Do Something About Time Management And Create A Schedule
“If you don’t manage your time, your time will manage you”
Do you know who said that?
Well, actually, it was me – although I didn’t really say it, because I wrote it right here.
Time management is the main topic of this post, although you’ll see further on that I am not exactly practicing what I am preaching about at the moment. The reason for this seemingly hypocritical statement is because of the breakdown I suffered in August 2010, of which I have previously written about in this blog. Also check out my About Page.
Now, a couple of days ago I created a blog post, which was the first since February 2016.
So, why such a long hiatus, as it is now getting on for six months since that February post?
Well, that’s a question I really don’t have a simple and straight answer for. I could say that I’ve got nothing to write about; I don’t like writing; I couldn’t be bothered because I’m a lazy so-and-so.
Each response could be an answer; an excuse; a reason.
But the real answer is that I simply do not know why I do things or don’t do things and I guess it’s just all part-and-parcel of the slow breakdown recovery process, that has actually started to reveal some answers six years after the event. That hiatus-breaking post is somewhat of a milestone as far as recovery goes – check it out here.
Writing has not really ever been that much of a problem for me as things do start to flow after a short time, but it still remains something that I sort-of have a love/hate relationship with. It has been worse since the breakdown and I guess a lot of that comes from part of the responsibilities in my previous job, where I had to write responses to tenders, bids and other documents which always seemed to have tight delivery schedules and meant – more often than not – working through the night and weekends to hit deadlines.
It’s something that really invokes bad memories for me and has become one of my hurdles to overcome. To do it, I close my eyes and meditate for a short time, getting into a relaxed state and telling myself that there is no deadline or target and no failure for late delivery – because there is no late delivery!
Once I get through that, I’m OK.
That recent post has broken my blogging drought and I’ll be posting more regularly, but I have to avoid creating anything that remotely resembles a schedule, deadline or target. Which probably does put me at a disadvantage, especially when other bloggers I know use various systems for mapping and scheduling every hour of every day of every week.
Not doing it myself is also why I indicated in the opening paragraphs that I may seem hypocritical, but my own current avoidance at doing it is strongly connected with my condition. Taking a broader view, I definitely agree that it is an efficient thing to do, as you know where you are and what needs to be done at any given time on any given day.
I’ve personally used various processes for doing this over the years, which have included manual paper-based systems as well as stand-alone and networked software programs and enterprise-wide dedicated project management systems.
This is because I was responsible for all technical aspects and budgeting for several projects at any given time. Managing and controlling available time is essential for every executive level employee in today’s corporate world, as one missed meeting or deadline could jeopardize multi-million dollar contracts.
Some Tips For A Time Management Schedule
Before doing anything else, make sure you set up a nice clean and organized working environment. Spending time finding things or becoming distracted by something on your desk or on your computer screen all results in wasting a lot of your time. So the first thing you should do is to clear away anything you don’t need.
- Clear away anything on your desk or on your screen that are not required for your tasks.
- Shutdown any programs or websites, such as email and Facebook, that can suck away your time.
- Create a list of tasks to be done, either handwritten or on your computer.
- Always audit what you have or have not achieved at end of each day, identify why things were not done.
- Prepare a fresh list at the end of each day for the following morning and carry over the tasks outstanding from that day.
- Do the small tasks first. Seeing a large number of tasks done will give a great sense of achievement at the end of each day.
- Close the door or put up a sign showing that you don’t want to be disturbed for a couple of hours.
- If you have any phone calls to make, schedule them back-to-back.
- Choose a time of the day to check emails and Facebook. Do it at the same time each and every day and set a time limit.
- Take regular breaks away from your computer, so that you can come back refreshed.
These are the type of things I used to do in my old job and also started doing when I first began my Internet business. But I found it to be too stressful and overwhelming to be confronted with a task list, even though I created it for myself!
So, until I can start to become more comfortable with planning and scheduling my time again, I will just continue to do things the way I am doing them now. But, for everyone else I would definitely recommend using some form of scheduled time-management system.
Any good mentor will always advocate the use of such a system and it’s a good idea to get into the habit of scheduling your time right from the day you start your own Internet based business.
And if you are looking at starting an on-line business of your own, you’ll already know from some of my previous posts that I am an iPro partner member. I’ve made no secret of it and without bias, I can honestly recommend the Business Commission Blueprint as the training to start you off with your own on-line business.
Alternatively, if you’ve already had some success with Affiliate Marketing, may I suggest that you take a look at the Affiliate Club.
Finally – Revelation Of A Puzzling Stress Condition
It’s been quite some time since you’ve heard from me on here.
I know this is not the way a blog is supposed to be run, as it does absolutely nothing to increase readership or popularity and goes against the teachings of my mentors in iPro. There are no excuses for deliberately avoiding tasks that should be done, especially those tasks that are associated with an ongoing business strategy, especially as that very same strategy is supposed to fulfill my goal of establishing a solid and financially secure business.
The only explanation I have for things that I have or have not done, either recently or over the past few years, can only be associated in some way with the breakdown I suffered at work back in 2010.
In fact, August 2nd was the sixth anniversary of its occurrence.
Anyone who has endured trauma – whether mental or physical – will know just how difficult it can be to explain, or to justify or even apply logic to their subsequent actions or indeed their lack of action following in the wake of a major traumatic event. I still have no real clue as to why I choose to do or not do certain things. For people with no experience or understanding of a breakdown, the actions of those afflicted may seem hard to understand, even erratic, pointless or maybe downright bizarre.
Over the past six years I know that I am slowly getting better, although I don’t really know how “better” can be truly defined as a specific end-point and I guess that it is probably in the same category as to what actually determines someone or something to be “normal”, that is, if there really can be any true definition of it.
All I really can say is that I seem to have developed some form of defence mechanism, which has the effect of switching my mind away from things that appear to be threatening in some way, although I have no clue as to why my blog should suddenly start to show signs of becoming something that could induce a high amount of stress.
I’ve recently returned from a two week stay with my sister, which included the wedding of her eldest daughter – my niece – to a college professor and research scientist (he also holds a number of doctorates). He was also in the middle of writing a grant application and research submission for publication in order to secure his continued tenure for the coming year.
Talk about everything happening at once in his life!
My sister lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and the last two weeks away from my own life and environment is something I needed – although I didn’t really know it at the time. The last time I saw my sister and her family was at my own daughters’ wedding in 2015 and the time before that was in 2011 at her other daughters’ wedding.
So, it’s now back to my own life and time to get things back on track with my own business.
The title of this post is “Can My Stress Become A Business Advantage?” and when planning it, I had intended for it to be just a revelation of what I had discovered about my own condition when in Canada. I’ve heard it said that in order to find yourself, you first need to get away from your own familiar surroundings and environment, in order to avoid those distractions that can so easily cause your attention to refocus on something else.
Although not totally unfamiliar to me, the surroundings I have been immersed in and the people that were around me have been sufficiently different for me to realize something that has most probably been there for quite some time. Also, I mentioned above that I had originally intended this post to be about a revelation I had discovered, but ‘Synchronicity’ has also played a part in those plans.
If you are unfamiliar with Synchronicity, it is a phenomenon of the Law of Attraction and is stated that there are no such things as chance or coincidence. They do not exist and their occurrence is not random. Synchronicity is the law of unity and arises from the deepest source of our destiny. And so it was that this article from the Harvard Business Review popped into my Inbox; ‘How to Use Stress to Your Advantage’ Clicking the link will cause it to open in a new tab, please take the time to read it.
In my particular case, my breakdown has left me with an enduring and overpowering fear of crowds. With everything I have gone through, this has been the most stubborn and consistent fear. Most of the time, I will appear to be perfectly fine and it’s only when I’m within a crowd of people that things become very confused and frightening for me. I’ve always explained it as the closeness of everyone and their unpredictability – people really do not look where they are going and will often just stop or suddenly change direction!
My revelation happened the morning after an event we had all attended the previous evening. It was a cultural event which was part of an annual celebration called Folklorama, which takes place on the first two weeks in August. It’s a festival of global culture, with individual pavilions’ for each of the countries where people have migrated from over the years into the Province of Manitoba.
I experienced the usual feelings of confusion and fright in the pavilion, the sound of all the people talking merged into a chaotic and overwhelming confusion of noise, obliterating anything my family tried to say to me. As is usual in these situations, my wife took my hand to guide me along.
It is said that we all dream when we sleep and that a large proportion of us rarely remember what the dream or dreams have been about. I also rarely recall dreams, but that night I did remember a dream, very vividly. The strange thing about the dream is that it was not about me or anyone I know. It was as if I was being shown something that had already happened, although I don’t know when it happened.
It involved a man, a woman and a boy and was extremely disturbing. When thinking about it the following morning, it suddenly struck me that the feelings of confusion and fright I suffer in crowds actually has very little to do with verbal noise or the unpredictability of people. I now realize that the feeling of fright; noise and crowds are all associated with some type of emotional absorption, which I am unconsciously trying to avoid.
Now, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you are wondering what any of this has to do with using my stress as an advantage in business. Well, if you have read the article I referenced above ‘How to Use Stress to Your Advantage’ on the Harvard Business Review website, you will have seen that a certain level of stress is actually necessary for us to achieve goals and fulfill our potential. If it wasn’t for stress, we wouldn’t have an automated response to danger, which has ensured our evolution and survival. When used consciously and by acknowledging its’ power, stress can provide us with the ability to judge situations and to form balanced assessments of them.
I know that I will need time to gradually accept the realities of my new discovery. but finding out what the fear is about does give me a great sense of progress and begins to provide me with some answers to a fear that just won’t go away and until now, has made no sense. So, an understanding of this apparent new ability I appear to have acquired should provide a kind of non-verbal access, rather like a peek directly through a customers’ eyes and hopefully be able to ‘tune-in’ to them.
I’m convinced that the disturbing dream I had came directly to me from one of those people in the crowd at that pavilion. I don’t know if it will only work when I’m among people, but it will be a huge step-forward in enabling me to properly reconnect with people again at social and business-focused gatherings.