You can’t, can you, because there are only 168 hours in the week!
I have been doing this fascinating exercise with my coach…
One of the things I am working on is getting my week, in terms of time allocation, realistic, while still striving.
We did this exercise, where I looked at what I am actually doing and how I want to divide my time. We only added up the hours afterwards to find that I am wildly overestimating the capacity I have in a week.
It came to 193.5!
Where were the 25.5 hours come from, that obviously I can’t magic up – and my coach drily remarked that, as of yet, he hadn’t cracked how to create an 8 day week.
We looked at where I was stealing the hours from, to create the impossible week.
Here are the conclusions:
- I’ll just get up an hour earlier tomorrow to finish that report/catch up on those emails.
- I’ll just work a bit later, my husband and/or daughter will make dinner and I can surely sit down for 30 minutes at 8 o’clock to eat it.
- Well I will have to cut back on the marketing that I was going to do this week because I need to keep up with actual client work…
I am not getting enough sleep, and subsequently, everything takes longer that it should do, thus compounding the problem.
Annoyed family, because I am like a ghost in the house, deigning to spend a few minutes to share a meal with them that they have prepared.
Appreciative clients, but few conversations coming up with potential new ones, because I haven’t allocated any time in the week to let people know that I am here and what I can help them with.
This is not overachieving it is overreaching.
I remember a client, who I coached to deliver a keynote, talking about this very thing. While aiming to overachieve can be motivating, overreaching can mean you are drowning!
The learning from this?
I can’t trust my mind to have an accurate idea of how many hours there are and what I can achieve. It plays “fantasy week” in my head!
How about yours?
Are you riding rough shod over your boundaries?
Working with my coach I realised that the answer is to be found in structure.
And I LOVE a bit of structure.
As my excellent coach said: structure is a wonderful thing, it both keeps you on the straight and narrow, and also allows you to be free.
You just need to create it, and then stick to it.
We all have those times when life happens, someone gets sick, or there is an unexpected event, and you have to burn the midnight oil because you have deadlines. That is different. What I am talking about is consistently stealing time from where you shouldn’t, habitually.
So what is my path to the best week I can have, taking into account that there are just 168 hours in it?
First put down the ‘fantasy’ time on stickie notes, and go through and ask myself the question: I have to find 25.5 hours here.
What can I cut back on?
What is a protected space where I cannot take time from?
I need to include sleep in this one. I have discovered that it is very counter-productive to steal from time that should be spent in bed.
And most crucially – how do I really want to spend my time?
What is going to give me the most and the best results?
I feel liberated.
Funny that – putting a few boundaries in, and giving up on the fantasy week, gives you freedom?
I hope that you are having an exhilarating February.
I would love to hear from you if you have discovered that you tend to live in fantasy hours mode.
Also of course, I am here to help you to be able to speak up, stand out and be heard in any situation… and you know, that actually often starts with how you speak to yourself. Something I know that can really help or hinder how you communicate with others also.
Hope you enjoy your 168-hour week.
If you would like to find out more about my coaching and training services, to speak with confidence, breathe fully, and speak mindfully, contact me via email to Fiona Whytehead, or book a discovery call.