Are You Investing Your Time or Just
by Barbara McRae, MCC
If you are like me, I'm busier than I've ever been. I own
companies, partner with my husband in his business, and write
articles. And I'm passionate about the work I do. (Okay, most
And yet, it's easy for me to believe that I can do it all
when I know
that this isn't true. What is true, is that while I can do
I really set my mind to, I just can't do everything. No one
A majority of my clients ask for help in managing their time.
discovered over the years is that it's not so much a matter
time as it is about managing yourself. Time is neutral. We
each have 24
hours per day. As unique individuals each one of us spends
time based on our level of awareness of what's working and
First let me make a distinction between spending time vs.
An example of spending time is when you've been sitting at
for an hour and you still haven't written the report that's
you weren't single-minded on your task. You let your mind
wander or you
allowed external distractions (you let others interrupt you
read incoming emails, or answered your phone) get in the way.
You invest time when you learn to think more strategically
and ask yourself
impact questions, such as how will I feel if I let others
take time away
from me and I don't complete the report? Once you have clarity
you need to focus on, you can stay on track by saying "no"
to the seemingly
urgent, but unimportant, distractions.
You'll be able to get more done in less time when you identify
performance state. Take a moment now to access a time when
you felt in
the "zone." How did that feel in your body and what
thoughts were you
thinking? Were you relaxed yet alert? How is this performance
for you compared to when you're not in this state?
The business athlete can benefit from investing time in mental
emotional training just as much as sports figures do. Here
are some added
1. Balance work with recovery periods.
From sports coaching, we know that our muscles respond best
when we honor
our ideal stress/recovery ratio. This is equally true for
our mind and
emotions. Take frequent 5-10 minute power breaks. Use this
time to breathe,
stretch, and drink plenty of water. The busier we get, the
fewer breaks we
usually take. Make sure you do the opposite!
2. Be the gatekeeper of your mind.
Observe your thoughts and only let those thoughts in that
are in alignment
with your goals. Let thoughts enter that cause you to feel
confident. If you are exhausting energy, examine your thoughts.
You will be
able to trace them to negative thoughts. Thoughts are magnetic
are positive or negative. Choose wisely.
3. Create peak performance anchors.
You can establish your on-demand optimal performance state
when you create
and practice rituals that trigger your body and mind, accordingly.
example, many athletes make use of rituals. When Michael Jordan
throw a free throw, he bounced the ball the same number of
times every time. Why? Because this is how he signaled his
body to activate a peak performance state.
The time to practice the steps above is during low stress
times. Then, once
you become more proficient and you can draw on these strategies
you'll be able to rise above your challenges, distractions
or upsets. Soon
you'll have many more moments of investing your time than
merely spending it.
(c) Barbara McRae, MCC. All rights reserved.
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