It’s coming to that time of the year again isn’t it? There’s a sense of urgency with “getting those boxes ticked” or “having your ducks lined up in a row” . Ever feel that there’s just not enough hours in the day? This can trigger stress and a general sense of feeling overwhelmed for a lot of people so- what can we do differently?
Sociologist, Dr Edward Banfield encouraged a positive attitude towards time and time management stating that this attitude has a significant impact on behavior and choices in the here and now. He commented on how those who take a long range view of their lives tend to make better choices in the short term. Long term thinking encourages us to evaluate our current activities and if a particular action/ decision serves us or not. That insight is empowering, but how do we manage in the short term?
Well, to achieve anything, we need to have focus because whatever you focus on, you move towards.
By focusing on what’s practical and meaningful, i.e. what you really want, the tendency is towards increased ownership and motivation in order to achieve it. In my view, there are 4 main categories that help us to create and maintain focus, it’s normal to have a preference for one or two:
Mental: Make time and space for thinking. 10 concentrated minutes, is often more fruitful than ad hoc lists of lists! Prioritise ideas. Explore the boundaries of both personal and professional needs and ask yourself; if I’m saying ‘yes’ to this, then, what am I saying ‘no’ to?
Environmental: Remove distractions (eg a mobile phone) and keep items of focus in front of you- this could be a mood board, a mission statement (or even a Christmas shopping list!)
Practical: Commit to the action required. Delegate jobs/ tasks/ activities. Focus on those which appeal to your strengths.
Emotional: Concentrate and visualise on how you will feel once you reach your goal.
Make this time of year more manageable for you and good luck with it!
Gillian McGrath is a Life and Business Coach. For more details, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org