Archive for August, 2009

Aug 17 2009

Making life difficult for yourself?

Where does time go?

Knowing that everyone has the same 24 hours in each day doesn’t comfort when you’re still trying to do more than a day’s work. The thing is, do you then make life more difficult for yourself?

While I’ve documented some of my struggles with time management recently I’d now like to share that it is getting sorted!

I even took time out to play golf this week.

Well, not “proper golf”. There’s a “pitch and putt” course close to home, set up right on the coast so you get a great combination of 18 holes (perhaps par 3) through countryside and woodland while looking out on beautiful seascapes. Fantastic.

Now my golfing skills are minimal but it’s really relaxing walking round this course, it takes a couple of hours, you chat with the other players as you cris-cross the holes and it’s all very leisurely… for most people.

We did come across two guys who were rather more serious about the whole affair. They were carrying numerous clubs with them (not the regulation number 7 club and putter issued by the man in the hut) and were obviously more experienced.

They stood 50 yards behind the tee for each hole in order to tee-off. They could obviously hit the ball further than most of us outright amateurs on the course and wanted to show it. However, while they displayed power in abundance, they lacked skill in direction and without fail spent the next 10 minutes looking for their lost balls.

The power of this metaphor for poor life management was not lost on me. Strong and focussed but without direction – hmm not a good recipe for success.

So how have I been doing?

This week I’ve been more focussed – serial-single-tasking my way through a focussed to do list of action points. Excellent news.

Mind you, I’ve also outsourced two pieces of work – Luisa in Germany is re-writing a leaflet for me and Abhishek in India is creating a website…

Nicola in the Money Gym is a great fan of this. Tim Ferris in the 4 hour Work Week shows you how.

I’m finally getting the message – when you’ve got too much for one person to do, get help.

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Aug 06 2009

Life in the Slow Lane.

Have you ever had one of those “light-bulb” moments?

I’ve recently had my first full week away from delivering workshops. I know I will use my summer to re-write and update my workshop materials, to progress some internet projects that I’ve been tweaking for some time, but there’s also some rest and relaxation scheduled in there too.

However, the weather hasn’t been briliant of late so I found myself in my living room and had a “fly-on-the-wall” experience of looking at myself…

I was reading a recipe book, while watching the Ladies Golf Open on TV, with my computer on my lap downloading files.

And this was my day off… Great, I certainly can choose to do whatever I wish but, was I really enjoying any of the activities I was engaged in?

Einstein said: “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT’S relativity.”

In my life, running on a treadmill for 20 minutes seems like an eternity, while 20 minutes walking in the park, something that I love, goes by in a blink of the eye.

Why is it that the older you get, the faster that time goes by?

Why are we so obsessed with saving time or time management?

We have time-saving appliances and even time-saving recipes. We have fast food restaurants and even drive-thru restaurants. We take short cuts down streets, back roads or rat runs to get home quickly.

I have my pda and phone so that I can keep in touch and have my diary instantly at my fingertips.

So I’m pretty good at saving time…

At the same time I know there is and always will be, 24 hours in every day, 7 days in a week, and 52 weeks in a year.

What am I saving all my time for?! Surely it’s for the pleasure of really enjoying something!

Guess it’s time to apply the lessons of serial-single-tasking to my personal life too… Nothing wrong with multi-tasking but there’s more to savour if you give something your full attention, and that’s true at work and at play.

I guess, taken to it’s extreme we can say that it’s like watching life through the lens of your video camera or mobile phone…

Are you really living your life as an intentional being, part of the action, co-creating the future… or are you an observer, moving quickly and efficiently from one scene to the next, recording all but missing the point?

Hmmm. Here’s to a little life in the slow lane!

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Aug 04 2009

A Simple Approach to Decisions

Published by under Personal Development

Everybody makes decisions.

Even the decision not to decide is itself a decision!

It can be a tough place sometimes, particularly when we cannot forsee the consequences of our decisions in the longer term.

Suzy Welch has recently written a book: “10-10-10 a Life Transforming Idea” that helps us to see more clearly the impact of any decisions we make. It’s not so much a book on time management as deciding how to use your life.

10-10-10 is a particular way of approaching decisions that don’t have a simple yes/no answer and asking about the possible consequences of your decision in the next 10 minutes, 10 months or even 10 years. At the heart of your decision are your authentic values — how you want to live, who you want to be, and who you want to spend time with. Putting together your options and your values like this, allows you to make decisions that put you at cause, in control of your life rather than a victim of circumstance.

Suzy explains that she came up with this idea after a particularly bad time management decision “I was on assignment to speak to some insurance executives in Hawaii. I was living in Boston, it was a big long trip, and in a lame attempt to crack the code of work-life balance I brought two of my children. It was an unmitigated disaster. It came to a climax when I warehoused my kids at a hula dance class during my speech and they charged in wearing their hula skirts. I thought to myself, Something has to change. About 24 hours later, this came to me.

If you want to have a look at the book or the audio version:

Maybe you’ve read this already – what do you think? Do let me know!

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Aug 02 2009

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-08-02

Published by under Tweets

  • RT @OrganisedPA about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck #
  • RT @OrganisedPA "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone." ~ Bill Cosby. So right!!! #

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