By Talmar Anderson
Let’s get serious for a minute. Why, oh why do you set yourself up for failure? Do you know by not managing your own schedule realistically and committing to accurately plan for the time to prepare for, arrive at, conduct and return from a meeting you are not just stressing yourself out but telling others you have confused priorities and lack self-discipline?
Clients EXPECT that a valuable and worthy business will have obligations outside of their own immediate need. It is Ok to say no to meetings, volunteer time or lunches that do not align with your priorities. Loving on Marissa Levin and her quoting “You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.’ This isn’t just about taking on others amplified or self-made urgencies. I also read this as sacrificing your needs to facilitate a client / family/ significant other’s priorities.
Let’s stop the self sabotage and accept that we will not get more time out of our day. The best thing we can do for ourselves, for our clients/ family/ significant other is be clear on our priorities, truthful with the time it takes you to fulfill each task/ event/ product that is requested time on your calendar and decide if it can fit it on our calendar in the near future, or in your life at all.
I get that you WANT to do it all. I know that you WANT to make everyone happy. I understand that you WISH there were more hours in the day. Tough luck! You can’t do everything. Now, don’t take it personally. No one can get more hours in their day. Everybody, YES, even Oprah or Richard Branson wish they had more time in their day. They don’t. Time is the great equalizer.
So do what happy and successful people do…be ruthless! Only say yes to a few items. Those items need to be what you really want your life to be about. Do you want to spend more time with your family?…Put that Star Wars movie appointment on the calendar! Is growing your business a priority?…Put strategy and operations on the calendar. Is each meeting on your calendar important? Then ALSO put the time for driving there, arriving on time, follow up conversation and driving back to the office ON YOUR calendar.
As an example, realize that you CANNOT get through a 45 minute yoga class even in the 60 minute chunk you put on your calendar so stop sabotaging yourself! You must change clothes, drive there, warm up, take the class, say hello to others, shower, change, get to your car and drive to the next meeting. You are being unrealistic and creating your own stress. More importantly you are being rude and unreliable to the person expecting you at the 60 minute mark.
Just because others can be there before you, does not mean that you are not needed the first 15 minutes of the meeting. And more importantly if you are not needed for that meeting WHY did you say yes to attending?
Maybe it’s because you under value your worth and believe your contribution is unnecessary. Then don’t say yes. Maybe it is because you believe that you only need to be present for the last half hour to get what you need. Then don’t attend. Arrange to schedule a half hour with the answer person and save everyone time and effort. Because breezing in and out on YOUR overwhelmed, mismanaged schedule shows that YOU do not value your own time correctly. That certainly puts the question into the minds of other people that you work with on whether they may be over valuing your contribution too. Ouch…..
Prioritize what supports the results you want. Say No to the rest. Be real and ruthless with setting your own schedule. You cannot do everything but you can be happy and successful. Honor the commitment you are making to yourself every time you use your calendar.
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