Have you got time…..?

Have you got time for a coffee? MPj04387400000[1]

• How much time do you spend looking for things that YOU haven’t put back in their proper place?
• How much time do you spend going through a pile of papers on your desk looking for stuff that you haven’t filed?
• How often do you lose your keys?
• Do you let other people interrupt your planned work schedule and then have to rearrange to catch up?

In an ideal world we would all be well organized, interruptions wouldn’t happen and everything would flow smoothly, according to plan. It’s not ideal, but the way you manage or mismanage your time can make a huge difference to the quality of your life and your work – and your relationships!

To manage your time well you need to be
• Organized
• Disciplined
• Have plans
• Have good habits

Not nearly as scary as it sounds, you are organized to some extent or you wouldn’t be able to get out of the door in the morning. Make a note of everything you do in a day, is there anything there that you could do differently to make better use of your time?
• Could the kids make their own packed lunches the night before?
• Could you pay someone to do the ironing or some other task that would free up some of your time for more creative or important things?

Discipline, reminds me of being at school! However, discipline simply means being in control of yourself to make sure that you do all the things you have to do rather than putting some things off till later and wasting time; e.g. you may hate doing the ironing, but it is much better to do it once each week rather than having to iron school shirts every morning.
It is better to hang your keys up when you come in rather than spend 10 minutes every morning looking for them.

Plans, as you have already learned allow you to look at the short, medium and long term and organize your self to do the things that need to be done to enable you to have the kind of life you want. Plans allow us to keep the big picture at the front of our minds, so that outside pressures don’t throw us too far off track.

Good habits; developing good habits allows you to be organized, disciplined and make plans without even thinking about it. However, it takes time to develop a habit so until being organized, disciplined and a good planner becomes habit you will just have to concentrate on being organized, disciplined and making plans – and so it goes, round and round!

Urgent and important

Important but not urgent

Urgent but not important

Not urgent and not important

The above diagram is well known to life coaches, managers, planners and the like. It was originally created by Dr. Stephen Covey in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, well worth reading.

Dr. Covey tells us that we may be spending too much time dealing with emergencies, fighting fires, sometimes we have to do this, but if your time is well managed most of the things you will be doing will be in the “important but not urgent” box. Operating in the important but not urgent box moves you closer to your dreams and goals quicker than running around fighting fires – remember the lesson on being proactive rather than reactive? (it’s part of our 21 day course, “It’s All About Me”) www.successmapping.net

Try it – I dare you!!

Managing your environment is just as important as managing your time. We live in a world of distractions, television, radio, mobile phones, every where we turn there is something to take our attention. If you are going to be efficient and effective you will have to manage some of these distractions.

We all work best without distraction and sometimes that means letting other people know that you are busy and they will have to wait. Give yourself 2 ‘phone free’ hours every morning, put the land line on answer and switch off your mobile phone, close your email facility and do the job you have planned to do. Keep a sheet of paper handy and make a note of anything that pops into your mind, that might cause you to move off task – write it down and do it later – when you have completed the tasks you have set yourself to do.

Let your colleagues in the office know not to disturb you for the next two hours – really, no interruptions – they’ll get used to it.

A friend of mine from many years ago had her very small children trained to amuse themselves while she meditated – one day, expecting an important call, she did not switch the phone to answer; as soon as it rang, her 3 yr old son picked it up and said, “please wait Mummy’s meditating, and put the put the phone down!

You might like the following chart to keep track of how you spend your time for the next few days, then you can review it and fill in the right hand column to plan how you would prefer to use your time in the future.

How are you using your time?

What you do How long you do it for How long you will do it in future

Shower / breakfast etc

Travel to / from work


Home work

Training / personal development,
not at home.



Social activities inc., church



Family time – caring

Family time – playing

Me time


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