Practical insights for leaders

Taking Control of Your Time

Many of us feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. We struggle to make time for all the competing demands at work and at home, and inevitably feel like we’re letting someone down. But what if there was a way to rethink our relationship with time and, as a result, get more joy out of our lives? 

It’s about seeing the wood for the trees. Or, as Mary Oliver so eloquently puts it,  “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”.  I hope you are inspired by the resources included below.


LISTEN: Taking Control of Your Time | Hidden Brain 48 mins

In this excellent podcast, psychologist Cassie Holmes explains how we’ve fallen victim to the illusion of time scarcity, and what we can do to spend our time more wisely. Her work suggests that when we step back and look at the big picture, it changes our relationship with time in profound ways. This listen is jam-packed with tools and techniques, including Time Tracking, the power of framing, the ‘Yes-Damn Effect’, and even writing your own eulogy.



When we recognise that time is limited, it makes us savour time more. And we are less likely to regret how we’ve allocated it. Steps:

  1. Reflect back over the last couple of weeks: When were you the happiest? What activity brought you the greatest joy?  
  2. Count how many times you have done this activity in your life and how many times you are likely to do it in your life going forward. Then you can calculate the percentage of times you have left.
  3. How does this make you feel? What will you do now? 

As an example, I visit my elderly father one afternoon a week. I’ve calculated that I have seen him 6,500 days in my life so far, and we have about 350 catch-ups over a cup of tea left (c.5% of the total). What does that make me do? It makes me prioritise that time (it’s a non-negotiable in my calendar) and leave my phone in the car so that I can be fully present.


Tick tock, tick tock… if this cartoon fills you with fear, you’ve missed a step! Click on the podcast link, under Cadence Curation, above.