Machen MacDonald
Special to The Union

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August 5, 2013
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MacDonald: Taking time to task

A great deal has been written about the various concepts, philosophies and theories of time management. There are volumes of books, blogs, articles and posts of how to incorporate the three “T’s” (tips, tricks and tools) to get more things done. The challenge with implementing yet another “T” is the reality there will always be more to do than you can do.

Many people’s experience, as it relates to time, is that they feel caught in the jet stream of a fast-paced, multi-tasking, do more-achieve more work style. The problem is in the approach. It’s not about doing more or getting more done. It’s about enjoying what you are doing.

Coincidently, people that tend to get more done and achieve more actually enjoy what they are doing.

Before we jump into a useful evaluation, let’s blow up some myths:

Time is money. As Benjamin Franklin once pointed out, “Time isn’t money. Time is life itself … Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

No amount of money in the world can buy a minute or an hour. You can make more money. The moment it took you to read this just past, and you will never get it back.

You can manage your time better. There is no such thing as time management. Time cannot be managed just as you can’t manage gravity or the weather. You can only manage your actions and behaviors in relation to time.

OK, with those two in check, let’s look at being really honest with yourself. What do you want from your time? What is your motivation for wanting to manage yourself better in relation to time? Be open to challenging yourself and some typical time management thinking. The Dynamic Dozen below will serve you well in getting yourself aligned to achieve more by becoming clear of what you want for yourself in relation to time.

1. If I could spend time doing anything I wanted, it would be …

2. I find myself wishing every day that I had made time for this activity …

3. One task or activity that I do make time for every day is …

4. I am always late for this activity …

5. I am always on time for this activity …

6. I lose all track of time when doing this activity …

7. I always procrastinate when I have to do this activity …

8. If there was another hour in the day, I would spend it …

9. If there was less time in the day, I would cut out…

10. If I could work only three days per week, I would …

11. When I am really busy and pressed for time, the first task or activity I cut out or say “no” to is …

12. If I had all the time I needed, how would my life be different?

Your work this week is to notice what do your responses to the exercise above tell you? How will you renegotiate your prior commitments? (Be responsible.) What new boundaries around time will you set up for yourself? How will you say “no” to the requests and actions that don’t contribute to your mission and purpose?

With your new-found space on your planner, what are the more desirable activities you will fill in on your calendar. Be intentional. Remember, nature abhors a vacuum. If you take something out without replacing it with something different, it will just fill up with more of what you took out.

Make it up, make it fun, and make it happen!

Machen P. MacDonad, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at coach@probrilliance.com and 530-273-8000.


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The Union Updated Aug 5, 2013 08:46AM Published Aug 5, 2013 08:38AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.