“There’s no time!”

Well, you’ve got all there is. Yes, all of it. So if you haven’t got time, whose fault is it?

So often I’m at a client, trying to resolve some issue, and this is the reason it can’t be done. “There’s no time”. All these other things to do. No time to even stop to think if these things need to b done..so no one knows they they should be doing these things or not. No time to decide. Too busy doing exactly what they did yesterday, and the day before, and moaning they’ve no time!

Here’s a simple trick I use all the time. I wrote a small book a couple of years ago – Conversations for a Thoughtful Life – to my kids. It includes this little homily.

Cut the crud

We live in an age of information overload. Added to that, we over think and worry, and find it difficult to sort out what is important from what is not. There are more and more demands upon our time and our thoughts. This is no doubt only going to increase.

What to do? My method is to be as lazy as possible, which will perhaps appeal to you. There’s no point in being a busy fool. You need to be effective rather than efficient. Also the only person’s problems you want to deal with are yours. You don’t want half the world jumping on you, with all their issues, which they are sure (!) will be better dealt with by you. After all, you’re only responsible for you, not everybody else you might come into contact with during the day.

So here’s my simple little visualisation to tidy all this up in your mind. I simply imagine three big pigeonholes — only three. In the first one are things that I have to do, of which there are only a few and there is quite a lot of space left. In the middle one are things that I want to do. This has a few more things in it, but there’s still a lot of space left. And in the last pigeonhole is crud. This is full to overflowing — it’s impossible to cram another piece of paper in it. You know – you’ve been trying to cram more in all these years!

When something else is presented to me that apparently I have to do — I simply measure it against the three pigeonholes. Do I have to do it? Do I want to do it? Or is it crud? And if it is crud — which most of it is — I simply don’t do it. I’ve got enough crud to deal with already. Note the elegance of that last bit — I’m not postponing dealing with this — I’m not ever going to do it. If it’s crud I don’t need to do it. Don’t confuse that with things that you will do at some point. You won’t. It’s crud. Remember? So why would you want to do it ever?

Liberating isn’t it? And also quite a good filter for all the things which other people wish upon you. Things which are really their responsibility — not yours. You’ve got enough of your own crud – remember?”

It works every time. It clears your mind so you’ve got the time to make small changes that make a big difference. Because those small changes get you even more time, so then you can think, really think, about what you want and need for your business to succeed. And then implement it. It’s what we do. Help clients get the time, do the plan, make the changes.

Here’s another small story to finish with, to help you with your personal time, and what other people may value about you.

Charles Francis Adams was Ambassador to Great Britain during the time of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. He was something of a workaholic and rarely took the time to do anything with his son as a child.

However he did take time to write in his diary every day. It so happened that his son kept a diary too. After his father died, the son found the diary. The son recalled a day when, as a young boy, he had gone fishing with his father. So important and special was that day for the son that he wrote in his diary; “went fishing went with my father, the most glorious day of my life.”

The son was to refer to it repeatedly in his diary, but when he turned to the same date in his father’s diary, he found; “Went fishing with my son, a day wasted.”

Children spell many things differently to adults, and children spell love like this … TIME.