Some of you may be wondering what I mean by that.
We have relationships with all kinds of "things" that are not people.
For example, we have relationships with:
It's more a matter of "relating to time" and "how you relate to time" that makes up your relationship with time.
I discussed this concept with my coach several months ago. We talked about how a person who, for example, continually cancels appointments may need to look at their relationship with time. What is happening that is causing him or her to cancel with others so often?
- Do they over-book themselves?
- Are other people controlling their time too much?
- Are they the "official firefighter" at work or at home, and there are a lot of fires to put out?
- Do they need to schedule their time better on the front end so that cancellations are the exception rather than the rule?
While reviewing these questions, I noticed that they are all good questions to ask ourselves regarding our time, even if we are not frequently cancelling appointments with others.
Here are a few areas and ideas to help you re-visit your relationship with time:
Figure out approximately what percentage of your time is spent on strategic planning. Ask yourself what percentage of your time you would 'like' to devote to strategizing. (If you are a leader, you need more time, not less!) Compare the two percentages. Is it possible to increase your current percentage every week or every month in order to reach your goal in, say, 4 to 6 months?
How can you schedule time for strategic planning? In the same manner as you schedule your appointments at your place of business. Strategic planning usually begins with appointments you make with yourself. (That's plural "appointments", regularly scheduled.)
At your next strategic planning session, make a list of anything you believe uses up your time unnecessarily, taking it away from activities you prefer. Next, start to think through how you could make changes.
For me, the biggest time wasters are the computer, having too many things to read and sift through, and being overly-tired. My time wasters not only cut into my business planning time, they also cut into my personal time and activities.
As an example, I put a few solutions in place to tackle some of it.
Rather than doing online computer work first "for just a few minutes" (which later turns into 2 or 3 hours) at my home office, I will do some other activities or work first. Sometimes when I'm online, I will even set a timer, making a pact with myself to log off when the bell rings.
I open my mail in front of a waste basket. When I'm not certain what to do with a certain piece of paper, it goes to an inbox. About every 2 or 3 months, I go through the inbox, filing papers I want to keep and throwing out the rest.
To increase my reading speed, a client recently referred me to a speed reading class that she raved about. Taking this class should shorten the time I spend with reading materials.
As for getting more sleep and feeling more rested, I'm still working on that. Changing to a vegetarian diet at the end of 1998 has helped a lot. However, my puppy is often in favor of waking me very early in the morning, which has worked against my goal!
Some of you may have heard the saying, "God loves you and he has a wonderful plan for your life." A more accurate saying for many of us has been, "God loves you and 'other people' have a wonderful plan for your life."
More than once I have known people who needed to stop and ask how other people came to control so much of their life, especially in the workplace. It can be a bad place to be. Have you ever found yourself in this position? What did you do to bring about change?
Are you in that position now? If so, do you believe that change is possible in your current position at your employer so that you can get back control of your life?
Sometimes, to get control back in your career, you need to change positions or companies, which can be a good thing. Is it time to do that?
These have been a few ideas about our relationship with time. I hope it has ignited some thoughts.
I appreciate your thoughts in response.
Glory Borgeson, President
2003 Borgeson Consulting, Inc.