calendar.
Most people would not associate time management and health, and fail to recognize how important it is for your wellbeing. If you had more time in the day to get things done, you would find yourself eating less fast food, and possibly even finding time to exercise. If you had more time in the day, you could accomplish more things and discover a lot less stress in your life and more enjoyment. Managing your time is perhaps the most significant aspect of managing your life.
Typically, people are not managing their time; it is managing them. For most people life is a series of deadlines and “to do” lists. The constant stress of these deadlines and “to do” lists are determining your each and every move and what you will be doing for the day. It is no wonder why people can’t find the time to take care of themselves. These deadlines are managing your time, your body, your health and your emotions.
For most people, when they wake up in the morning the first thing they think about is what needs to get done. They immediately start thinking about work, getting the kids ready, or chores that need to be done around the house. The moment these people wake up it is go, go, go for the rest of the day. Once they are done with one deadline, a new one is already on the list. In order to get these pressing things accomplished, a person typically organizes their day so that the most important things get done first, and do what ever they need to make sure they are on time for their next “to do.”
Most people would consider this “effective” time management. Really, this is not “time management,” it is “emergency management.” In emergency management, your time manages you.
Painting Solid Yellow Lines
We all have multiple hats to wear everyday. Some of which can include: