How To Create Your Ideal Time Map

The gap between how you'd LOVE to spend your time and how you're currently doing so might not be as wide as you think.
Christi Hegstad September 6th, 2017
“I’d love to…I just don’t have the time.”
How often have you uttered those words? Perhaps regarding an exciting new leadership role, a volunteer opportunity, an outing with friends, or even a bit of self-care? Reminders that we all have the same number of hours in a day as our greatest heroes or that time is limited/life is short are true – but not always helpful.
You know what is helpful?
Tools, strategies, and practical solutions that support you in being more purposeful and intentional with your time. One of my favorites, which I share with many coaching clients this time of year, is the Time Map.
Using The Weekly Time Map
You can use this tool (included with this e-newsletter) in three primary ways: 1) Time Log, where you track your activity every half-hour for an entire week; 2) Weekly Planner, where you map out the actual events of your coming week; and 3) Ideal Time Map, which I’d like to focus on here.
I believe time management comes down to two things: PRIORITIES and INTENTION. The Ideal Time Map addresses both.
First, determine your top five or so priorities. What matters most to you in this season? What do you want to make sure receives your time on a regular – ie, weekly – basis? For example, maybe your faith, family, career, and fitness rank at the top right now; or maybe recent changes have pushed friendship, finances, or home care to the top. Choose your priorities based in truth, not on “shoulds”.
Then, grab some colored pencils and my Ideal Time Map tool. Keeping your priorities handy, start mapping out what your ideal week would look like. Not a vacation week, but the ideal “regular” week.
Maybe you’d start the day with a prayer or a journaling practice. Maybe you’d meet with your direct reports once a week. Maybe you’d exercise three days a week after work. Maybe you’d have dinner together as a family every evening around 6pm.
And maybe your Ideal Time Map looks nothing like that! Design it how you’d like your work, leadership, and life to look.
Start Building The Bridge
Then, start looking for small shifts you could make to your current schedule to start bridging the gap. Don’t expect your Ideal to become Real overnight (though I’ve had a few coaching clients lately for whom that has been exactly the case!).
forest. wooden bridgeBut maybe you currently only eat dinner as a family once a week – could you bump that up to twice this week?
Maybe you currently hit snooze five times before rushing through your morning. Could you engage in an earlier morning practice on Fridays?
An all-or-nothing person myself, I completely understand the desire to envision the dream and then shoot for a total life overhaul. But rarely does this lead to success.
We will discuss how to make purposeful use of your time at Spark in November. Until then, map the ideal. Commit to one or two small shifts this week. Seek a coach, accountability partner, or some form of support to help you stay on track. 
One meaningful step at a time.
Let this be the season you shift your mindset, become more intentional, and transform your relationship with time!