Time management is really a complex issue of self-management where work needs to be captured, clarified, organized and reviewed in line with your purpose, values, vision, goals, and strategies. When these things are in line, you’ll feel good about how you are managing time. Does that sound complicated? Maybe, but it’s not impossible.
Successful time management comes down to managing two things: internal clutter and external clutter.
Clearing the Internal Clutter
Did you ever find yourself frozen in time, having spent hours in front of your computer and not being able to account for anything that you did. If you have found yourself spinning your wheels, it could be for a couple of reasons. Either you were trying to do too many things at once, or you were concentrating on insignificant tasks and putting off the work you really need to do. Often, as entrepreneurs in today’s business environment, we take on a lot of tasks, and since we are only accountable to ourselves in the short-term, many times we don’t finish any of them. (need to change)
What’s your routine? When you get to your computer, what you do first? Do you check your e-mail, Skype, log into messenger, or answer calls? Unless there’s something urgent that you know is pending, this is probably a waste of your best time.
The problem is first, these all seem like natural things to do. You want to know what’s going on. Second, these have probably become habits, and they feel comfortable and even make you think that you’re accomplishing something.
SO……. “How’s that been working out for you”?
If you’re reading information about time management, you might not be as successful and productive as you’d like to be. You know you need to change a few things, and, as with most things in life, the change has to start with you.
As entrepreneurs, freelancers, and internet marketers, our first responsibility is to get into the right mindset. This means taking the responsibility to deliver projects on time and to the best of our ability. Since we are our own bosses, prioritizing, producing, and delivering the product are all completely up to us. This is even more critical because we know if we don’t do this, we will eventually lose every client we have.
In the next few chapters we will be talking about procrastination versus effective action, drivers that keep us stuck, and learning how to focus. These are some of the internal problems that keep us running furiously in place while accomplishing little or nothing.
We all know that in order to be successful, we must take action. It’s simple, right? Then why is it so hard to do? Often it’s because the tasks are boring or difficult, or something we just don’t want to do. So, how do we overcome this? The problem is that denial won’t cause the task to go away. Procrastination won’t make it any easier; in fact, it will make it harder. So what do we do? Read a little bit more about procrastinition
Time Management Drivers That Keep Us Stuck
In psychology there certain things called drivers that keep us stuck. Most of us have one or more of them, but we are unaware of them.
They are “be perfect”, “hurry up”, “try hard”, “please others”, and “be strong” They are the enemies of productivity. They create the exact opposite of what we want in our lives; they fill our lives with lack of accomplishment, vulnerability, and inter-personal difficulties: the last things we want.
They can cause damage to our feelings, our relationships, our self-esteem, and even our health. They can wreak havoc with our business. But when we know what they are, our self-talk can tame them and even banish them. Take a look at these drivers and see if any of them apply to you:
The idea that we and other people should be perfect is pervasive in our society. It is encouraged by the” perfect” people we are bombarded with constantly in the media. We berate ourselves and expect to come out 100% perfect, no matter what the task. Often, if we don’t think we can be perfect, we do nothing at all. If we are less than perfect at something, our self-esteem may take a beating. Since no one is perfect at everything, and most of us are generally less-than-perfect at most things, it becomes a lose-lose-lose-lose situation. It can be paralyzing and debilitating, and it can keep us from achieving the things we want most. Alcohol, drugs, or overeating are often side effects of someone suffering from the be perfect driver.
As with all drivers, the solution consists of recognizing that this is a problem in your life and responding to it by saying to yourself, “It’s okay to be less-than-perfect, it’s okay to be human, and it’s okay to make mistakes.” Eventually, this positive self talk-will lead to feelings of confidence and allow you much greater productivity.
The be strong driver lets us know that some of our feelings and needs are unacceptable or even despicable. This driver regards any need as a weakness to be overcome. The driver says to you that you must do it all yourself, and you must not ask for help from anyone. Feelings of sadness or hurt or loneliness – the “weak” feelings – are unacceptable. They are humiliating feelings which we must do everything to hide. These feelings often begin in childhood when feelings of softness or vulnerability were punished or ridiculed. When these children grow up, they begin to treat themselves in the same manner.
The response to this driver is to first recognize it, of course, and then to say, “It’s okay to have feelings and to express them. All feelings are acceptable and they are acceptable in front of others (with the exception of violence).”
The hurry up driver pushes us to do more and more, faster and faster. This becomes a trap that makes us impatient with ourselves and others. You can frequently see this when you’re driving your car. Bad behavior on the part of other drivers is often caused by the hurry up driver. It can impede our productivity at work with us making tight deadlines and then either not being able to meet them or meet them at the risk of our health and our relationships. We can all agree probably that this driver is becoming more and more prevalent in our society. People are in a hurry regardless of what they’re in a hurry about.
The correct response to this driver is to recognize that too much speed can cause you to make impulsive, inaccurate decisions that will only create problems in the long run. The truth is that the most effective action is the one that has been thought through
The please others driver demands that we are approved of above all else. People driven by this tyrant can feel anxiety and depression and intense fear of rejection even from people who are not important to them. These people have difficulty asserting their own needs. There often are unaware of their own feelings and resentment until it builds up to a point where there is an incident. As you can probably see, this can create all kinds of problems in business like over-promising and under delivering.
The response to this driver is first to understand that a good relationship has an inherent give-and-take aspect to it. The self talk here would be,” It’s okay to please myself.” This is not selfishness, this is self respect. It doesn’t mean that you won’t please others. It means that pleasing others is a choice, and pleasing yourself is also an option.
The fifth driver is the try hard driver. At first, trying hard seems like a good thing, right? The problem is that this driver doesn’t allow you set limits on your trying. There’s a difference between trying hard and trying too hard, and, again, it has to do with setting boundaries. If there are no boundaries about how much you can help, how many things you can do, how soon you can do them, etc., then the important things become obscured by all the things you’ve committed yourself to do. There’s simply not enough time for everything.
The solution again is in our hands – we can choose not to overextend ourselves. We don’t have to work on five committees or take on five projects. The self-talk here is to just say no. It starts with recognizing our own limits and then letting others know what they are. We can allow others help us, and we can relax sometimes.
Drivers are a paradox.
We think they’re helping us, we think we are behaving correctly. In actuality, they cause us to accomplish little or nothing, probably much less than if we took a step back, saw them for the negative forces they are, applied some self talk, and took control of the situation.