Last week I went to the Imagine the Possibilities conference for the third year in a row and it was just as awesome as ever.
I nearly didn’t go because I’ve had such a “busy” week but I just know that I always get so much out of it and come away with fresh ideas and feeling inspired to continue growing and learning. I really wanted to share some of what I took away with you guys as there was just so much gold in what we learnt on the day that I think you will find useful too…
Leonie Canham who is one part of the Splendid Word (co-event organisers) MCs the day and she always congratulates us all on taking the time out to do something for ourselves. It’s such a nice reminder that it is OK to do that. Every year it’s hard to get to Moama for the day, there’s the expense and the organising and the kids and the missed work day, but every year it is so worth it and Leonie is so right, it is crucial to our own wellbeing that we do things like this just for ourselves, because really it benefits everyone around us. Particularly for us women, as we often have so many others to look after – if we are at our best then it’s good for everyone.
This year we heard from time management guru Kate Christy. Her talk really resonated with me and I wanted to share some of the learnings with you. Kate shared her thoughts on how these days being “busy” is talked about like it’s something to be proud of. She challenged that and said “being busy is not a badge of honour”. I totally agree with this and it was a great feeling for me personally to recognise how far I have come. Three years ago when I first went to this conference, I was “busy”, but I wouldn’t say I was productive. I would go so far as to say things were a bit out of control. I was rushing everywhere and things were chaotic. Fast forward 3 years and I don’t really feel “busy” any more, things feel in control and I am not rushing and I am more productive. Now this could be partly because the kids are getting bigger, but I think it’s also because I’ve learnt a lot about how to be more in the moment, how to manage my time better and how to say no. The meditating has also played a big part in this too. I’ve still got a bit of work to do but things are certainly on the improve!
So if you are “busy” and life is hectic and you fell like a rat on a treadmill just racing through the day and things feel out of control, then rest assured there are things that you can do to take back control today. You don’t even have to meditate if you’re not up for that (yet). But here are the key takeaways and tips I got form Kate’s session that I think will help you too.
THE FOUR COST LAYERS:
Kate outlined the 4 major factors of time as: Financial Cost, Opportunity cost, Emotional cost and physical cost and discussed how every decision we make has a financial cost and an opportunity cost and then it may also have an emotional or physical cost. As women and mothers we often don’t value the financial cost of our time effectively nor our opportunity costs.
Here’s what Kate outlined as examples of financial costs of where you invest your time:
@$50 an hour:
1hr/day on Facebook = $18250pa
10hrs per week on low value tasks $21000pa
18 hours per week on admin = $37800 pa
30 mins per day on school lunches = $10950 (so Kate said it’s time to get the kids making their own!)
BEING ABLE TO SAY NO
This is crucial to getting your time back. Every time someone asks you to do something you need to check how this will effect your financial cost and emotional cost. If it doesn’t add up for you then say no politely and move on. From my personal experience, once you start saying no it’s very liberating and you definitely get better at it!
FAMILY IS A TEAM SPORT
I love this section from Kate’s presentation. Kate really highlighted that it is totally unreasonable for a women to be doing all the jobs in a household and that husbands and kids should be helping too.
Her key tip was to get out a white board and write up all the jobs that have to be done in the house daily and then also weekly. Get one of the kids to write up the jobs to make it fun and get them involved. Then, you choose which jobs you would like to do first and then ask each family member to nominate which jobs they are willing to do. Don’t tell them what you want them to, get them to choose. This way everyone gets to see how many jobs there are to be done in the house and also take responsibility for their part in helping. You will of course have to remind everyone, every day to do their jobs, but that is better than doing it all yourself!
If you look at any for the jobs that you have to do around the house and think I could pay someone else to do that for less then DO IT. Say you value your time at $50 an hour which is probably conservative, if it takes you four hours to clean the house, that’s $200. Or you could pay a cleaner to clean it for you for $25 an hour and it would take him 3 hours that’s a saving of $125 per week. Wham.
Ironing is another great thing to outsource. But really who irons anyway?!
MUSTS, WANTS DELEGATES, REJECT
We can break activities down in to things that we must do, we want to do, we can delegate to someone else and we can reject. This is a really helpful activity to get you focussed on what is really important today.
Instead of having one massive long “to do” list break it down in to small parts. Write the weekly to do list and then pick out 2-3 tasks that you will do each day. There’s a lot of research to show that picking out even just 1 thing to get done a day is way more effective. A guy named Gary Keller has even written a book on the subject: “The one Thing”
OK, that is briefly the key things that I took away from Kate’s presentation. If you are keen to learn more and go deeper on this then I highly recommend checking out Kate’s website and maybe getting her book.
I hope you have found this post helpful and you can try some of these time saving tips to get you back your precious time and stop being “busy”. I’d love to hear if you have any time saving tips or tricks that you use too.
If you live in the Echuca Moama area, or even if you don’t, I highly recommend getting along to Imagine the Possibilities next year. It really is a fantastic event that I know you will love too.
Thanks for reading