How do I transform “time poor” to “time rich”?

The Challenge

Well in my younger day that was always a challenge for me and even today I need to check myself.

A method forward

These are the steps I have learnt to take.

Firstly, and most importantly is to notice that I have reacted to a situation where I think “I haven’t enough time”!

Secondly, I calm my initial reaction by taking a few deep breath and saying to myself “let me look deeper into this situation!”. By doing this pause and breathe steps, I am calming myself and allowing my mind to focus on the best available solution, thus reducing the stress element.

Now let us look at steps to achieve a good result. Third step is to determine realistically when does the outcome of the situation needs to be resolved by. Is it something that has known steps to do OR does it require “discovery” I.e. research or finding information from other sources / people.

If it is something that is known then it is easy to forecast when it can be done. On the other hand if it is discovery then it is difficult to forecast when it can be done. Now the considerations here are – Is there really a time limit? Who set it (Me or somebody else?) Can it be moved? What would happen if the time limit was missed? What is its priority with other things on my plate? Can I delegate it? Is it really necessary?

As you can see there may exist many options and ways to handle it.

How do I create time?

The method I use is to plan for the week thus

  • Determine Priorities – the must do
  • Determine the activity types – are they known or require research
  • Plan agreed meetings first – always endeavor to leave ½ to an hour gap between meetings
  • Book where possible your break times – morning, lunch and afternoon
  • Always book your “passion” time as a priority – Turn your phone off and for 2 to 3 hours and do the important work that needs to happen without interruptions. E.g. I like to work 7am to 10am without interruptions – my “passion” time
  • Then at periodic times look at phone / email messages and categorize – do today, park for tomorrow, maybe delegate or ignore (spam).

Always remember when something “surfs” in and notice then respond rather than react!