Monday, 31 January 2011

Taking Back Control of Your TIME

You know the feeling... answer all your emails, return some phone calls, go to a meeting with an unclear agenda, chat with a colleague who happens to walk by and ***ZAP***... it's the end of your work day and you have ZERO to show for it.

Then you get home and organize supper, clean up, take care of some bills, return a phone call or two, put your lunch together for the next day and walk the dog and ***ZAP again ***... where did your evening go??

Ever get the feeling there's far too much to do and far too little time?  An awfully convincing illusion, isn't it?

"Wait a minute!" you protest, "that's no illusion; it's my hard reality every day!"

Okay, but hear me out.  What if there were a better way?  After all, acquiring personal resilience is going to require that you take back control of your time and your life.  And I think you'll agree that very few things would make you feel better than that.  Do you want to know what the greatest "trick" to doing that is?  Then just learn from a master on the video below...

This highlights the extreme power of putting "first things first", of differentiating the truly "important" from the endless stream of the seemingly "urgent".  

Personally, I had a very successful month in business a while back.  In the final analysis, very few actions contributed to that success.  And life's always that way - very few things contribute to what's essential and an awful lot of "urgent" things have very little importance in the long run.  So if you want to take back control of your time, whether at work, at home or both, then your top priority when you plan your week has to be identifying the few things that generate real results and spending your time on them.  

Did I say "plan your week"?  Yup, and that means in writing, folks.  One incredibly useful method, taught to me by my accountability partner, Kathy G., is to take an Excel spreadsheet and outline every day of your week, hour by hour... and color-coded for various types of activities.  And that's where you'd write down those "big rocks" first - those few activities that really matter.  

If you'd like some help learning how to do this, one book I'd definitely recommend to you is First Things First, co-authored by Stephen Covey and Roger and Rebecca Merrill:

Your next step?  Don't delay - revisit your plan for tomorrow and see what you can do to put "first things first" in your life.  Let me know how it goes!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

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