Tip #1. In order to figure out what time to leave (or start a project), count back from the time you need to be there (or to finish the project). This will give you your start time. If it is a project, figure out how many hours it will take and then decide when you will put in that time. It is surprising to me how often we approach a deadline assuming we will make it because the deadline is not imminent. Yet we have no plan to find the time to do it. Many people run their businesses and lives this way with success. But it leads to urgency and stress and there is an easier way to do it.
Often attorneys and other busy professionals schedule their time in a way that has them working on what is right in front of them. In this way, they figure if the deadline is not near, they will get to it eventually. But they find themselves behind the 8 ball because they do not schedule time to work on their projects and when the deadline becomes imminent then they rush to get it done, pushing other things aside. This of course leads to more urgency.
This keeps them in an “emergency” mindset. Many of their emergencies do not arise because of short time frames. The majority of the emergencies are created by working on what is right in front of them and not planning for deadlines ahead of time.
A side effect of this practice is that when we regularly work this way, we can become addicted to the motivation of imminent deadlines. The looming due date becomes both the carrot and the stick. Like many attorneys and other professionals, we operate under fear and high adrenaline, both of which are powerful motivators. Often when we work in this mindset, once a deadline is met if the next project is not yet an emergency, we are unmotivated to work on it. This creates a cycle in which we are driven by our adrenaline rushes and urgency mindset. But the body simply is not designed to be in constant adrenaline rush. This adrenaline rush produces a high level of physical and mental stress, dissatisfaction, and often feelings of anger and hopelessness.
The emergency cycle is largely reactive and short-term in nature. When we work only on emergencies, we focus only on what is right in front of us. We do not see how this work connects to our larger mission; we usually see only how doing this work will keep us from getting in trouble.
One way to interrupt this cycle is tip #1: when you find out about a deadline, put it on your calendar. Then look at the project and estimate how long it will take to do the project. If it’s tough to figure out, you might break it down into specific tasks and make an estimate of time for each task. Then schedule time to do it. Train yourself to do this for every project.
You want to learn more?
April 26, 2017 (Wednesday) 9am – 11am
What Have You Been Doing All Day? Learn to Manage Time for Greater Results
So many busy professionals get to the end of their workday and ask themselves “What did I accomplish today?” They know that they’ve been running, but they don’t feel they have achieved anything. Do you ever have this experience?
Often we feel ineffective and out of balance. This workshop will teach you ways to be intentional in managing your time, your tasks and your energy – in a way that feels better and produces the results you say you want.
We will introduce you to a “paradigm shift” – a different and more effective way of viewing time and time management — and offer you specific changes that can be implemented right away to improve the way you use your time, ease stress and increase productivity.
Join us and learn:
• Urgent vs. Non-Urgent Tasks
• Tools to Use for immediate changes
Take $5.00/person if 2 or more from same company
Sign up now! Don’t let time get in your way. https://www.eventbrite.com/o/mclaren-coaching-3074191754
I attended the workshop on time management and it changed the way that I work. I learned to block my time, schedule time to read emails, and I now have more time to get my work done (or at least it feels like I have more time). I also sent my assistant to the same workshop. When she returned from the workshop, she said “we need to change things around here so that you and I can be more productive.” Now, our office has now instituted a designated time for questions so that they don’t interrupt our work time, we are purposeful about when we schedule certain meetings, and set aside time to get work done.
– Alexandria Goff, The Law Office of Alexandria Goff
McLaren Coaching’s Time Management class is the first of several trainings and other coaching I have done with Cami McLaren. The time management was exactly what I needed at that moment to help me make some firm decisions about managing my time more effectively. Cami offered specific strategies (big rocks, eating frogs) to implement. I no longer play the email lotto and approach managing my email in a specific and organized way. I have trained clients and friends not to expect a response to text messages during work hours. I am now sending 3 of my staff to the next Time Management training so we can all utilize the same approach.
—Jennifer Duggan, Duggan Law Corp.