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Time management – What we don’t talk about

The more I work with people, the more I wonder whether the conversation around wellbeing needs to shift to a conversation around how we invest our time. 
Time is a slippery and elusive resource. 
I work with people who have a lot on their plate – partner, kids, drop offs, pick ups, work, friends, social commitments. 
There never seems to be enough time. We are busy and stressed. 
There always seems to be something more to do or add. We try to be more ‘productive’… so we ‘squeeze’ more and more things into the calendar. 

There is no shortage of productivity techniques. Whether it’s the pomodoro technique, the 80/20 rule, Parkinson’s law, ‘eating the frog’, prioritising your priorities, to-do lists, morning routines … the list goes on. 
All this and most people seem to remain busy, stressed, behind and on the verge of burnout. 
People get into the habit of investing most of their time to put out fires. Replying to emails. Paying bills. Finishing work that is due tomorrow. 
Most of this stuff is energy draining. So it adds to this feeling of busyness, stress and constantly falling behind. 
This distracts us from having the time or energy to put out the fires that could happen in the future (e.g health, relationships). This is why wellbeing is more than just exercising, eating well or spending time with loved ones. It’s about managing our time and energy. 
Here’s my highly educated guess about you. 

  1. You are doing things that you don’t need to do. For example, meeting with people you don’t like or spending hours on social media. 
  1. You are doing things that need to be done but not by you. For example, responding to emails, organising meetings, research, paying bills, mowing the lawn, cleaning and the list goes on. 

If someone is not happy with the busyness of their life, I ask them to cut this stuff out of their life. They would immediately have more time and energy!
For some reason, people struggle with letting go. 
“I have to do this.”
“I can’t do that.”
“There is no one else that can do this.”
“That’s rude.”
“I will be letting people down.”
“I don’t want to be lazy.” 
To paraphrase Albert Einstein, you can’t do the same things and expect different results. 
Time management is more than planning your week or prioritising. It requires a quantum shift in mindset
The people in the world who get a lot done and still have plenty of dead space in their calendar don’t only do things differently, they think differently. 
I have spent many years (yes this is ironic) on learning everything I can about time management.
It is fun for me. 
One of my coaches recently encouraged me to help people with the thing that I get noticed for. I have often brushed it off but when I thought about it, I receive a lot of kind words about my output and how I manage my time. 
“It’s actually unreal how you’re managing to pack so much in.” – SA
“What I find amazing is your relentless ability to run multiple things in life. I’m sure you have other responsibilities individual to you that you keep private. But on the surface you sure are doing heaps brother.” – JL

Much love to you and of course myself,

Dr G

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