Thursday, April 10, 2014

Should you manage time, attention or results?

I am in one of those periods when I am beyond busy. It happens to me from time to time: I have lots of commitments to lots of people (including me) and I really, really need to produce a lot in a limited amount of time. Some of what I need to produce is not especially fun.

What do you do? I recently received coaching emails from a well-known expert that talked about getting rid of wasted time and managing time in 30 minute increments. It's easy to agree in theory, but I don't think I do.  Agree, I mean. I also don't manage time this way.

Who are you when you know yourself? What's important to you? Some of the things that are important to me are a belief that the arts make us smarter and an equally powerful belief that God (substitute the universe if you are more comfortable with that) doesn't punish us for being present with people who need help or support or just to have company. So I fit music and art into my schedule even when they don't fit. And I sit with people who don't need me (but maybe they do need something) even when I have lots to do.  I also work to honour my commitments (even the one that says that once a week I pick up my 2 year old niece early from day care.)  I do not know how cause and effect works all the time, but I know these things to be right and important in my life.

Everything else is up for negotiation. Sometimes I let myself get really tired. A little sleep deprivation actually helps me stick to boring tasks that have to be completed on a deadline. Sometimes I cycle through social media in the hope of a breath of fresh air (it's not often there). What I don't do is make statements like "schedule only 60% of your time" or "stop wasting time."

Just be the best person for you as often as you have a choice to make.

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