Tick Tock Tick Tock

How come some people achieve lots and others don’t? 

How come some people can work ‘on’ their biz as well as ‘in’ their biz and get everything done?  

How come we talk about ‘time management’ and really, there's no way to manage it? 

The term ‘time management’ isn't one of my faves, as I don’t think time can be managed.  Regardless of what we do, the clocks all around the world tick tock tick tock on every day of every week of every month of every year and it’s ongoing.  My thought is that the term time management should be re-labelled ‘self-management’.   If we asked a better question I think it would be ‘How do you manage your time?  What are your tips and tricks for getting things done?  One thing we can be certain of is that we all have the same amount of time at our disposal ... 24 hours every day, 168 hours per week, 8,760 per year.  How we manage, or perhaps discipline ourselves, determines what we achieve and how we achieve it.  Teensy weensy choices every day about when to go to bed so that we get sufficient sleep; what task I do next; when we exercise and get fresh air; when we have quality time to ourselves and family time; the choices we make every day when we're at work; the choices we make to plan for or create spontaneous fun and so on. 

For the self-employed solopreneurs, there's the often-talked about balance between the ‘in’ and the ‘on’ the business.  That’s when we commit time to stop, review what we’ve done, celebrate the successes and look at what we can do to remedy what we’ve not done well, or could do better.  How can we discipline ourselves to plan for and implement that?  

The last few weeks I’ve been enjoying ‘diligent application’ to my tasks and the ‘doings’ of business and using my ‘handle it once-completion’ principle.  Back when I was working for a government department my supervisor used to encourage us to develop efficient processing skills.  Her words resonate in my ear to this day ... if we’d already reviewed a file, our brain was already ‘in the zone’ for that client, so finish the job regardless of how long you think it will take.  Every time you look at something and put it to one side it becomes a UFO (unfinished object) and less attractive to do, because it's already been rejected once.  Handling things once is a great strategy and for it to be successful you need to be disciplined.  "I've already read that email, so I'll respond to it now while my mind is on it".  There's no such thing as procrastination and it sure as heck knocks a bunch of items off a 'to-do' list  These last few weeks I’ve adopted the strategy for phone calls, tasks, checking, preparing, drafting and booking and anything else that needs doing.  And it works.  And, by the end of each week, I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve completed and it feels good. 

A few weeks ago I saw a Facebook meme that said something along the lines of make the most of being a kid at home because once you leave, you’ll have to plan every single meal for the rest of your life!  Yip – it sounds BIG.  And sometimes our list looks BIG.  What I do know is if you take it one task at a time, you can see the small steps of progress.  However you do have to do the hard stuff, to make it easier.  At our house we’ve started meal planning the night before we do our weekly shop and our food life is soooo much easier.  No wasted time procrastinating in front of the fridge or snacking because of ‘not knowing’.  Simply read the plan, do the meal that’s listed for tonight and voila!  Dinner!  And if you plan a bunch of 'easy' meals, it's even easier! 

Here's the challenge - have a go at applying this to your work.  Start at the top, complete the first thing, doo the next thing on the list, and continue until it’s done and voila!  It’s done!

We all have 24 hours in a day, 168 hours per week and 8760 hours per year.  What choices are you consciously and unconsciously making to maximise your time or fritter it away?  We’re not here forever…. tick tock tick tock.