A Simple Time Management Tip for the Week

Think about it.

No really.  Think about it.  This is my tip this week.

Effective time management can seem counterintuitive.  I learned something this week from two different clients:  the value in taking time to sit and reflect.

We live in a fast-paced world.  We are usually doing seven things at once.  Rarely do we stop and do just one task intentionally.  Let alone put everything down and consider what we are doing and what we should be doing.  But this week I heard something that was so valuable I wanted to share.

I had one client who was looking to find some ways to implement self-care into her life.  But she is busy.  Busy busy busy – small children and she is a partner in a law firm.  So she made this declaration to me. She said, I will sit for five minutes each day and think about how to create more self-care in my life.  When she came back the following week I said, “How did it go?”  She said, “I only did it for four days.  After four days of thinking for 5 minutes a day, I had a plan.  I had a system in my head that I never thought of before.  Because I stopped.  To reflect.”

Our brains are brilliant for what they are designed to do – one thing at a time.  Less so when we are “trying” to do a lot of things at once.  It closes out the ability to reflect on new ways of approaching situations.

Client number two also happens to have small children and be a partner in a law firm.  He was struggling with time management and staying on top of things and also communication with his partners.  He declared for the week, “every day, I will sit for ½ hour and reflect on what is coming in my practice, how things are going in the firm, and how I feel about everything.”

He came up with this plan probably six months ago and has done it religiously.  He says it makes him calmer.  And more productive.  This person who was struggling with time management found ways to get more done by stopping for ½ hour each day.  And he plans to keep this routine indefinitely.  It centers and grounds him.

I once watched an episode of Modern Family where they were trying to get all five of them out of the house after arming the alarm system without taking so long that it would go off.  After a couple failed rushing tries where they all pushed to get out as quickly as possible, the father said, “Go slow to go fast.”  And as they all left, he kept saying, “Go slow to go fast.”

Intentionality, purpose, and stopping for a minute.  Go slow to go fast.

What have you go to lose?