Life Lessons: Learning To Let Things Go Undone 11

7-ways-your-wasting-time“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists of eliminating the non-essentials”. I love that Chinese Proverb – It’s a great reminder that we all have just 168 hours in the course of a week. No more or no less. We all have the same amount of time. Do you have enough time to accomplish those things that are most important to you? Time is not a renewable resource. How wisely are you spending yours? Here are two things that you can do to help utilize your time more effectively. 

Learn to set priorities

Think carefully about what priorities mean to you and about how you decide what is really important. Remember – You will never have enough time in the course of a day, week or month to accomplish everything on your to-do list but, you do have time to decide what to do first. Most people start with the easy stuff. I want you to start with the urgent stuff. Take a look at your list and decide what absolutely  needs to be accomplished today. What is due today? Mark those items as “A” items. Anything that can wait two or three days mark those items as “B” items. Anything left on your list are “C” items. Make a rule with yourself that you can never, ever work on a “B” item until all the days “A” items have been completed.

Learn to say no 

The essence of good time management is good life management. Just like the essence of healthy living is a healthy lifestyle. We all seek balance in our lives. Balance between life at work and life at home. If I was to ask you to write down the three most important things in your life. What would you write down on that paper? Out of the 168 hours you have in the course of a week how much time are you spending on those three things? I hope you put yourself at the top of that list. How much “Me” time do you spend on yourself each week? What do you do to help you recharge your batteries? Do you like to read, take walks, bake or meet up with friends for coffee or tea? It’s important to your health that you spend time on you without feeling guilty about it. You are the only you that you’ve got. Learn to say no to others so you can say yes to yourself.

Copyright (c) Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a speaker or planning a training session on a variety of soft-skills topics? Give Brian a call. He will work with you to insure your event is an overwhelming success.


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  2. They check off all the easy stuff first because they think if they just finish the easy stuff first they can get them out of the way in order to tackle the tough stuff. The problem is there will also be easy stuff to do. You need the discipline to do the “right” stuff first and it may not be the easy stuff.


  3. Timely reminder Brian. Saying ‘no’ is one of the toughest things to say, but it saves you a heck load of trouble. I have been saying no to unnecessary requests that has helped me to remain focused on the most important actions.


  4. One of my favorite bosses used to sit me down at the beginning of each year and say, “which of these metrics are you going to fail at this year? There are so many… you’re going to fail at something, you might as be deliberate about which one… so you can really nail the important ones” I’ve used (and taught) that advice ever since. It works wonders.


  5. Not sure Karin that I would use that approach. Glad it worked for you. More importantly, it’s great to hear from you. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate you taking the time to read my post.


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