Time Management…

Just the title alone suggests something that cannot be done.

Schedule management would seem more appropriate.  I can manage my schedule.  That is something I have control over, but alas I cannot control time….

 

I find it very interesting whenever I talk about Time management.  Interesting in an odd… funny sort of way, because I am a procrastinator.  I am… I admit it.  I was going to have an elaborate slide-show for you this post, but I didn’t get around to it….

 

It is true… I cannot offer much in the way of instruction on the latest and greatest techniques to help you get more done in less time…. But it occurred to me that our society has been on that runaway train for quite some time now, so is that really what we’re after?  How to get more done in less time?  ….. well, let’s see… there’s the computer – that speeds things up.

There’s the cell phone – so you can stay in constant contact.

There are planners and organizers of all types – traditional or electronic to help us keep better track of all the things we need to and have promised to do.

We actually have more gadgets today that will help us get more done in less time than ever before!

 

The more “time” I spent contemplating this subject, the more I felt that learning how to be more organized and efficient was Not something readers of this blog were in need of.  So, instead of discussing how to better control or “manage time”, I thought we could discuss the relationship we have with time, how that impacts the decisions we make and, ultimately, our ability to get things done in a way that enhances our overall quality of life.

 

I have heard it said that “Time is the great equalizer.”  Time is the one thing that each of us has the same amount of….. the same amount of time every day.  I don’t get any more than you, and you don’t get any more than me.

… and yet…. Some of us have “Free Time” – “Hey, how’d they get that?  Who’s giving away free time???”

… while others…. Don’t have “any time to themselves” –  “Where did all my time go?  I’ve lost all my time!!!”

 

But, in reality, we each have the same amount of time.  The difference is in how we choose to spend it.  It’s our choices that determine how much we get done in a day, or how much time we have left over, when that day is done.  It’s the quality of those choices that ultimately determines how satisfied we become with our own use of time.

So with that….

             

I’d like to discuss some concepts or strategies that (I feel) lead to making better choices in relation to how you “manage” your time.

 

First – Get Your Priorities Straight.  Most of us complete tasks in the order of importance.  If you’re like me, your list of priorities is subject to change.  Of course, that is just my priority list for day to day tasks.

           

The priorities I’d like you to consider are those that you have made for your life.  That is a different list altogether, and rarely changes, if ever.  But how often do you consider your life’s priorities before agreeing to take on more work?  Before you say, “Sure… I can do that.” How often do you stop and ponder how the decision you are about to make will impact the quality of your life or the realization of your life’s goals?

           

If you answered, “hardly ever or never” then you may want to consider this before saying yes to the next big assignment.  It only requires some thought as to what matters most any why, so you can align your actions with your desire.  It’s what I’ve heard referred to as, “Living your life ‘On Purpose'”.

 

Second – Portion Control.  Red-blooded Americans love an All-U-Can-Eat Buffet!           

I don’t know what your strategy is for attacking a buffet table, but mine is the same strategy I use for choosing what I’m going to do from day to day.  I take my plate, pick out a few things I like, and take small enough portions I can handle.  Then when I’m done eating, I start over with a clean plate.  I’ve seen other people employ the small portion technique with multiple plates…. Haha… you’ve got to have a talent for juggling…. 

My wife, on the other hand, tries to load everything on one plate.  She’s got stuff piled on top of stuff…. Other stuff falling off the edges…. It’s as if she’s worried that if she doesn’t get it all now, there won’t be any left…. And of course, she always struggles to eat it all.

           

I think our relationship to time is kind of like that.  We each get the same sized plate, and our normal tendency is to try and load it up with as much stuff as we can heap on.  What I’ve learned is that it’s easier to take things in smaller portions.  When I do, I don’t have the problem of something getting buried under something else, or other things falling off my plate completely.

           

It’s also important to be honest when we realize that our eyes were too big for our stomach.  You know what to do in that case right?  “Don’t force it or you’ll regret it later.” … and the same goes for taking on more tasks than you can handle.  When you find yourself in this situation, the best thing you can do is be honest with those you’ve promised and ask for help.

 

Third – Take Time Out to Sharpen the Saw.

Have you ever felt like you were working and working and not getting much done?  Or felt like you didn’t have time to stop and plan because you had too much work to do? … I have…   What I’ve learned is that when I take 15 or 30 mins. To plan out my day, I am more productive and can cut through my workload much faster.

 

Fourth and finally – Seek Balance.  As it is in nature, so it is with us.  We need balance – physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.

           

As you fill your schedule, please remember to schedule time for you.  When you are over-tasked, over-worked, over-stressed and out of balance, it throws everything else around you out of balance as well…. Your co-workers, your family, your social and community groups, and anything else you are associated with.  Remember, whether you have “Free Time” or “No Time”, it’s your choice.

           

To ensure that you can strike a healthy balance in your life by getting some “You Time”, there might be times when you’ll have to say “NO”.  For some of you that might not be a problem, but for many it was or is a very difficult thing to say.  Let’s try it now… say it with me, “NO”.

 

See you Can do it!

 

Have a fantastic day!!

Coach Morse

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~ by coachmorse on May 29, 2007.

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