It’s the wonderful, beautiful month of May! Our environment suddenly “wakes up”- trees pop their leaves, plants push themselves up and out of the ground, flowers bloom. Our “grey” landscape has become colorful, alive and vibrant. I have noticed in conversations with clients, colleagues, fellow parents and friends that our lives have suddenly “popped” too! Opportunities and events to attend are abundant. Some focus may find ourselves a bit overwhelmed with the sudden increase of activity. Aided by the increase of daylight, we cram even more then ever into our already crowded schedules fearing we may miss out if we don’t do it all as it comes to us. As a wife, parents, and owner of a business, I experience this challenge firsthand. I am also committed to living my life fully yet sanely! When I experience this challenge in my life, I immediately research and seek a great solution that is practical, effective, and life enhancing. One of my new mantras is “work smarter, not harder!” Here are some excellent strategies gleaned and adapted from Robert Allen, author of “Multiple Streams of Income. ”
#1 Time is Money
Time management is really a myth. Time management is really self-management. How do you manage precious resources of your time? Invest your time into the actions that yield the greatest result. An hour in front of the TV could have been the hour spent enriching your relationship with your child. Determine which activities yield the desired results in your life.
#2 Feared Things First
Our to-do lists are made up of easy and difficult tasks. The tendency for many of us is to tackle the easy tings first. We feel good about ourselves as we happily check off these tasks from our list. We think that we are being efficient; the truth is that we’re not! The leftover tasks that are more important, more critical, and that will give us the greatest long term results are tackled last, if at all. Exciting, important projects such as writing a book or developing your web site become a burden. These projects take more time, are more complicated, and frankly, are intimidating! It is perfectly natural to experience resistance to going out of our comfort zone. However, the real question is do you want to keep shuffling those dreams and goals from to-do list to to-do list or are you willing to do what you “fear the most” to gain the greatest benefit?
#3 Reward Yourself
Steven Covey says that our to-do lists are composed of a ratio of 80% trivial and 20% very important items. A way to create a pattern of accomplishing the “more challenging” items is to reward yourself for doing the “hard stuff” first. In psychology 101 this is referred to as “positive reinforcement. ” Rewarding a desired behavior creates more of the desired behavior. Very simple. I witnessed this concept with my daughter when we participated in an exhilarating, interactive experience with dolphins during our stay in Mexico. The dolphins were “coached” by their trainers and rewarded with treats of fish as they interacted with us. The dolphins were receptive and engaged in playing with us. We human participants also demonstrated this principal. Like several of us in our small group, I was a bit hesitant to interact with the dolphins. The reinforcement that kept me and the others in our group to participate fully was the absolute thrill of being with these amazing creatures. The bottom line is this: to acknowledge and reward yourself well for accomplishing those critical, important tasks will prompt you to continue the activities that give you the best long term result. A great idea, don’t you think?
The Coaching Challenge:
1. How many ways can you leverage your time this week? Resolve to get the most of the time and energy you spend.
2. Be “fearless” Do the most challenging item on your to-do list first today.
3. Reward yourself well for doing the more challenging projects. Reinforce this great strategy often. It works!
“We spend, I am certain, half of our time among people we do not particularly like and on things that do not particularly amuse us, and consequently have no time for the people and things that really do matter to us. ” Alec Waugh author of “Doing What One Likes”
Success Coach and Speaker, Diana Long, is the President of the Life Design Institute. Diana can help you transform your dreams into reality and give you the shortcuts to success with her variety of life-changing programs and products.
Learn more about Diana and receive your Free Report, ” How to Avoid the 3 Biggest Mistakes that Women Make to Sabotage their Success” and Free subscription to “Life Design Secrets” e-newsletter, please visit http://www.DianaLong.com