Time.
That's the primary focus for my own coaching call today as I contemplate how I will find time to get this newsletter written, edited and laid out in time for it to reach you in a timely fashion. Not to mention where the time for updating The Bookstore at Coachladybug.com where the Bedside Table feature is (ouch) six weeks old. (That's ancient in web-time.) And when will I have time to create the new student-only section for the course materials for my new teleclasses? To create an online registration form for the workshops? I could go on.

I know I'm not alone in having a- shall we say challenging?-relationship with Time. When that relationship is going well, I experience the Three Es: Effortlessness, Efficiency, Effectiveness. Here are a few things I've learned about attaining and keeping the Three Es.

First, stop. That's right. Whenever I am too buy, have too little time, and simply cannot make time/find time/afford the time I have learned to stop, in my tracks if necessary. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from forging on full speed ahead when I am experiencing a sense of how scarce, unforgiving and unavailable time is. So I stop, breathe, and get my bearings.

How do I get my bearings? One way is to make a running list of everything that needs to be done, that I am worried about, that I'm afraid I will forget. This is not a To Do list, this is a method of clearing the clamor and clatter of anxiety from my fevered brain. It turns down the volume so I can think.

Another way to take bearings is to take a break. Go for a twenty minute walk, take a fifteen minute nap. Clean the bathroom. Pick up the dry-cleaning and, on the way home, pick out some fresh flowers for your desk. Physically interrupt the pattern of your anxiety.

Revisit your list. This time, put a line through any item that is out of your control. Look at the remaining items and ask yourself which ones are most important to you. What can you let go of? Then highlight the three most important items on your list and look at your calendar. Given your current circumstances, when might you start each of these tasks? When might you finish them? Are you ready to commit to a revised plan for completing these tasks?

Having stopped and gotten your bearings, take a few moments to formulate your intentions around completing your chosen tasks. Check in with yourself. Are you clear about why you have selected these priorities? Do you have what you need to take care of them? If not, are you prepared to get the support you need? How will you protect your time so that these chosen priorities receive your attention? When you are ready, state your intention to yourself and anchor it by writing it down.
Last, but not least. Use a coach. My coach supports me in creating plans that work for me, not scripts from somebody else's life. It is very difficult to simultaneously hold both the big and little pictures in focus and to balance short and long term plans and goals. I'm committed to letting life be easier than that, and having a coach is one way I keep that commitment.

Author's Bio: 

Hundreds of articles, quotes and exercises for self improvement are available free at molly's web site, http://www.mollygordon.com. For free e-newsletter, write newleaf@coachladybug.com.