The U in Timesuck | Handel Group | Handel Group
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The U in Timesuck


Forget about Tiny Tim … are you closer to “Tiny Time” when it comes to the holidays?

Well, you are not alone. We often coach clients on how to manage their already hectic schedules over the holidays, but it requires taking an honest look at your current relationship to time. First, let’s breakdown what potential issues may be going on for you:

  1. You have no idea how many things you are actually responsible for or intending to do each day.
  2. You have no idea what you actually do with your time.

That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Often in coaching we require our clients to analyze their relationship to time very closely, literally writing down everything they do with their time everyday (just as we would do with food)!  Whenever we have a client do this, it is tremendously revealing. Here are some interesting discoveries we have made about time:

1) Time has an exponential quality to it.

We waste a lot of time not doing the things we need to do. By not addressing something the first time we see it or think to deal with it, you spend time in your mind avoiding it or justifying not getting to it.This makes you feel busy and overwhelmed, and it wastes time! Each time you pass something — mail to open, a call to return, dishes to put away — the “weight” of it gets exponentially heavier.

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2) Efficiency with time is a function of following rules.

In order to become more efficient with your time, it is best to live by a certain set of rules. For instance, create  a rule that ensures you address a timesuck immediately (e.g. I will always open my mail first thing when I get home) or have a rule for how you address it (e.g. all mail gets opened on Thursdays 6pm-7pm).

3) Your mindset matters.

If you live by certain theories such as “flying by the seat of my pants is my own unique and creative flair,” or “long deliberations are a sign of intelligence,” know that this will affect your choices and actions. Take stock of what you currently “believe” with regard to time.

Chances are you’ve got some interesting logic or theory about time that isn’t necessarily true. Instead, you should choose to design how you think about time rather than keeping an outdated and faulty belief in action that makes you feel stuck. For example, you may think you only perform well under a deadline, but how do you know that’s true? Try it the other way one time to test your theory.

4) We don’t take stock of it all.

Before you can truly begin to design your time beautifully, you have to take stock of everything you are committed to do each day. You must face the reality of the time it takes to do it all.

Consider the list below; did you realize there is so much on your plate?

Eating. Sleeping. Checking email. Transition time. Showering/getting dressed. Talking to people. Travel time. Phone calls. All the aspects of your job. Social calls. Working out. Spiritual practice. Cleaning. Sex. Social outings. Relaxing. Hobbies. Planning day. Reading/learning. Connecting with your children. Cooking. Chores. Meetings. Prep for meetings or calls. Calling your family and friends. Snacking. Bills. Managing your calendar.

That’s a big list to manage daily, weekly, and monthly! When you add the holidays, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by your schedule. We’re hoping that being conscious to the phenomena we’ve listed and all that’s really on your plate, you can make better choices during this crunchtime. When you deliberately face all there is to do, you will feel the pressure to say “no” to some things.  Our clients find this incredibly liberating, especially during the holiday season.

Remember, it’s your time, you can design it anyway you want.  Dare yourself to stuff birds and stockings this holiday season, not your schedule! Make a list, and check it twice, it’s time to decide which timesucks are naughty, and which are nice!

All the best,
Laurie

P.S. Need a little extra attention from the coaches this season? Join HG Head Coach Laurie Gerber at her Design Your Life® Design Your Year workshop at General Assembly in NYC on January 9th!