Finding time to accomplish your goals is a challenge in this busy world. It gets that much harder if you feel like your day is hijacked by others’ priorities or cluttered with others’ crises.
Take a moment and take a breath.
How do you feel inside when strong personalities make demands or confront you with 'surprise' deadlines? Maybe you immediately feel responsible. Or maybe you feel annoyed or frustrated - or even paralyzed.
People respond in many different ways to this kind of situation, but one thing is clear and consistent: If you are not careful, you can easily end up sabotaging the plans you had for your time.
So, the challenge here is basically to listen and respond, without reacting. You don’t want to sacrifice your plans needlessly. Likewise, you don’t want to let an emotional response endanger your job or your relationships with friends, family, and co-workers.
Here are 5 Timely Tips to help you Stay on Track, Save Time, Strengthen Relationships and Reclaim Your Peace of Mind
1. Refuse to be swept along by others' urgency.
Don’t let their crisis become your crisis. When you feel the urgency, pause for a moment and step back in your mind. When you give yourself time and allow yourself space to consider your response, you are standing in your power. You also demonstrate that you retain full responsibility for yourself.
2. Observe, evaluate, and use active listening to transfer the energy from them to you.
Do you need to take some responsibility for the problem? Do you have a stake in the outcome? This kind of evaluation helps you decide how much time (if any) to devote to solving the problem.
By listening actively and re-stating the predicament in your own words, you re-frame the situation. Most likely, this will help defuse some of the urgency as you summarize things in accurate but less highly charged terms.
This has an added benefit in that, when others feel heard, they instinctively relax and take more time to listen to your ideas.
3. Broaden the perspective. Now that the other person is more open to listening, try strategizing from multiple vantage points. Look to identify areas of consensus, empathizing while retaining a balanced view. This activity can help reduce the tunnel vision that urgency promotes.
4. Offer the choices that align with your time frame. Keeping in mind the goals and priorities that you have for yourself, work to clarify everyone’s baseline needs. Then you can negotiate accordingly. Be sure to clearly state your parameters. This will move you toward a solution that allows your own projects to remain on schedule.
5. Stay focused on what you can control, and allow others their responses. This can be the hardest part for many people. It’s key to cultivate calmness so you can accept others' dissatisfaction without defensiveness. You have a right to assert your priorities, and others have a right to their feelings about that.
It’s so helpful when you 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. By being clear, you encourage open communication that can lead to genuine progress.
In the end, this demonstrates two fundamental and freeing facts:
• That you respect others’ rights to their feelings and
• That your time priorities don't require their approval.
Assimilating these tips in advance of your next time challenge is excellent preparation. Your relationships are often unspoken contracts. As you change your part, prepare yourself for other aspects of interactions to shift, too. Maybe as you become less available for the last-minute urgencies, others will be asked to help. Or maybe you’ll be asked to coordinate schedules and priorities more closely with colleagues. And going even further, maybe this will shake up your image of yourself as indispensable, or of others as 'impossible'.
Ultimately, you benefit by enjoying more productive, crisis-free time. Think of the peace of mind you’ll come to enjoy as you put these timely tips into action! How will you build on your success by developing still more rewarding methods for finding time?
To increase the boundary-setting skills you can call upon when confronted with others crises, sign up for our free gift, "The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!" at http://optimize.thetimefinder.com/templatesg/
This time template will help you move beyond overwhelm, disappointment, and frustration. Using a workbook format, with room to record your answers, you will discover that 24 hours really are enough!
Offered by Paula Eder, Ph.D. The Time Finder Expert.
Paula Eder, PhD, the SelfGrowth.com Official Guide to Time Management, is an internationally-known coach and published author who mentors spirit-driven solopreneurs and small business owners to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors so that they can make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.
Living on a working farm in rural New Hampshire, Paula's connection with time is as organic, spiritual, and down-to-earth practical as the vitality and resiliency of the seasons. From her base in New Hampshire she has maintained a thriving coaching practice for the past 35 years; is a Certified Coach in Kendall Summerhawk's Money Breakthrough Method™ Program; and is a certified graduate of the Vanguard class of the Authentic Happiness Coaching Program conducted by Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD and Ben Dean, PhD.
Her Heart-Based Time Management System helps busy people just like you develop the skills to make authentic time choices that lead to work success, personal growth, vibrant health, and an ever-deepening relationship with yourself and those you love.
To learn more about Paula's unique, Heart-Based Time Management System and begin your transformational journey, sign up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Discover how you can find time for what matters most.