Clients often begin a career consultation with, “I feel overwhelmed.”

Often they’re right. These days we really have more to do than ever before.

Ironically, much of our overwhelm comes from awareness of what we need for a healthy, meaningful life. Our grandparents (and maybe our parents) didn’t schedule three gym visits a week. They probably didn’t engage in networking activities or career exploration.

And their best friends and close family members probably lived in the neighborhood, or at least the same city. They had time for lunch.

In a recent book, The Friendship Crisis, Marla Paul writes about challenges of maintaining friends “when you’re not a kid anymore.” She encourages readers to make friendship a priority, which means scheduling time for friends in a busy life. See

I must admit I never expected to drop my dog Gracie off at “doggie day care” for a few hours when I’m too busy to give her all the exercise she needs. I’m hardly alone.

So when we look for answers, we don’t find many role models. Clients tell me, “My friends and colleagues all face the same challenges.”

To begin taming the time tiger, I recommend reviewing the messages you’ve heard about time. Many of us don’t realize the lessons we’ve learned, let alone where we found them.

Here’s an exercise to get started, based on my 21-Day Time Makeover System.

(1) What do your friends say about time and time management?

(2) Do your friends seem to have more or less time than you do? Are they more or less frazzled than you are?

(3) What did your family teach you about time management? Did they teach by example or by instructing you?

(4) What kind of feedback have you gained over the course of your school and work lives? Have you been berated for lack of organization? Missing deadlines?

(5) How would you like to be viewed by friends, family, coworkers and others? As a highly organized, impeccable person? As a person who always has time for leisure? As a leader who’s too busy to bother with the small stuff?

Power Exercise: Ask friends directly about time. Are they friends with time – or do they struggle constantly? What have they learned? And how do they view you when they think of time and time management?

Author's Bio: 

Time Management can be challenging at any career stage. Now you can download a guide specifically designed for executives and business owners: the 21-Day Time Management Makeover. Visit Time Management Ebook . Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., works with corporate executives,business-owners and professionals who want to transform career breakdowns to career breakthroughs.