While the Rolling Stones sing “Time is On My Side” over and over in my mind today, I am struck by the application of those words in the topic of time management. I had been missing a key component in my usage of time management tools and strategies: a positive mindset.

I have to admit that I love making “New Year’s Resolutions”. No! Wait! Please keep reading! Let me explain! My resolutions are areas of focus. They are the big dream ideas that require smaller steps to achieve. So, each year I become excited by the new year, new potential, and new possibilities.

January 1, 2023- Dream and envision the new year. Check.

January 2, 2023- Brainstorm goals and habits that support my dreams. Check.

January 3, 2023- Determine which one to three goals or habits I will work on… PANIC!

Anxiety poured over me as I thought, “When am I ever going to find the time to make the changes I want to make and do the things I want to do?”

You see, I am a busy person. I am always doing something. When I want to do more, I believe I can’t because I am too busy. This is a mindset I have cultivated and nurtured without ever intending to. “Busy” has become part of my identity. It is who I am. Unfortunately, I am not the only one to recognize this. People around me, family and friends, kept saying that they didn’t want to bother me because they know how busy I am.

I don’t want “busy” to be my identity, but where can I possibly spend the time to figure out how to get unbusy? Do you see my problem?

I was suffering from a mindset problem. I created the identity and belief that I was too busy, so I always felt rushed and as though there was never enough. While we truly can’t do EVERYTHING (we are not superheroes, after all.) We CAN change our mindset and find some real solutions.

When a new goal or idea comes to mind, instead of telling ourselves that we are too busy to take on one more thing, we can tell ourselves that we are smart enough to make good choices with our time. Just that one little shift opens the door to being willing to use time management tools at our disposal.

There are plenty of strategies, tools, apps, software, and resources to assist with time management. Many are free, others come at a price. In my opinion, none of them can help if your mindset is fixed on being too busy.

How does this change in mindset help us? How can it help our teens? Well, instead of thinking about all the things we/they can’t do, the focus shifts to what we/they CAN do. This mindset shift allows us to prioritize and categorize based on importance and urgency.  Additionally, we can make time for ourselves and for self-reflection.

So, maybe we don’t take on that next opportunity that comes our way. Let’s choose to say no from an empowered place of making choices rather than from a feeling of overwhelm. Time is on our side. We can’t control it, change it, reverse it, bend it… but we CAN work with it, regarding it as a friend, not a foe.

Write to me about your thoughts on this topic. I want to know your ideas. What time challenges do you or your teen face?

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