Finding time to accomplish your goals can become challenging when others make demands on your attention and energy. Does this sound familiar?
Maybe family members or colleagues confront you with 'surprise' deadlines or frequent and urgent crises. If you are not careful these kinds of requests easily erode and undermine your plans.
So, how do you avoid letting others’ ‘crises’ take over your time? And how do you do it without being unresponsive or endangering your job and your personal or professional relationships?
Well, here are 7 Powerful Time Tips to help you Clear Away Crisis Clutter. Ultimately, these tips will make it possible for you to stay on track and strengthen your relationships.
1. Refuse to be swept along by others' urgency. Urgency is often a hallmark of strong personalities. Do not succumb to letting their crisis become your crisis. When you pause and carefully consider your response to what is being presented, you demonstrate that you retain full responsibility for yourself and your choices.
2. Observe and Evaluate. Give yourself some space by pausing and stepping back to examine your level of responsibility for the problem. Also take into account your stake in the outcome. With this overview, you can decide how much time, if any, to devote to solving their problem.
3. Use active listening to transfer the urgent energy from you back to them. Restate the predicament in your own words. This gives you a chance to re-frame the incident, and also to:
• Decrease the drama of the moment, defusing urgency by summarizing the situation calmly in accurate and less highly charged terms.
• Affirm that you understand the issue. Feeling heard helps people relax and be more open to hearing your ideas.
4. Broaden the perspective. Now that there is less urgency, you can introduce other possible perspectives – reducing the tunnel vision that urgency promotes. You can empathize while retaining a calm, broad, and balanced view.
5. Offer possible choices that align with your time frame. You have a better chance of success when you identify everyone's baseline needs and then work from there. Be sure to state your own parameters clearly, so that your projects can remain on schedule.
6. Leave space for others to have their responses. This may be the hardest part for you, but it’s important to cultivate calm openness so you can accept others' dissatisfaction without defensiveness. This demonstrates two important things:
• That you respect their right to their feelings and
• That your time priorities don't require their approval.
7. Stay focused on the areas where you have control. It is very helpful to take the time to clarify your end of relationships. Specify what you feel comfortable doing, and the amount of time you are willing to spend doing it. This clarity encourages open communication – and that can lead to genuine progress.
Your relationships are often comprised of unspoken contracts. As you change your part, prepare yourself for other aspects of your interactions to shift. Maybe as you become less available for last-minute crises, others will be asked to help. Or maybe you’ll be asked to coordinate schedules and priorities more closely with colleagues. Ultimately, you will benefit by enjoying more productive, crisis-free time.
So start putting yourself in a position to clear crisis clutter and find more focus and satisfaction with how you use your time, beginning with this very moment.
And to move toward your Heart-Based Time Success, sign up for our free gift, the Finding Time Success Kit which includes "The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!" Using a workbook format, this powerful and practical time template will help you move beyond overwhelm, disappointment, and frustration and discover that 24 hours really are enough!
Offered by Paula Eder, Ph.D. The Time Finder Expert.
Paula Eder, PhD is an internationally-known coach and published author who specializes in mentoring heart-based entrepreneurs and small business owners, from the inside out, to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors so that they make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.
You can learn more about Paula’s unique, Heart-Based Time Management System™ and begin your transformational journey by signing up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Discover how you can find time for what matters most.