For some of us, time management is a significant issue and is one more piece of a pattern that undermines self-confidence.
Over the years, it can contribute to feelings of low self-worth, anxiety and depression. Overwhelmed by chronic frustration caused by our own unreliability, some people even give up trying. We isolate from friends and family, leave good jobs that feel too demanding, and generally lower our own expectations of ourselves.
In Parts I & II of this series we talked about time estimation and time blindness. I offered some tools you can use to improve the former and overcome the latter.
And today I promised to tell you about the one thing you need to master for effective time management.
First, a question. If all of us have the same amount of time--24 hours in a day—how do some people seem to be able to pack so much more into that time? Like…
Does time seem to slip through your fingers?
“I’ll just check Facebook real quick,” you say to yourself, and two hours later you realize you haven’t moved from your chair. You’ve read scores of posts, plus the comments, clicked the related links, etc.
You didn’t mean to spend so much time doing it, but you were just oblivious to the time passing. (And yes, I’m attuned to the irony that you might be reading this on Facebook. Keep in mind, the issue is not the platform, but the time you spend on it.
This is time blindness.
And it is commonly seen in those of us with ADHD or under-developed executive function skills.
Why is time blindness a concern?
Because knowing what time it is now, how quickly time is passing, and especially knowing how much time is remaining while you’re involved in a task are three critical pieces of time management.
First it helps to understand what Ari Tuckman, Psy.D. calls the time horizon. As he puts it,...
This week I’ll be covering the topic of time management. It’s a big topic that a lot of people struggle with.
For starters, how good are you at time estimation?
Do you find your projects take longer than you expect or that you are often late for appointments?
You’re not alone.
“There is never enough time or money; this much we all know,” according to a New York Times article. The next line is where it gets really interesting:
“Yet a new study finds that when people estimate how much of each they will have in the future, they are consistently more likely to overestimate their time than their dollars.”
BINGO. People are significantly WORSE at guessing how much TIME they’ll need for something than how much MONEY they’ll need.
I know this to be true from my own experience working with people. I regularly hear from people who struggle with time management overall, and time estimation in particular.
However, here’s where it gets...
Today I want to help you appreciate the significant impact Executive Function skills make in your life.
What happens when you really, really want something—you have the best of intentions!—but you don’t have the skills to back up your dreams?
Frustration, stagnation, loss of self-confidence.
But, as you’ve often hear me say… when we’re talking about SKILLS, they can be LEARNED.
It’s a lot like tying your shoes, which is a skill you weren’t born with, but you learned when you were young, and now you do it without thinking.
“Just Do It” is a slogan, not a strategy.
It’s wonderful to tell kids (and adults) that they can be anything they want to be or do anything they want to do. But then, do we ever really teach them how to set a goal and achieve it?
Because it takes more than just a desire to do it. Willpower is not enough. Executive function (EF) skills help us discover the HOW. That’s the missing link between...
Have you ever not used your allotted vacation days and regretted it, because they didn’t roll over?
Losing vacation days is not uncommon. For some employees they can accumulate vacation time, but for many if those days are not taken in the calendar year, they are forfeited.
And too often I hear people tell me they “just didn’t get around to” taking the time off!
A lot of missed opportunities can’t be salvaged.
I have a dear friend who’s kicking herself, because for 15 years she’s had the opportunity to go to Maine, stay with a cousin for free, and enjoy the beautiful Eastern coast with her family. Now her son is 18 and not interested in going. Plus, her cousin is getting ready to sell the cottage. She’s lost a great opportunity, because she just never slowed down enough to plan it out. It was just work, work, work all the time.
I don’t want that kind of regret for you.
I know most people aren’t traveling right now because...
2020 has been a roller coaster. As the end of the year approaches, many holidays are coming up — yet some people are asking themselves what there is to celebrate.
It depends on where you look, because what you focus on grows.
You could start with the little things. As I always say, it’s important to celebrate everything, not just the big things.
Did you finish a project this year?
Did you get organized — or at least more organized? (Remember: Strive for progress, not perfection.)
Did you get through the election campaign without throwing things at the television?
Did you help somebody out, read a good book, or learn a new recipe?
Those are all WINS worth celebrating.
Then look at the bigger picture. Do you have a roof over your head? (On any given night, millions of people don’t.) Do you consistently have food in the refrigerator? Do you have a job, or the prospect of one? Do you have access to transportation? Are you relatively healthy? If you answered yes...
Is perfectionism preventing you from making deadlines or finishing projects?
For some people, it keeps them from even getting started.
Procrastination is a symptom of something else. It’s a behavior that results from something going on in our heads preventing us from taking action.
Are you the type of person who starts a project but loses steam towards the end? If so, it’s possible that you can’t see the finish line, because you’re caught up in making all the details perfect.
Or are you the type of person who never gets started, because you only want to commit and start when you are ready—and since you won’t know when you’re going to be ready in advance, you wait for that “right” time … which never comes.
You know what? It’s never going to be PERFECT. You can get close if you are invested in quality and like to pay attention to...
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the ripple effect.
Like a drop in a pool of water, our lives touch other lives. We don’t really know how one action might affect someone else down the road.
Mother Teresa famously said, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
Isn’t that beautiful? Can you imagine the ripple effect of Mother Teresa’s life? How many people did she have a positive effect on that went on to influence others, who went on to impact even more lives?
Even one moment can have exponential reach.
In my own life, I am reminded of my mentor Jim Rohn and all the positive ways he influenced the world.
In the 80’s I studied under him and just soaked up his amazing intellect and positive thinking. I studied at his ranch with a great group of people. A couple of them have gone on to create their own positive corner of the universe....
How many of you remember when you were a kid in school and they told you to show your work? They wanted to see your thinking process, whether it was division or writing a paper or a science project – they wanted you to show your work so they could help guide you.
If you’re anything like me, you could get to the right answer but you often times didn’t know how you got there. And this means that you couldn’t replicate your process and get to the right answer time and time again. In fact, you might have said you were just “lucky” and let it go at that.
Flash forward to adulthood where I realized that showing my work and externalizing my thinking is a wonderful adventure. It allows me to see my process, see where it works out well and see where the flaws are so I can correct them. I wouldn’t be able to do this if I keep it all in my head rather than being able to see it outside of my head.
I took this realization and applied it to my online...