07 June 2008

Time & Priorities

Do you ever feel that time is moving way too fast? Is it creating a sense of urgency in you that's promoting frustration or anxiety?

This is not an uncommon occurrence, especially for people in business for themselves. Usually when we have this sense, it's our internal clock that's responding to some story we're telling ourselves about our needs and priorities. Gotta hurry, it's important, this HAS to get done -- all are forms of the childhood Chicken Little message of the sky is falling, the sky is falling.

Paradoxically, the best way I've found to manage that feeling is to stop everything. That's right. Stop. Stop trying to do more. Stop trying to go faster. Stop telling yourself the messages that create the urgency.

Take a breath. I mean that literally. Take a long slow deep breath. Exhale in the same long slow manner. Breathe more time into your body, and into your mind.

Now, combine that breathing -- I hope you're still breathing long and slow -- with stretching. Yup, actually get up off that chair, step away from your desk, and reach for the sky, pardner. Reach beyond your comfort zone just a little bit while inhaling. Then let your arms fall S-L-O-W-L-Y to your sides while you exhale.

Take a fast, deep breath through the nose now, hold for nanosecond, and blow it out fast through your mouth. That's a cleansing breath. Do that again, so you get the hang of it.

Now bring a new, oxygenated mind to your time management and ask yourself these questions:
  • What 3 things do I really need to get done today? Is that possible?
  • What 2 things can I cancel or reschedule? Do that right now. (go ahead, I'll wait)
  • What is my most important priority today that will serve my health, my relationship, my spirit, or my work?
  • How can you most efficiently accomplish that priority in the most satisfying way? Schedule that into your day.
There are lots of time management tricks floating around, I'm sure. This one works for me. I hope it works for you.

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