I am overwhelmed.
The problem with having a finger in too many things is that it is a problem –you end up going around like a headless chicken, not knowing which tail is up and why, missing appointments, wanting to miss appointments, day ends up unproductive because the enormity of everything threatens to engulf you and not doing anything seems so very enticing.
Warren Buffett said: “We enjoy the process much more than the proceeds.”
But he is Warren Buffett, and he has a team of lawyers, tax planners, financial advisers, accountants and analysts, not to mention secretaries and people who will do anything for him, at his beck and call. He is not a one man like team like you and me – starting entrepreneurs that we are. Pending a Warren Buffett status, we have got to get a hold of ourselves, and time.
After all, they say, time is all in the mind. It can contract and expand at the turn of the mental dial. Now, how to find that mental dial…
Enter time management.
Lex Ledesma of One School gives a day (or half a day) for each of his businesses. In a talk that he gave during an entrepreneur’s night, he explains that he will not entertain any thought, any problem (unless it is an emergency), or set up any meeting if the “business” is not on schedule. He does not worry about everything everyday because he realizes it is impossible. For “the day” that he gives a business, he focuses on it and only on it and give it all the attention (and thought) it deserves.
Another author on time management, Dan Kennedy, laments the onslaught of technology, a.k.a, emails and thinks it is a major time waster. He devised a way wherein he answers them only 2 times a day, at 11:00 a.m. and at 4:00 p.m. To do this, he sent an email to all clients and colleagues explaining to them his new procedure. He met resistance at first, but then people fell into place. He no longer got urgent emails, found out that most so-called problems are actually not emergencies, that people could find the strength to take care of problems without bothering him. He has freed up his time to focus on tasks at hand, and because his attention is not diverted, his output is above average. I find this very valuable advice in the face of Facebook and Tweeter and other sites that, though enjoyable, take up a lot of our time. Setting a schedule for looking at emails (and surfing for a purpose not work related), takes discipline. And as I have found, lots of it.
You can also learn a thing or two with this time management advice that my financial planner gave me:
I read a book called the Organized Executive and it was written by a woman so I guess it can help you as it has helped me. 1. Put everything in 4 piles. One pile to delegate, one pile to file, one pile for your action and the last pile is the garbage can. 2. After you do this, start with the pile which needs to be delegated. Write marginal notes on the document to give specific instructions to whom you want to pass it on. 3. If you have a secretary, the second pile goes to her. Let her worry about where to put it. 4. The garbage pile should contain useless junk mail, letters, or other pieces of paper you just read once and never go back to it anymore. Just start reading and then toss it. 5. The last “to do” pile does not have to be put in order of priority. Just start with the first document and work on it until you complete it. Don’t go to the next until you finish the paper you are holding. This should work beautifully for you. It has been years since my desk has seen clutter so this system must work. Hope it helps. An alternative would be to get an electric paper shredder and just throw everything in. Wonder of wonders, we continue to live even if we throw out everything hahaha.
Have a clean desk policy. Never leave your office with a piece of paper lying on top of your desk. File, pass, toss and do. Should keep you sane most days. Warmest regards to everyone.
Again, the above is a testament as to why you should get a financial planner (and why mine is wonderful).
It is possible for all of us to have control over our time and stop the bile of wanting-to-escape-from-it-all from rising up our throats. Time is one great resource, one of man’s greatest gifts.
Don’t let it pass you by.
Let’s you and I try.
Article by Issa. Art by D. Copyright 2009.
Email: [email protected]