By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore
Talk with most anyone and ask them what they think are the top issues in time management and you will get answers such as, “Having a well prepared “to do” list,” “Managing multiple priorities,” “Managing Meeting time,” “Handling the flood of paperwork and emails.” All are good responses but overlook the top four time management issues that, in combination with one another, can do more to keep you from having, doing or being what you want and deserve.
They are: ineffective relationships, a poor attitude, being flat out tired, and the weather.
- Ineffective Relationships. Probably more than 50% of your personal productivity success has to do with effective relationships with other people. Friends and allies will open doors for you that would take a considerable amount of your effort. They can give you words of encouragement that lift your spirits during down, unproductive times. They can teach you lessons that would take too much time otherwise to learn. I’m not suggesting that one who does not have the good cooperation of other people can not be productive. They can, but not as productive as those who enjoy positive, effective relationships with others.
- A Poor Attitude. It has been said that your attitude will determine your altitude in life’s successes. With a poor attitude you become discouraged and demoralized and your performance goes down. Moreover, a negative person tends to repel positive people, whom you need to boost you up, and they tend to attract other negative people who will bring you down with their stories of misery and failure. “You got a flat tire? Well I got two flat tires! You think you have it bad? I have it worse!” Imagine. Two people having a debate about who has the worse life.
- Being Flat Out Tired. Three out of four people claim that they are flat out tired all throughout their days. Test this. Ask anyone, any time of the day these questions: “Are you rested?” “Did you get a good night’s sleep?” “Are you at the top of your game today?” Most will reply, “Oh, I’m so tired!” Some do not get a sufficient quantity of sleep. They simply stay up too late and get up to early, burning the candle at both ends. Some have medical issues that can be treated. And many may be getting a sufficient quantity of sleep but not the quality. Their days are filled with so much stress and distress. Why? Because they do not have the tools or refuse to the tools to take control over their days so as they try to sleep, that little voice in the back of their heads is reminding them of all the unfinished items of the day and about a string of future uncontrolled events and they wind up tossing and turning, not getting the deep nutritious sleep that their bodies need every day to be as productive as they might be.
- The Weather. The city in the United States that has they highest incidence of suicide is Seattle, Washington. I understand they have fewer sunny days and more cloudy and rainy days than most other places. If you take your own life, is that considered poor time management? That’s not meant to be a poor joke, but guess what? People all over the world are committing “productivity suicide” each day fussing over the weather and using it as a reason to reduce their productivity. “It’s too cold!” “It’s too hot!” “It’s so rainy!” “It’s so dry!” When, all of the time, the weather is just perfect, just the way it is. If you were a visitor from another planet listening to the media, you would think we on earth just invented snow storms, cold and heavy downpours when they have been with us since the beginning of time. Being aware of the weather is important, of course. If locally it is to be icy you may choose to stay indoors and a threatening hurricane may persuade you to evacuate to a safer place. But to be obsessed with the normal ranges of weather conditions is to only steal away from the opportunity to have a good and productive day.
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Dr. Donald E. Wetmore
Certified Executive Coach, Consultant and Trainer
Author, “Organizing Your Life” and “The Productivity Handbook”
Personal Productivity Solutions to Leverage Your Impact
127 Jefferson St.
Stratford, CT 06615
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