You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it. May 25

phil crenigan  

A common theme in many client discussions is the relentless pressure on time creating a sense of helplesness as each day blurs into the next. It is as if the term " back to back " meetings is worn like a  corporate  badge of honour, creating the false illusion that to be busy , is to be effective.. However, it is how we spend our time in the moment that really matters, and if we  are fed up or frustrated with the way we interact with time then it is we who must change it. . 

 

What am I doing with my Time ?       

 

 Covey's 7 Habits of highly effective people, includes the habit of putting First Things First.

In his simple time management matrix, he refers to Urgent and Not Urgent,  Important and not important activities . Highly effective people also have to deal with day to day unplanned issues but they are generally focussed on the important but not Urgent quadrant. if you print off an electronic record what you have been doing with your life in the last month, it is not difficult to  assess the value of each activity or task.. Map out a quadrant with  urgent  and non urgent activities  across the top and Important and non important activities  along the side. An activity is important  if you think it is worthwhile and it is urgent if you and others feel it requires immediate attention. . I think a much more visually  powerful exercise is to take four  hilight colours and literally colour in what you are doing on your electronic diary, by allocating a colour to each quadrant.  . How much time are you investing in personal centred activities ....reflection, exercise, hobbies personal development , and ' we based activities, family , friends should be included as well as work activities. .  If it is all work and no play, you may take some comfort in the fact you are energised and engaged at work by being in control and focusiing on the big ticket items. However, if a significant proportion  of your time is meaningless work and pointless meetings, the only person who can change that is you .It all begins by pausing for a few minutes and doing a little reflection and analisis of what am i doing with my time now.

A wonderful habit to get into , is to regulalrly diary one hour towards the end of a  week,and to review what have I done and what is coming up...what is Important and what is Urgent / non urgent . Apart from creating a greater sense of control by looking forward  it has the psychological equivalent  of cleaning the blackboard of your mind as you transition into the weekend,,,and you will become increasingly more effective at putting First Things First   . .                       

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