Regardless of the cards you are dealt in life, the one constant is time. Depending on your cards and choices, it might seem that others have more time than you do…and they don’t.
People argue what’s more important in life, money or love. Without money you can’t feed, clothe, shelter, and protect the ones you love. But without time, you can’t give love.
One of the reasons that you are most likely to lose your spouse to the guy or gal at the office is because that’s where he spends most of his time. If you want to compete with the time that person is getting, you need to have created some spaces of your own.
And the three are arguably currencies that we trade off in differing degrees. In other words we trade money for time, time for love and love for money. (Not in a romantic sense but in an evolutionary sense.)
Time is also one more thing…it’s the core life commodity. You can fix things you’ve screwed up or get different cards for your lot in life. But…you cannot go back to relive a moment in time, and you cannot jump forward in time.
All you have is right now, and if are not using the time you have to live your best, most effective life, you feel stressed.
The smart person realizes that they are going to have another 365, 7000 or 15000 days left on this earth. You could argue that the smaller the number of days you have remaining, the more important they become to you.
When I created, Time for Love, Time for Money, part of my intention was to show that time management is a bit of a misnomer. Time production, creating time for things you want or need to do is really one key. The other key is that when people talk about time management, that’s code for Self Management….but maybe not in the way you think.
Time management is not necessarily about setting rigid schedules.
Why Are You Overwhelmed?
As you live in the middle of a chaotic life, you may wonder how you got here. Where did you go wrong? When did everything get so out of control? How did you end up with so many responsibilities? Most importantly, how can you get back on track without having to ditch your entire routine and start over?
You try to be a good person, to have time for everyone, to do your best and help others as much as you can. You try to be supportive to your family members, friends, co-workers, boss, but somehow all of your good intentions get tangled up into a big, soupy mess.
You find yourself agreeing to things you really don’t want to do, adding more and more items to your to-do list, and racing blindly from one task to the next in order to get everything done on a daily basis.
Despite your best efforts, you almost never accomplish everything you want to get done, so you start making sacrifices to try to squeeze out a little more time. Perhaps you reduce your self-care time or avoid social gatherings because you’re just too stressed or drained to have a good time.
What’s the Solution?
KEYPOINT: Part of the solution is to say, “No,” in a kind loving and gentle fashion.
If I said, “yes” to everyone who wanted to talk for “just five minutes,” I wouldn’t be able to see. If I accepted every luncheon, I’d weigh 400 pounds.
KEYPOINT: You MUST say “no” a lot more often and create your day around what you want and need to do.
Most people spend years not doing something they regret later. They don’t keep the house up. They don’t give their kids time. They don’t plan an appointment with their spouse today. Don’t plan an appointment, and your marriage will explode or wither. Remember life is all about time and where and with whom it’s being spent.
So, why all the chaos and craziness in life?
Too much to do.
KEYPOINT: People are involved in more activity that has no outcome other than guilt reduction than at any time in history.
If your schedule is crammed full of obligations that simply MUST be done on a daily basis, you will undoubtedly begin to feel that you just don’t have enough time in the day. Between work and family obligations, community commitments, favors to others, errands, and numerous other tasks, you probably feel that squeezing in “one more thing” will make the whole thing explode from the pressure (and you along with it!).
Think about what that means.
I always tell the story of Mom. Got up in the morning. Got the five kids ready for school. Went to work. Got home about 5:30 or so. Started dinner. Cleaned while she cooked. Kept the kids in line. Cleaned more. Did more laundry. Took care of the baby. Went to bed.
Mom wanted those kids but she also wanted someone to be there to help out as part of the parent/worker team. Instead like so many families, she ended up doing it all.
No wonder she could be a pain to live with. She was IN pain.
Don’t get me wrong. She loved her kids. Loved having them around. But when someone leaves you and the next guy dies, you have a big WOW problem and something you didn’t plan for.
And that was Mom’s big mistake.
She lived as if hubby 2 would stay and hubby 3 wouldn’t die not long after.
Lesson One in Self Management: Your life today is going to become MORE complicated as time goes on.
People do NOT plan for divorce. They don’t plan for the death of a spouse or a child. They don’t prepare for the four-year hospitalization and when they happen (and they WILL happen if they haven’t already) the family is left with an almost impossible life to live.
Mom was great in the moment. She was great under fire. She handled crisis after crisis. There were a lot of them.
But NO ONE taught her how to prepare for them financially, psychologically or emotionally.
A KEY COMPONENT OF SELF MANAGEMENT is to remember that right now things are as easy as they are going to get.
Research shows it’s human nature to think that “things will get better,” that they’ll have “more time.” But they don’t and they won’t.
A BIG PART OF SELF MANAGEMENT is to have a CONCRETE PLAN for when the spouse leaves or dies (roughly the same thing) or when the child dies or when the other child is hospitalized.
Because these things happen in pretty much everyone’s life, a quality plan needs to be in place. Part of that is preparing for a few years of no income.
Mom failed to do that, too.
Had she been 10 years younger, she would have. But she was born AFTER the Great Depression. People born BEFORE the Great Depression learned to prepare for rainy years. When it rains, it rarely rains for a day…or a month…or “six months.” When it rains, it hurricanes… But people HEAR “rainy day” and the metaphor drills into the unconscious that all that’s coming is a bad DAY…big deal.
The two-year plan is a necessity. It doesn’t mean you have to have two years of income stashed in the safety deposit box (though that is a very, very good idea), no, it’s about the business you will implement immediately upon the disaster beginning. Because being SIO+K will finish most people, leave only despair and razor thin hope. (SIO+K= Single Income with One Plus Kid) We’ll talk about that next time.
How does culture dictate Time Management?
How Does Culture Dictate Time Management?
Unfortunately in our society there have always been stupid guilt rules about how and what has to be done. Don’t work and take care of kids? Wimpy woman. Be better than a man. Work all day, work all night, implode. Most people CAN do the activity and work of several other people…for a time. And then you end up in the hospital.
KEYPOINT: Don’t let society and culture RUN YOUR LIFE!
LIFE EARTHQUAKE: Conflicting priorities x Wimpy response to social/cultural rules = Disaster
Time Management Squeeze
Or maybe your self-management challenges are a lot easier. Maybe it’s not that you have too much to do – just too much at specific times. Perhaps you have overlapping deadlines in your work so you have to cram to get everything done on time, or you don’t think ahead before agreeing to do something and then have to rush to keep your promises. Maybe your kids have conflicting activities so you constantly find yourself trying to be in two places at one time.
These situations are able to be dealt with backbone. And that will help you create a better self…if you handle it right.
What symptoms of impending Life Storms do you have?
Lack of Focus or Proper Planning
Even if your priorities don’t conflict with each other, you might find yourself creating unintentional conflicts. You might be disorganized or lack a clear schedule, so you end up taking on more than you can handle or forgetting about a responsibility until the last minute. As a result you end up walking around with scattered thoughts, feeling like you must be forgetting something.
If you have a hard time saying “no” to favors asked of you, or if you deal with constant interruptions and distractions at work and at home, your boundaries might be blurred. You may have given the impression that you are always available to help your friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors with whatever they need. Have you ever heard yourself say, “Call me anytime. . . Sure I’d love to help . . . I’m always here for you . . .” and so on? Most people are eager to take you up on such offers – even when it’s inconvenient for you!
Lack of Discipline
Even when you know what has to be done each day, you may have trouble getting it all done. People get lazy at the end of the day. They go off their diet at the end of the day then decide in bed that tomorrow will be better. They don’t get stuff done today and before they doze off they promise themselves that they will “tomorrow.” And of course when you promise your SELF stuff and you FAIL to come through your SELF doesn’t TRUST YOU any more. Think that might cause long-term self-sabotage…short-term sick days?
You might find yourself wasting time on unproductive activities or avoiding certain tasks because you don’t enjoy them. As a result, you berate yourself for not being capable enough or focused enough to be as productive as you want to be. Berating yourself is meaningless. You must instantly get up and go DO those things. You must get them done or the mountain of dynamite just grows and grows and grows.
Procrastination is different than lack of discipline because there are usually clear reasons why you procrastinate. For example, you might crave success but fear you will fail enroute at the same time. Yes, you will fail…people never fail at their “job” because they do the same thing every day. Jobs are like playing catch with your friend. You can throw the ball for an hour and talk the whole time because you’ve done it over and over.
Anything that has a “success” end result DEMANDS FAILURE and LOTS OF IT. Failure is not a judgment on your SELF when seeking to achieve. Failing at your JOB which you do every day for 10 years IS a comment on your competence.
If you don’t address your underlying fears, you’ll keep putting off the activities that will make you successful – no matter how badly you might want to do them.
Other examples might include:
- Having a lack of belief in your ability to do something, so you avoid trying
- Confusion about the best way to proceed so you don’t create a clear plan of action
- Believing that certain tasks or goals will be extremely difficult so you keep putting them off
So who are you? 🙂
You might recognize a bit of yourself in each of the above habits, but which of them is screaming for attention? Which of them makes you feel like I must be spying on your life?
It’s true that you must play to your strengths in your life, but that factoid needs to be contextualized to a life experience and situation that can GIVE YOU A SECURE, SAFE, LIFE.
Turn the page for a simple revealing exercise.
Here is a simple exercise that can help reveal the main reasons you feel out of control:
Grab your trusty notebook and a pen. Read the following question and write down the FIRST THING that comes to mind as your answer. Don’t analyze it, just answer go ahead and answer-
Exercise – Answer this question:
“My life would be much less stressful if…
What did you answer, and what does that say about your habits?
Examine your answer very carefully because it holds powerful clues to help you understand why you are overwhelmed! Take a few minutes to jot down the insights you received from your answer, and what you think they mean.
Now, let’s look at some example answers and review their possible meanings:
“My life would be much less stressful if everyone would just leave me alone.”
If your answer was similar to this, (even if worded differently) it is a clear indication that you feel overwhelmed with demands from other people. Whether those people are your family, boss, friends, community leaders, or anyone else – you are spending too much time focused on other people and not yourself. That means your boundaries are blurred – or non- existent.
Look at this word: “NO”
Say it. (Doesn’t feel good does it?)
Say, “No John, I can’t come down Sunday and I can’t go to church. I’m going to cut the lawn, do some Bible Study and watch the football game.” (or the equivalent thereof)
“My life would be much less stressful if I could clone myself.”
Obviously, this answer reveals a heavy to-do list and not enough time to accomplish everything on it. If you’ve ever wished there was more than one of you to get everything done each day, you are probably taking on too much.
Time to OUTSOURCE. Even if it’s to China. OUTSOURCE. Yes your kids are a place you can outsource to. Your kids don’t do 10% of what you did as a kid. (True or true?) Let them (cause them) to learn the same strengths that you developed or they are really screwed come age 18, 21, 27, 32…
“My life would be much less stressful if I had more time to care for myself.”
This answer reveals a habit of taking care of everyone else except yourself. It means you are sacrificing your own self- care in order to meet the demands of others, which only makes you feel more stressed.
I had a psychiatrist as a client (I needed a psych but she was my client not my doc!). She had spent EVERY single day of the last 16 years of her life taking care of her paraplegic daughter with almost no ability to move.
I sent her to Disneyland and to a New Age Reiki Master. One week away from her daughter. First time in 16 years.
No I hadn’t lost my mind. I didn’t find evidence for Reiki as a healing modality, but the fact is that Reiki Masters put their attention on YOU and only YOU and they are in the MOMENT with you. THAT is worth a lot. As I told the woman, “If you die, no one will be there for your daughter.” Dad, of course, left as soon as he found out how hard the baby’s life was going to be…oh…and how hard his was going to be because (Click back a few pages), HE DIDN’T PREPARE FOR A SEVERELY HANDICAPPED CHILD.
Have sex. Make baby. Leave.
Buddha did it, too and they say he was enlightened. I always wondered about Mrs. Buddha….
“My life would be much less stressful if I had some help.”
If this resembles your answer, you might be in the habit of doing everything yourself. You might avoid asking for help, believing that it will take you less time to do it yourself than try to get others to do it. Or – you might believe that no one else can do it as well as you can, so you end up doing it all.
“My life would be much less stressful if I could just stick to my schedule each day.”
This type of answer reveals a lack of focus, or the tendency to become easily scattered during stressful circumstances. It might reflect a lack of discipline, blurred boundaries that create unnecessary distractions, or even procrastination.
AND you are doing things on a schedule and not by project, which means you are probably paid hourly, which makes me worried. Single people who are paid hourly…well…I’ll talk about that next week…too long of an off road journey at this moment….
OK, you identified some of your STUFF. Write it down.
What are you really saying with the words you wrote?
It’s important to get a clear idea of the MAIN problem before you move on.
(Hey it’s only your life…I mean isn’t it more important to call your client back. Screw the phone call. Do THIS.)
As I mentioned, you probably see a little bit of yourself in each of the descriptions above. But at least one of those descriptions should seem to fit you almost exactly (even if the details are slightly unique to your own life).
Next Week? We take what we found… …and fix it.
Wondering How YOU Can
Make Time For it All?
How can you be not 20% more productive or twice as productive, but 1000% more productive, and also give your time and love to the people that matter in your life… AND remember your SELF? You need to give yourself time as well. How do you do it? How can you make it all happen?
In this program, as in no other, I’m going to reveal precisely what I do and how I do it. I’m going to show you specifically how (for example) to generate enough words and valuable thought to fill a volume of Encyclopedia Britannica… to find time to have family and multiple streams of income… to leave a legacy and people saying, “Thank you…” and the specifics to make it all happen.
I don’t think there is much more important than creating time for the things you want in life…the things you get to do. People yearn for free time while I watch it right next to them…withering away as they walk through life with a blindfold on. There is not just free time but freedom to be had for the taking.
KEY: I will show you my system of time management. Ok, it’s really a Time Production System where I generate time for things out of thin air…and I guarantee you that no one has ever shown you this before…because few people really get it.
There is no point to working at a job for the rest of your life and then retiring. Where’s the here-and-now enjoyment there? There is no point in living a life without loving. What you are called to do is to create, to design, to sculpt a wonderful life.
That isn’t to say that each day curve balls won’t come at you. They always will. They throw you off target. They do the same for me. They can take you out for a short period of time or they can take you permanently. I’m going to show you how to get everything done and more. Because life is more than the “to do” list. It is about living richly as you move through life…
There IS a “to do” list in life but there is also a “get-to-do list” that no one ever gets to!!! I want to show you what a “get to do” list looks like and how to make your own.
You will be able to produce or create as much as you want to produce or create. You will be able to have the formula for multiple streams of income laid out for you in simple terms. Nothing complex. Follow the formula and you won’t need to rely on anyone anywhere for your security and your future. The foundation of life long security.
You will be able to earn as much money as you want and spend as much time with those that you love. You choose the number of dollars and the number of hours. I’ll show you what to do to have it all.
This isn’t a time management seminar. That would be something I could show you how to do in a book. I don’t manage my time. I live a lifestyle. This is a lifestyle program that you have to feel. Living a life where you can have it all is something you need to FEEL…and feel it you will.
All that it requires is you, your heart, a pen and the Production System Workbook to write the recipes that will lead you to a life where you get to do some pretty amazing things.