This desire was the start of my commitment to myself to live a better quality of life and enjoy the ride. It was my opportunity to turn my self-talk into a reality. My self-talk was a desire to manage my time better so that when I go home at the end of the day I have the energetic reserves to take our beautiful husky for a walk, and be a happy and healthy wife and mother.
I was committed to discovering a practical way to create more time in my day. This had to be how I live my life on a daily basis. I wanted a consistent strategy for managing my time. It was then that I realised that I needed a time planner, not only for my hours of work, but for my entire day because my role as director, mentor, mother and wife were over-lapping and one was leaching off the other, leaving me with very little time for myself. I realised that what I needed was a simple system that could simplify my life. I was determined to achieve balance.
Firstly, I listed 20 things in my life that constituted who and what I am. These ranged from my son, to my relationship with God, to the importance of my citizenship. I then asked myself that if disaster struck, like an earthquake – which of the twenty would be the seven most important to me. I was struck by the fact that even though my health was number five on the list, I had no time, or rather did not make the time, to exercise. I realised that I clearly needed to focus on what was important to me and how I wanted to live, and not live in reaction to my environment, or what was expected of me from others. I decided that the time had come for me to act from a place of truth and integrity, and live so that I can be my authentic self. What most of us do most of the time is react to a stimulus, rather than take control. I decided that I was going to consciously design what I want from this life and consciously direct my mind to getting that. And so I did – I created a lasting sense of drive, rather than a momentary space of enjoyment.
Secondly, with a very clear design of what I wanted this life to be, I knew that the next step was in creatively breaking down every Monday of each week right down to every Sunday of each week. I knew enough to know that without this ‘task list’ or ‘to do’ list, I would definitely go back to living each day on autopilot, as opposed to consciously and with awareness. This weekly task list that I began designing for myself was very different from task lists of the past. This may seem extreme to you, but it works. Activity without purpose is a drain to purpose, your relationships, your spirit, your finances. I now spend my time and my emotions on the things that really matter to me. And now that 24-hour-day, is all the time I need.
I broke down my day into hours:
How many times have you heard women say: “I wish there were more hours in a day.”? – I know I’ve said it often enough. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time to do all that we want to, and balancing the many roles of career woman, wife, mother, daughter and sister leaves most of us with very little reserves for what should be most important to us – taking care of ourselves.
So, my only 2011 resolution is: “Create a life where you can be a better you”. 2010 left most of us with a sense of: “Whew! Where did the time go?” In January 2011 my son was 18-months-old and I had this feeling of having missed out on the first year of his life. This left me with a deep sense of disappointment. I wanted to be the best mother and wife I could be, and be a successful business woman, and enjoy my life, and be happy.
24Hours in a Day, how to make the best of time
by Ridwana Jooma Cook
be my mentor
5am to 7am
7am to 8am
8am to 1pm
1:30pm to 3pm
3pm to 5pm
5pm to 8pm
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 5am
spend time with my son until he leaves for day care.
get ready and get to work.
prioritise the activities I need to get through at the office for the one business I own.
prioritise the activities I need to get through at the office for the other business I own.
is spent exercising. (I even set the boundaries with my husband that this is absolutely ME TIME).
cooking and being with my son.
is my husband’s time.