March 13, 2019
From an article on planning and time management that I recently read – “Either you run your day or your day runs you.”
The article wasn’t about trying to control things, which is good, because there is no way to be in control of the day; however, you can be in control of yourself…and that was the point the article made. It was about having the self-discipline to get up and spend some time thinking about your day and how you wish to spend it, rather than getting up, looking at your phone and immediately going into react mode. In fact the article specifically mentioned being disciplined enough not to look at your phone until you had created a prioritized list of the things that you want to get accomplished that day – call it a to-do list or a schedule or calendar.
When you eventually do look at the messages and news that have accumulated on your phone overnight, you will be able to slot any needed reaction to things you see there into the schedule that you have set for yourself. You may have to juggle the schedule a bit, but you still have an ordered and prioritized list of things that you want to accomplish. You are running your day, instead of the day running you.
Another piece of advice from the article was not to let “shiny things” distract you. Shiny things are those distractions that occur during the day that are attention grabbing and can cause you to wander seriously off course. For some it can be the little ding or musical notes or buzzing that indicates that a new email or message has arrived on your phone. Somehow, we have become trained to react in real time to the need of the phone for attention. Most of the time the attention-demanding message turns out to be spam or trash, but we have interrupted whatever we were doing to answer the demand of the phone for our attention. Other shiny things might be something passing by outside that catches our eye or someone entering the room. Whatever it is, if you let those things distract you from what you were doing the day is running you.
The key point in the article is constantly being aware of what you are doing and why. If you are aware of that, you will not let other things (distractions) take time away from the tasks at hand. You also need to be aware of those times when you have nothing on your schedule and decide how you wish to spend your down time. A popular term in our vernacular today to describe such a time that has no plan is “I’m just hanging out”. A person who answers the question, “What are you doing?” with that phrase is letting the day run him/her. You are basically saying, “I have no idea what to do and have turned off my brain.” There are always things to do. Things that you have been wanting to do. Things that you’ve been putting off. Opportunities to spend time with family or friends. You are in control of that down time.
If you are in control of nothing else, you do control how you spend your time. Don’t just hang out, letting the day run you…grab the day and run it.
Oops, gotta go…my phone just buzzed. I must obey. Ooooooh, shiny thing.
March 1, 2017
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates
I found that little saying on-line when I decided to write a quick piece about being too busy to write anything lately on my blogs. It has to be a quick piece, because I’m so busy. There is within that simple saying there’s lots of truth and insight. We (I) get so busy
with things sometimes that we have no time left for family, friends or other things that are important to a healthy, balanced life. And when I do pause on what I’m busy doing, sometimes I realize that much of what is stealing my time is way less important than the things that I’m ignoring.
I suspect that things like smart phones and the Internet have
contributed greatly to this problem. Because we are almost always “connected”, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that anything and everything that shows up in a text message or an email is important enough to demand our attention and right away. Seldom is that really the case. Taken to its extreme one sees people sitting and staring at their phones and exchanging messages that go somewhat along these lines: 1 – “What are you doing?” 2 – “Nothing, what are you doing?” 1- “Nothing, too. Where are you?” 2 – “At the Mall.” 1- “Me, too. Where?” 2- “At the food court.” 1 – “Me too. Wave or something.” 2- “I see you.” 1 – “I see you too. Well I’ve gotta go.” 2- “Bye.” Did that keep them busy for a while? Yes. Was it good use of their time? You decide. But, they are connected. Maybe.
So, I’m trying now not to schedule every minute of every day, or not to get stressed out if I don’t make it to every event that I’ve been invited to attend and not to let my job consume all of the time that it seems to demand. There is always going to be something else in real estate that I could be doing – another appointment I could be trying to make, another Comparative Market Analysis I could be researching, another class I could be taking or another open house I could be conducting. At the end of the day, I don’t want to go to bed
thinking about all of the things that were left undone. I’d rather go to bed with some pleasant thoughts of things that I did with family and friends; things that I enjoyed, not things that I felt I had to do.
It is not easy for me. My wife often admonishes me for being a workaholic and I am. I think it is important realize that and admit it. Just as it is important for people to admit to being an alcoholic, if that is the case. The first step to fixing things is to realize there is a problem and admit it to yourself and others. I’m sure that there are probably workaholic therapy groups, like there are groups for alcoholism, but I don’t know of any locally. I probably couldn’t find time to go anyway – I’m too busy.
Is that my phone ringing?
October 12, 2012
“You may delay, but time will not.” (Ben Franklin) from the Jack’s Winning Words blog.
Procrastination is an all too common human tendency. The ability to convince ourselves that we’ll get to something later is way too easy and all too convenient. Unfortunately, so is the resulting cases of “coulda, woulda, shouldas” that tend to follow. You coulda taken the time to call that expired listing and you woulda gone and knocked on the door of that FSBO, ‘cause you know that you shoulda been doing more prospecting all along.
Procrastination is one of the biggest issues that I have to face every day. It is just so easy to convince myself that sitting here writing a blog post is a better use f my time than prospecting – or at least it feels better. And at the end of each day, there are things that I can look back and say to myself,” I shoulda gotten to that, maybe tomorrow.” I’m gonna work on that tomorrow.
Some of the biggest regrets that many people have revolve around things they put off doing – visiting that sick relative or friend before they passed away or perhaps not taking some action to stop or prevent some neglect or abuse before it was too late. Many people look back over their lives and feel regret for not having been more generous or more involved with charitable works. Some feel remorse for relationships gone bad that might have been saved by timely action. Because of a fifty year celebration that I missed, I recently learned how many of my old classmates from high school are already gone and regretted not having made the effort to stay in touch somehow.
Time marches on with our without us in tow. Things don’t stop happening just because you hesitate or delay; they just happen without you. Potential clients will buy goods or services from someone else, whether you call on them or not. Not calling just assures you another coulda, woulda, shoulda moment. So don’t delay. Make the calls today and you’ll always have plenty of things to do tomorrow. And in your personal life, don’t wait to call that old friend or relative until you get word that it’s too late. You can’t really talk to a memory – call today.