Stuck on Time

Stuck on TIME?Here’s the way out! By Philip Gafka, CBC Professional business coach and friend, Philip Gafka, offers invaluable insights and advice for those caught in the mechanisms of their own time-wasting actions. Is this you? There aren’t many people today not challenged in some way by time, i.e., ”I don’t have enough time to get it all done” and “Where does the time go?” and so on. So where does the time go? Usually it is wasted or frittered away doing “busy” work or trying to look busy—or flat-out doing the wrong things. Spinning your wheels all day long isn’t going to help you get out of life (or business) what you’re expecting. To more effectively manage your time first figure out what you’re trying to accomplish with your life and career. When you have a clear idea of where you’re trying to go, it’s much easier to get there—and arrive on time! A quick and simple tactic. To help you begin managing your time right away, utilize some type of daily planning system. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated—this is just a simple tool to help you accomplish what you want out of life, not something else to get in your way. First thing on your To-Do list: Make a To-Do list—the right way A simple To-Do list can be very effective, as long as you understand the best way to make it work for you. First, draw a line down a sheet of paper. Title the left column Must-Do and the right column Should-Do.

But how can you tell the difference? Here’s a great Must-Do qualifying question: “Will it negatively affect my life or career if I don’t get this done today?”

If it doesn’t, it isn’t a Must-Do! If it isn’t a Must-Do, then it’s a Should-Do. Asking a great qualifying question will GREATLY reduce the number of items you Must-Do today. Everything else is a Should-Do. Take your Must-Do list and prioritize it with the item you must complete first, then second and so on. Then DO THEM! It is that simple. If you take this clear, time-saving approach, you will complete your most important items first.

This next step is to prioritize your Should-Do list in the same manner. Start doing the first item on that list and so on. You’ll find that the things of greatest importance to your life and career are getting done and that is your goal. What happens when the To-Do list is done? One huge benefit of having a daily To-Do list is this: When you’ve completed it, you can feel free to carry on with other important aspects of your life, like family, friends, hobbies, etc., without the burden of thinking about things that didn’t happen that day. It gives you the freedom to “be in the moment” for the other valuable and important areas of your life. Lesson: Time is not your enemy Now you know one way that you CAN complete everything that you wanted each day. Plus, you are building a habit of success by attaining your goals, one by one, on a daily basis. Every streak starts with accomplishing “one in a row!” Phil Gafka is an Executive Business Coach and wrote this chapter in my book "Get Up, Get Dressed and Get Out the Door!" He can be contacted at