http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-young-business-woman-hourglass-time-concept-shocked-image32706427Remember the song from the Rolling Stones  “Time is on my side?”  Yeah well they lied to us – it’s not…

Time is a non-renewable resource.

The average life expectancy for a woman in the United States is 82 years.

Using that statistic I have exactly 16,034 days left on this earth. How many do you have left? 

So what does this mean for the dream claimer community? It means that we have limited time to live the life we were born to live.  It means that we have to be intentional about how we spend our time all day every day.

I am not an expert in time management. Time management is a myth anyway. Who can manage time? But I am a lifelong student of time utilization because I struggle with it.

Like most women I struggle with balance. I know how to be productive and my productivity often comes from my tenacity. Through the years though I have had to learn how to plan and what my limits are. Yeah I know – I was devastated too when I learned I had limits – we all do.

You know, I had a hard time writing this post. I asked myself “What good has come out of my struggle with time?”, “What have I learned that could help our community”“Am I even qualified to write about this?”.

Then I remembered; the point of My Dream Catalyst is to share what we know where we are at right now and to help each other move forward to discover and claim our dreams.

So with renewed purpose I give you my 4 saving graces of time utilization:

1. Learn to Love Calenders & Schedules: Intentionality doesn’t just happen – you need tools. A calendar is a wonderful tool. You can use it to plan time to work on your dream and to plan “free time” to rest and relax. This tool is NOT to be used to beat yourself up only to track how you spend your time. It also allows you to reflect on how you use your time so you can review your choices and continually improve.

2. Take Breaks: From a person that can focus on something for hours at a time – I have to force myself to take break. Maybe you can relate? When I feel overwhelm coming on I stop in my tracks. It could be for 10 min or it could be the rest of the day. If  you schedule margin into your life (see #1) you allow yourself the flexibility to take breaks when you need them.

3. Learn How to Relax: This is a counter cultural lifestyle change. I know it was and continues to be for me. Life is demanding and it’s hard to flip the switch and say “Ok I have an hour to myself – relax brain!” It doesn’t work that way – at first but if you commit to being happy with imperfect progress it makes the journey to being able to relax easier.  Perhaps your first victory is that you sat down for 20 minutes and read a blog post; than a month later you find yourself able to take a nap or have the desire to go for a relaxing walk. Baby steps.

4. Stop Wearing Busyness as a Badge of Honor: One habit I had to break was to stop starting new things and filling up my calender.  There are so many opportunities to be involved we could exhaust each other just listing them. Yet when we are so wide we don’t have time to go deep into our dreams and our purpose. Ask yourself these questions before you start another thing “Do I have enough time to reflect on my week?”, “Do I even know what I did this week?”, “Am I spending time on my dream and in my gifting?”, “Am I doing this for accolades and because it makes me feel needed?  Or I am doing this because only I can?”

What are your saving graces for time utilization?

Copyright 2014, Mary R Miller