Time Management (will never be) made easy, but it can be better

The reality is you may be overwhelmed and desperate or fighting a low level nagging frustration. We are stuck in a cycle of procrastination and panic (see my earlier post https://jimschmotzer.com/2015/blog/the-3-dreaded-ps) You hear the guarantee, somebody dangles the promise of virtually no work and amazing results. Stop me if this doesn’t sound like every other late night cable TV deal. You decide to take control and change your ways. You buy the deluxe package. And within two, maybe three weeks you’re back to your old habits.

Systems generally work for the developer and other like-minded people. And if you are anxious enough or work hard enough, most systems will do the job. But the probability of sustaining a system is about as likely as the Mariners winning the World Series in my lifetime (sorry for the digression). If you are ever going to dig out of this you need something more.

Let’s refocus and start over.

  • First, Know yourself! For a system to be effective it must compliment your personality. Your values, priorities, relationships, responsibilities and emotional rhythms will all impact your ability to stick with it. The more you can craft something that fits and flows with the essence of who you are the more likely you will be to find success. Knowing yourself may be best done with the gracious and wise support of a trusted Mentor or Coach.
  • Second, Wake up. We live in a fast paced, affluent culture that seems to want us to be overwhelmed and worn out. If you need to please everybody and have it all you might as well quit reading now, because I’ve got nothing for you. I’m not saying you must go all Marie Kondo and move into a “tiny house,” but without making changes, nothing will change. If you are committed to growing toward and living a whole life, you’ve got a chance. Making a change requires moving beyond the hectic pace, affluence overload and instant gratification.
  •  Third, Grow up! This is not about quick fixes or cheap magic tricks. Time management is rooted in a symbiotic marriage of self-management and self-control. Time management is an act of work and responsibility while understanding that none of us operates in a vacuum. Our actions impact others. Frequently people are waiting for us to do something so they can proceed with their next steps.
  • Fourth, make the tough call. Knowing what to say “no” to may be more important than saying yes. Clarity of values creates a way to review opportunities and the extra push for making the tough call. We may hate to admit it but when frustrated with the sense that our lives are too busy and cluttered, we can often trace our current situation back to a string of (poor?) decisions. It is generally easier to add something than to back out on agreed upon commitments. But more is not always better, and it is, practically speaking, more to manage.
  • Fifth, count the cost. We often procrastinate on things we don’t like or “are not good at” thinking “it” doesn’t matter, or we’ll get to it when necessary. The reality is that until we take care of responsibilities we consider negative they imbed in us as emotional power. When doing the things we love, while avoiding completing the dreaded “other things “we may be functioning at less than our best. When we get rid of that which we least enjoy we can be fully focused on our best passions and skills. Somewhere I picked this up, “Do the dirty work first.”

The bottom line is, things can be different. Understanding yourself, clarity of commitment and active follow-through can bring about change. A Coach can provide that needed support and boost to get from dead-end frustration to purposeful action. Let me know if you’d like to explore working together for better days ahead.

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