I recently cleaned out the final relics from my bedroom at my parents’ house. There were photos of me with unruly hair and unfortunate bangs. There were letters from my friends already in college sharing something new called “e-mail.” And, there were newspaper clippings, programs and paper reminders of the plays, competitions, and other events from my early life.

One of my findings was my senior thesis titled “The Irony of Time.” It was 15 long pages from a bright-eyed 18-year-old who already understood that time was a precious commodity.  I explored concepts like “history repeats” and “time stops for no man” and concepts of time travel with my heart —and my thesaurus — wide open.

Oh, my.

I want to give my 18-year-old self and my high school English teacher Mrs. LaCroix, a BIG hug. It isn’t easy being 18. And, it can’t be easy for your life’s work to be reading the “masterpieces” of 18-year-olds. (Seriously, if you know a high school teacher, thank them from all of us, will ya?)

Today, many of my clients and potential clients name “time management” as a major problem in their lives that they’d like support on. In fact, it is so prevalent that there is often an entire shelf dedicated to time management within the self-help section at bookstores.

One big challenge in focusing on time management is that time refuses to be managed. Truly, time will keep moving forward at the EXACT same pace it always has. We don’t manage time. Time has got it’s act together. It is we who need the managing.

In her book, I Know How She Does It, author and speaker Laura Vanderkam tackles this topic for working mothers. “Instead of saying ‘I don’t have time’ try saying ‘it’s not a priority’ and see how that feels.”

I love this directive:  stay at choice with how you spend your time, then check in with how it feels. YES!

If you want control of your time, the first step is to get clear on how you want to fill your time and give your energy to those priorities. Then, the details of life (read: everything else that is asked/expected of you) will fill in around the priorities.

As teenagers, many of us already learned about the preciousness of time. How we spend our time is, after all, the very definition of our lives. When we are clear on what we want, it is so much easier to find time or plan for what we want to be in this precious life of ours.

Don’t waste your time trying to manage time. Truly, time has it’s act together. Manage your priorities and time will take care of itself.

If you’d like support in understanding and managing your priorities, I’d love to help you get clear and get into action.

“You don’t build the life you want by saving time. You build the life you want, and then time saves itself.”
– Laura Vanderkam, author of I Know How She Does It