28 April 2016

The Magic Bullet That Will Give You More Time

 Before I tell you what it is, try these questions:

  • Do you have all the energy you want, every day?
  • Do you get all your work done smoothly and efficiently every day?
  • Is your work/life balance exactly as you desire?

Typically, most people will answer ‘no’. Instead, life seems to get busier, work/life balance becomes a distant dream, and energy levels fluctuate considerably.

Who’s in charge of your regular commitments? Of course, if you’re working for an employer you’re rightly expected to deliver the results they need. But is it only the boss (you might be the boss!) that overloads the schedule? Are we doing it to ourselves and then playing ‘martyr’? Or trying to keep up with the schedule of those around us?

Here’s the answer …. and don’t dodge this bullet!

It’s …..  Do Less.

It sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it. But let’s dissect this a bit.

Good time management is really energy management. As soon as you start to feel stressed and pressured your adrenal glands go under stress, your body tenses, mistakes are more likely to happen – and there will be little or no room for error, delays by other parties, breakdowns or system malfunctioning of any sort. (This could include external issues such as accidents, traffic snarls, computer breakdowns, weather incidents, or illness.)

Of course we must be efficient and effective with the use of our time. I’m not saying it’s fine to sit and twiddle our thumbs just so we can feel calm and relaxed. Most businesses will go broke if we all did that! When we’re in work mode let’s be as fast and effective as possible.

But – are we trying to cram in too much? Are we taking enough breaks? We need both small (micro) 10-15 minute gaps every couple of hours through the day as well as longer (macro) breaks about every 6-8 weeks of at least a full weekend to completely switch off.

If we work as effectively as we can yet also allow a good margin for unforeseen incidents, it feels as though we’ve got more time.  Everything flows more smoothly and our work (and private undertakings) become more enjoyable.

You may be reading this and think, ‘That’s nonsense. I can’t do less.’

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Play the ‘I’m really sick’ game.  
Imagine that you’ve been told you’ve got a serious illness. You will recover but it’s essential that you slow down for six months. Ask yourself questions such as the following:

  • What is really essential?
  • What can be stripped away, delegated, turned down?
  • What can I say ‘No’ to?
  • What are the consequences of letting some things go, and can I live with the results?
  • How can I do things differently so that the wheels won’t fall off while I slow down?
  • What support or other resources will I need?

2. Imagine that you plan to take a sabbatical/extended long holiday in another year or two.
What would you need to put in place to help your various interests flow without you?For example, a number of my friends have walked the 5-6 week Camino from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. A participant in one of the CEO groups I worked with last year in the UK shared that walking the Camino significantly changed his business – for the better. Over the two preceding years he put company structures in place so he and his wife could be away without worrying about work. It spread the responsibility, empowered other staff and future-proofed the business. He returned to a business in great shape.

3. Watch your language.
Whatever we speak is what we’ll get. When someone says, ‘How’s it all going?’ or ‘How’s work going?’ how often do we answer, ‘Flat out’, ‘Really busy’ or ‘It’s crazy round here’?I confess – I used to say those kinds of things. These days, if I notice I’m falling into the old patterns I now stop in mid-sentence and reframe it with: ‘It’s great. I’m as busy as I want to be.’ The curious thing is, as the language changes, so do the feelings of stress and pressure. The body feels calmer.

4. Do a self-audit on your family and personal commitments.

  • How many commitments do you and your family have after work and on the weekends?
  • How many balls are you keeping up in the air?
  • What time are you getting to bed?
  • How many hours of TV or screen time do you have in the evenings?
  • How much exercise are you getting? Did you know that you don’t have to spend hours at the gym to lose weight and increase fitness? Check out Lauren Parsons’ Get Fit Feel Fabulous

5. When you accept a meeting, allow more time before the next one.
I’ve been amazed at my increased calmness when deliberately allowing more time between meetings. Especially if you work in a congested city such as Central Auckland has become, trying to squeeze in too many meetings in a day is a recipe for stress. Take extra work with you in case you’re waiting. Or you can always whack out a few emails on your phone while you wait (if you choose to receive email that way).

We’re not machines.  Pushing more and more tasks into your calendar is just a recipe for mistakes, burnout and ineffectiveness.

 

A version of this article also appears in Robyn’s regular NZ Herald Online column


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Are your days too short, workload too large and work-life balance a pipe dream?

Take a look at these Books, E-books, CDs/Teleseminars, Online Courses/Webinars and Tools. They provide practical, effective and easy to implement ways for you to free up your time, improve your productivity and reduce stress from overload.



Webmasters/Ezine Publishers: Would you like to use this article?
You are invited to use any of our articles in your publication or website. The only requirements are that we are included on your mailing list, and that you include the following, after each article you use...

Robyn Pearce CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) is the Time Queen. She mastered her own time challenges and now helps people around the world overcome theirs. She can show you how to transform your time challenges into high productivity and the life balance you desire.

Get your free report 'How To Master Time In Only 90 Seconds' and ongoing time tips at gettingagrip.com.

© All Rights Reserved to Robyn Pearce, GettingAGrip.com, 25 Keven Road, R.D.4, Pukekohe, South Auckland 2679, New Zealand Ph.+ 64 9 232 0523


If you'd like Robyn to write something specific for your industry, please email us with your request.

Planning & Prioritising Online Course, $100 introductory price

Get Your Free
'How To Master Time'
Report

Image

Plus your FREE Time Resources Pack (Valued at $227)




Image

Client Testimonials

Catalyst For Efficiency ImprovementsIt was great to introduce our two job-share receptionists to Robyn’s Getting a Grip on The Paper War text.  It became a catalyst for us to improve our administration proce..." Marie Collins, Business Manager, The NZ Institute of Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery

Enhanced Efficiency Thank you for all the tips and words of advice you and your team have sent through.I have been constantly reading it and it does wonders to my line of work and also being a wife and mot..." Anaseini Liku, Communication & Media Coordinator, Ministry of Education, Cook Islands

Clear Directions Enhance Use Of TimeI have just finished reading 'Getting a Grip on Time' and 'Getting a Grip on the Paper War'.  Particularly your book on 'Time' got me back on track, and during the day I catc..." Ingrid Geerlings, Owner, www.houseofmilk.com

Leadership Book Helps To find the Real Me‘I’ve just been reading ‘Getting a grip on Leadership’.  It is very good and has had an impact on me.  I realised I’d lost my way a bit re who I am ..." Heather Millar, Manager, Professional Practice, Central North Island Kindergarten Association, New Zealand

Additional $120,000 Billed After Time Management CourseI have personally known Robyn Pearce for around 16 years. From time to time my firm has contracted Robyn on a project basis to work with our professional staff as well as partners in the fi..." John Hackett, Partner, A J Park, New Zealand

The Librarian Who Got Her Life Back!The kick-start that I needed was delivered by a velvet glove, but make no mistake the iron hand within the glove ensured that the message was received and understood. If you are going to spend some..." Heather Jenks, Associate University Librarian (Research and Learning Services), University of Canterbury

Increasing Personal Confidence And Job ManagementHaving worked already very successfully with our NZ Team, Robyn's support of the Australian Team over a 12-month period was fundamental to helping us cope with increased day to day workload - espec..." Julia Braun, General Manager - Marketing, Beiersdorf Australia

A Great Empathy And Affinity With PeopleI have used Robyn as an Executive Coach for key Senior Staff for a number of years now and couldn't recommend her more highly. I've found as people step up in the organisation they often struggle t..." Merilyn Havler, Then General Manager, Beiersdorf New Zealand

An Increase of 30% In Gross Turnover Due To Better SystemsWhen we reviewed the progress made as a result of your concepts, a staggering number of them had become an integral part of our day to day business, collectively making a huge difference to our eff..." Wayne & Lisa Hughes, Occupational Therapy Helping Children, NSW, Australia

Motivational And Thought Provoking SessionI'd like to highlight the benefits felt both by the staff members attending your sessions, and the motivational flow-on effects experienced throughout the Hotel.In the developmental sta..." Human Resources Manager, Wentworth Hotel (part of the Rydges chain)

Successful Paper Management Seminar Thank you for your interesting and indeed challenging speech. I could see all the people who've ..." Australian Institute of Credit Managers, Sydney Branch

Personalised Seminar For Long-term Results On behalf of the team at Strategic Lifestyle Management and our client Lend Lease I would..." SLM Conference and Incentive Manager, for client Lend Lease

Excellent Skilful Presenter "Thank you for the practical and informative Time Management seminar you recently gave to our senior m..." HR Manager, ANA Hotel, Sydney

Improve Your Organisation And Productivity The response to the program was extremely positive, with an average rating of 4.4 out of ..." Noel Cook, GM, Outdoor Network, Australia

Organisational Skills Improve To Lift Productivity Your time management seminars are one of the best things we've ever done. Weeks l..." Centrelink, Dubbo, New South Wales

Productivity Increased 50% Now several months later and my productivity has increased between 30% and 50%. I'm seeing more and bette..." Senior financial planner, IPAC, Australia

Timesaving Techniques Learned A wonderful surprise to learn how much I had improved since the first programme with you nine months a..." National Sales Manager, Personal Insurance, GIO Australia

Control Gained In Managing Time Feedback from the staff was very positive... all felt they had gained a great deal of control and di..." MD, C.Y. O'Connor College of TAFE, Northam, WA

Immediate Action For Change A lot of great new ideas and some very good new tools that I shall start implementing immediately. Group Services Trainer, Adecco

Increased Efficiency Saves 20-25 Minutes A Day "Many practical hints which helped me reorganise my office, to operate efficiently." ..." Senior Partner, Baldwins (Patent Attorneys)

Invaluable Resources In Time Management Books I would like to take this opportunity to commend you on the flexibility of your approach, and..." Human Resources Manager, Professional Services Review, Canberra

Self Management Crucial In Time Management You presented a most informative and challenging training session. Your ability to gain q..." Human Resources Manager, Independent Pricing & Regulatory Tribunal of NSW

'Time Management Guru'! Once again you combine an enthusiastic presentation style with useful tips and techniques. Succinct and fun ..." Manager - Training & Development, Real Estate Institute of NSW

Beneficial Time Management Ideas Your presentation was brilliant, and your thoughts on how to make time management beneficial to eve..." Barbara McCarthy, President, Chatswood Chamber of Commerce, Sydney

Informative And Energising Speech We could not have chosen better. Your contribution was just what we wanted and needed, and I was t..." Raewyn James, Tamaki Teachers' Conference

Positive Feedback For Speech Robyn, you gave a fantastic speech, and I am still having positive feedback about your talk to this day..." Sales and Marketing Co-ordinator, Swiss Grand Hotel, Bondi, and co-ordinator of Eastern Suburbs Women's Breakfast

Work Life Balance Put Into Practice I know everyone who attended was fascinated by all your planning tips and I know many have put t..." Solo Home Business Network, Sydney

IT Company Gains Insight Into Effective Time Management We were very impressed... everyone gained considerable insight to effective ..." MD, IT software company, Auckland

Professional Approach Reinforces Time Management Principles Following a number of very positive reference checks we invited Robyn Pe..." Godfrey Pembroke National Conference, Hobart, Tasmania

Staff Queue For Time Management Tips! "Thank you! I'm sure you could tell from everyone's enthusiasm that they enjoyed your presenta..." Programme Director, Pioneer SWAP

Specific Personalised Advice Benefits Group Robyn gave much more than the professional information imparted in this kind of session...." Principal Heritage Officer, Heritage Council NSW

They're 'screaming for more'! Thanks for your wonderful presentation. I've had a lot of positive feedback from our staff, and they c..." GM's assistant, Austereo, Australia

L.J. Hooker Predicts Great Success In Using Their Time Your down-to-earth common sense certainly hit home to a lot of people, and the feedba..." Lyn McDermott, Ass. Director, Marketing and Communication, L.J. Hooker Ltd

5 Stars For Time Management Course Robyn, in light of this morning's session (and comments about short emails!) I could leave it the..." Wilf Marley, Principal, Marley Loft Systems (Accountants)

Simple Practical Action Steps For Work Life Balance We've had great feedback since your last session with the NZ Institute of Charte..." Denise Bovaird, Past President, New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants

Improved Focus And Concentration After Time Management Course Since your time management course our managers have found that they ca..." John Moore, Then-HR Manager, International Cricket Council, Dubai

Jam-packed Personalised Seminar Very Effective   Robyn spoke to four of my Academy groups in the space of 11 days. I wa..." Barrie Barrett, Chairman, Academy for Chief Executives, United Kingdom

Awesome says Law Clerk, Bell Gully I just thought I'd spend a few minutes in the Proactive/Value-adding quadrant and let you know ho..." Law Clerk, Bell Gully, New Zealand

Excellent 'Management' Course, As Well As 'Time Management' I would like to extend a huge thank you for making your valuable time av..." David Greenslade, Managing Director, Strategi, New Zealand

We've Regained 30% Of The Time We Used to Lose! Since we worked with Robyn 5 months ago our team of 12 underwriters and support staf..." Senior Underwriter, QBE Insurance, New Zealand

Fantastic Course - Team Feedback Extremely Positive! Thanks very much for the Time Management programme you have conducted over the ..." Gareth McCulloch, National Sales Manager, Southern Hospitality Limited

 
Timely appointment scheduling system