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Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Secret to Time Management--Discover Your Word to Refocus Attention

'I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.'
Douglas Adams

A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing

Finish. That's my secret word that's been helping me refocus my attention and have better time management for 15 years.
  
I knew I had 'arrived' a few years ago as I was helping my daughter figure out her preferences for dealing with life. As I asked her questions about who she was and how she dealt with the world she turned to me and said, "Don't you know?  I'm just like you--except you finish things."

Ha! I felt like a sheep in wolf's clothing. From the outside I had begun to look like someone who naturally finishes things. Only I knew the truth--I love to start things and have only learned to ease into finishing them.

What Are Your Time Management Challenges?

We are all capable of being good at anything we choose to master. But we tend to favor some ways of dealing with life over others. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Depending on your preferences, some aspects of managing your life will excite you and others will stress you.

Perhaps:
  • You're sociable and fun once you know a person, but you feel awkward and anxious about starting a relationship.
  • You're a great finisher whose excitement goes up the closer you get to the finish line but your stress goes up before you start a job.
  • You prefer to lay a plan and stick to it and your stress rises when someone asks you to be more flexible about changing those carefully laid plans.
  • You excel at working independently and you get stressed by working with others.
Fifteen years ago I chose to improve my time management skills to get more out of my life.  Since I was a great starter of projects I decided to consciously refocus on the opposite of what I do best--finishing. I discovered by refocusing on the word finish when I started a new endeavor I took things to completion sooner. Today it's almost second nature for me to finish what I start.

 Discover Your Secret Word to Refocus Your Daily Actions

My secret time management word is finish. What's yours?

Whether you want to be more compassionate or less judgmental, loosen up, be timelier, or relate better with others--you can begin to master your less preferred ways to manage life by discovering your secret word to refocus your attention.

If you want to better manage your time and life, choose a starting place to redirect your focus so you attend to what you want to master. That's what choosing a single refocusing word is about. 

 Deep inside, you know what that one word is for you. You know if you were to consciously embrace one less preferred aspect of how you deal with life you would be more balanced and your life less stressful.

So what is it that would make your life more balanced, and what is the secret word that could serve to refocus your attention on what you want to master?

Is Your Critical, Judgmental Nature Getting in the Way?

Perhaps you are too critical and judgmental towards yourself and others. You want to be in a loving relationship, but your critical and judgmental thinking is getting in the way.

A healthy relationship requires an equal amount of courage and compassion. If you are too critical and judgmental you may demonstrate lots of courage to speak your mind and not enough compassion towards others and yourself.. 

Refocus your attention with the word compassion to guide you to soften up and lead with more heart, than head. An added bonus to focusing on the word compassion is you will be kinder to yourself—and have more courage to let go of the fear and be yourself.

Struggling to Learn a New Skill or Job?

When you're struggling to learning a new skill or job you can feel overwhelmed by where to begin. If your reaction to being overwhelmed is to avoid stepping into the learning process, you may want choose the word start or small to cue you to just jump in and take the first small step.

Become the Person You Already Are--Only Better!

Don't worry about picking the perfect word. Pick one word to guide you daily--and start using it.  If you need to change the focus, do it. Just keep it simple.

I was always a person who was flexible and adaptable. By focusing on finishing, today I am a flexible and adaptable person who is easy to work with--and who finishes projects and meets deadlines.

By choosing to focus on one word to help you manage your life better, you'll become the person you already are--only better!

Refocusing Words--Choose One
  • Start
  • Finish
  • Follow-through
  • Tenacious
  • Persistent
  • Patient
  • Adaptable
  • Flexible
  • Compassionate
  • Courageous
  • Flexible
  • Decisive
  • Enjoy
  • Engage
  • Relate
  • (Stay) Open
  • Suspend (Judgment)
  • Choose
  • Happy
  • Active
  • Action
  • Pro-active
  • Describe
  • Trust

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
Lao Tzu

8 comments:

Narelle Davis said...

Mine is pretty straight forward Susan - FOCUS. Written on the whiteboard that I look at as I sit at my desk.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Thanks for sharing your word Narelle. I'm suprised I forgot to put it on the list! But people always learn best through others. I hope your share will inspire others to share their word!

How long has FOCUS been your word?

Kindest Regards,

Susan

Anonymous said...

prelerMine is "just step into it". I know that is more than one word but it works for me! Sister Nancy

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Thanks for sharing your word(s)sister Nancy! We are certainly on opposite sides of the equation...yours is about starting, mine is about finishing.

What about the rest of you out there? What's your word?

Anonymous said...

first I write my words on cards: happy, organized, caring, complimentary. Then I shuffle them. I take a drink and choose. It's complimentary. I can live with that! you usually get to the crux of things Sue..my friend of many years! Of course, I always find it easy to compliment people I love. Do you think I can extend a compliment to ursula? only time will tell. love tmr

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Ha Ha, TMR! Yes, you can take a word trick and make it better! How fun to have a set of word cards to choose from. Taking that drink before choosing surely helped the selection---it was a 'complimentary drink'. Thanks for the compliment---and I'm sure Ursula will get hers---compliment that is.

Okay dear readers...join in the discussion...what's your word or words?

Clare said...

'Professional' would be mine. I am an artist and noticed when working in Arts Admin jobs that the most successful artists were always on time and really professional (apart from the odd alcoholic 'genius'!). In contrast a lot of emerging artists were disorganized and consequently lost out.

I'm not for a minute implying that the successful artists had naturally good time-management skills but that they had developed 'strategies' to enable them to be professional - even if that meant using reminders, employing someone or asking their partner to help.

Clare said...

'Professional' would be mine. I am an artist and noticed when working in Arts Admin jobs that the most successful artists were always on time and really professional (apart from the odd alcoholic 'genius'!). In contrast a lot of emerging artists were disorganized and consequently lost out.

I'm not for a minute implying that the successful artists had naturally good time-management skills but that they had developed 'strategies' to enable them to be professional - even if that meant using reminders, employing someone or asking their partner to help.