Can we talk about time management again?
I know, I know.
The phrase “time management,” is about as enticing as the phrase, “amortization,” or “home mortgage rate deduction,” or “annual percentage rate.”
Because of this, I have avoided the topic for years, in the same way I have avoided thinking about amortization or home mortgage rates or annual percentage rates.
Which is ironic because I used to work as a tax policy analyst.
But recently I jumped on the time management band wagon.
I had to look beyond the white guys in suits who, up until recently, seem to be the most vocal about this topic and get past my phobia of words like “productivity,” “net output,” and “efficiency”…
We all know that time is precious resource? Even though they say it isn’t linear, so far as I know, once you spend it, you can’t get it back.
Like you, I got this on an intellectual level, but until I started using time management, I never really got it.
So thanks to time management, I started managing it. There are so many benefits to this. First, you don’t have to have all the shit you want to do swirling around in your brain causing what psychologists and guys in suits call, “The Zeigarnik effect,” which says the more unfinished shit you have swirling in your brain the more stressed out you get. Not sure they needed a double-blind study but what do I know, I’m just a life coach.
The other cool thing is I can get more done faster which means more reading and gardening for me.
Sometimes I struggle though. Even when I block out time to get something done, I sometimes find myself getting lost in the Facebook/Instagram vortex or find myself shopping for slides.
Many of my clients complain about focus too.
It’s tempting to grab an extra cup of coffee or shop for slides or check the bank account – anything but the task that is blocked out! – when you’re supposed to be sitting down to work.
But therein lies the problem. (I’ve always wanted to use that phrase.)
Because you know what I figured out?
Successful people…yeah the dudes in suits, but also the rock star coaches making seven figures, the best-selling authors, the super moms (the happy ones not the psycho ones ) and the super fit (the happy ones not the psycho ones), all have one thing in common:
When THE time rolls around, the one blocked out for a specific task that was deemed mission critical at the point of planning, they actually sit down in a chair and do it.
They don’t change their mind and decide the task isn’t that important.
They don’t allow themselves to get sucked into a vortex. They don’t get more coffee. They don’t check their bank balance.
They don’t complain that the task is boring. They don’t stop because they lost their motivation. They don’t decide they need a nap.
They don’t go all smug about time management and how it feels like someone is “making” them do something they don’t want to do.
They simply do what they said they’d do when they said they would do it.
See now I thought I had success figured out. I thought it was about self-compassion and authenticity, service and grit, the willingness to fail.
And yes, It’s all those things!
But without time management, none of that matters!
If you don’t do what you said you’d do, you won’t get shit done.
So I’m leaving my empty coffee cup on my desk. I’m turning my phone off. I’m closing all my other browser tabs and I’m committing to do what I said I would do on Sunday night when I planned out my week, when I said I would do it.
Because I’m a student of success. I’ve been studying it for eleven years. I learned that success is a lot of things. It’s about self-compassion and coming from a place of service. It’s about “done is better than good” and staying in the game. It’s about telling the truth and being real.
But most of all, it’s about valuing the precious time you have and doing what you say you’ll do when you say you’ll do it.
Which makes me wonder… What kind of gold is hiding under the term “amortization”…?
If you’re curious about my approach to time management, I offered a pay what you can workshop a few weeks ago. You can still get a copy of the class along with the bonus content. Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like to purchase (recommended investment is between $37 and $150).