For the last few weeks, I have been talking to my communities on Facebook asking them:
I would love to know what is YOUR biggest challenge to GETTING IT ALL DONE?
One of the responses I heard quite a bit was:
“Everyone wants everything right now!“
Does that feel familiar? Today, we are in a instant gratification society. We can get information SO quickly that sometimes we forget that people are not machines.
One of the biggest time stealer is interruptions. A lot of people, especially in today's “I need an answer now” society feel that they need to be able to respond to people immediately.
Let's talk about what you can do to combat that feeling.
Setting Boundaries Is Not a Bad Thing
Do you know how to set boundaries? Back when I was in my corporate job and I was managing hundreds of people, I had a sign in big bold letters that said “lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency for me.” Just because people are pushing up on you does not mean you need to bend every time.
I used to struggle with this too. I'd have people constantly in my workspace wanting something from me now. RIGHT NOW!
I finally decided that I was not going to do that — it took me years. I found loads of relief! I'd tell them I could not reply right now, but I can at X time. Ultimately, my team came up with better ideas without me.
They would go back and figure out a better solution than what I would have given them. By saying, no not right now, I empowered them to THINK ON THEIR OWN!
From a business standpoint, you set boundaries by setting expectations. “I check my email 3 times a day and will respond within 48 hours, if this is an emergency call xxx.xxx.xxxx etc.”
It's OK to Say NO to Things You Shouldn't Be Doing
I find that people are having a more difficult time saying “no” to things that they shouldn't be involved with. We encourage our clients to think through how they can work most effectively in their day.
I get asked to do stuff all the time. At my child's school, at other organizations that I volunteer, my professional organizations and so on.
It's really hard for people to say “no” even when they know they don't have time to do things.
That's another form of interruption. But, there are nice ways to say “no.”
Let's say there's something that you know that you shouldn't take on because you're too busy, but you take it on anyway.
Then you find out you really don't have the time to devote to it. A couple months down the road you have to say to the person that you originally said yes to, “I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to back out of this.”
What that actually does for the person that tried to recruit you in the first place is put them in an even more difficult situation. You'd be much kinder if initially you said, “You know, I really appreciate that you have confidence in the work that I can do for you. I'd really love to help you. However, my plate is really full at this point. But I can give you some recommendations of a few people to talk to.”
That allows the person to know that no, you can't help. Here are some alternatives and you're not going to be putting them in a difficult position later down the line.
Every Time You Say YES to Something You Are Also Saying NO to Something Else
It's true, but we often don't think about it. When we say “yes” to something, most of the time, something else gives. Are you letting the right things “give?”
Schedule in YOU Time First
Understand that people are always going to ask you for your time if you are good at what you do. Just take that as a fact.
If you are a super nice and giving person, and my readers are, you likely find that you will say “yes” and ultimately give up your own time.
STOP IT! You are important and you deserve some of your own time!
For example, I actually have time blocked off on my calendar every week for reading – both for knowledge and for fun. Building in time for my own development is crucial to me being able to provide great service to you.
If I don't block it off on my calendar, then I would allow other things to take control of that time. During that reading time, I turn off my phone and I turn off the notification of my email so that I'm not interrupted because I know that my attention will be taken away very easily.
I set up an environment for myself where I really can reach that priority of reading those journals and books.
Develop a process and strategy for how you will schedule your week, day, hour and you will have less stress worrying about getting things done. Try it and let me know how it goes!
Live Fully -- Love Openly -- Laugh Often -- Leverage Your Brilliance -- Connect Authentically -- Get Your Message Out -- Serve with Impact -- Prosper Everyday