Tag: time management

3D Juggling 462:Running Stapling Clematises and Planned Neglect

At last we have put the final 3D Jugglings up on the website and made our 3D Toolbox which is full of resources and ideas even easier to use. Over the last ten years, we have told many stories in a bid to share ideas, insights and questions to support you manage work well and still have a life. So once a month we will be sharing highlights from the archives.

There have been a fair few 3D Jugglings about Time Management including ideas about stapled weeks, clematises and planned neglect. One that people remember well is Graham’s advice ‘Don’t run too early’.

3D Juggling 375: Don’t Run Too Early

Claire writes: ‘Try the 400m on the Olympics on the Nintendo Wii, and you can fail to finish if you don’t take enough breath at the beginning. For the last week, the papers have been full of tips to marathon runners about how to last the full 26 miles. I was co-facilitating a couple of weeks ago with a man who used to be a professional footballer. As we dashed around the room with a microphone listening to people’s comments, I commented that I seemed to always be the one running to the back of the room! “Ah”, said Graham, “that’s because I learned in football never to run too early!”

Graham ran the Barcelona marathon last month. He told me that they timed every mile to make sure that they got to the finish. Quick starts in marathons are impressive, but only if they can be sustained to the finishing line!

Enthusiasm for a new project or a new job can make us want to get off to a running start. But if we want to be able to manage our energy and to be able to complete well, ‘Don’t run too early’ is good advice. ”

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who runs out of steam before the end of the game.

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 458: Waste Time Well

Claire writes: ‘Most of us will have time off over Christmas. After all the preparations and the rush to clear your work before the holiday, how will you spend your time? Are you scheduled out with family commitments or shifts to cover? Or do you have time to choose? Our Christmas present to you is to ask you to spend some time doing nothing well. It’s easy to spend all holiday thinking: ‘In a minute I ought to…’, to potter and then to end up unsure of what we’ve done with a sense of having achieved nothing.

Consider the question: If I was to waste time today and feel great about it afterwards, what would I do? It may be choosing to potter and to have no sense of guilt. It may be to choose to spend all day in your pyjamas or to watch back to back Christmas films. Or to sit and stare at a view or read a book.

Whether you choose to waste an hour, a day or even a week, what will you do to waste time well?

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who needs permission to waste time.

Discuss this week’s juggling at http://www.3dcoaching.blogspot.com/

© 2009 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

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3D Juggling 414: Procrastination

Claire writes: ‘I am having one of those procrastinating days where – when the beginning goes in an unexpected direction and then it’s hard to regroup and carry on. Reassured, therefore, by this quote from P.I. Tchaikovsky:

‘We must always work, and a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. If we wait for the mood, without endeavouring to meet it half way, we easily become indolent and apathetic. We must be patient and believe that inspiration will come to those who can master their disinclination.’

So I am breaking the disinclination by writing this… because now I have begun doing something, anything, I will return to the task in hand!’
© 2009 3D Coaching Ltd May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 368: Let the Train take the Strain

Claire writes: “I came back from a week working away to find 260 emails in my inbox – after the junk and the circulars had been fitered into other boxes. And it’s hard to catch up when you also delivering other work. Yesterday, still struggling to catch up, I had to catch a train to York to run the Action Learning Facilitator Training. This time I took the laptop and a fancy cup of coffee.

Within two hours, I was arriving in York with 37 emails left, and they are all waiting for a response from other people. Diane talked the other week about making tme to read. It’s also valuable to make time to catch up. The 6.34 train goes too early to make phone calls, and I couldn’t get up and displace, so they got dealt with.Next time I get a backlog, I am tempted to book a return ticket to Edinburgh! Sometimes we have to come up with creative solutions to manage overflowing lists or piles or commitments.

Clearing your head can allow you to focus on work in a new way. This week’s discovery which enabled that to happen more easily was a free software programme which allows you to put electronic postits on your screen. You can even attach them to documents and email them to other people! Take a look atif you want to know more.

Meanwhile, is there something simple you can do this week to tackle tasks which are stressing you? ”

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 365: Reading

Diane writes: “Yesterday I had a hair appointment, I knew I would be there a couple of hours so I took with me a pile of things to read. I really do not enjoy reading women’s magazines so usually I feel quite cross with myself when I forget to take a book with me to the hairdressers.This time while the chemicals worked their magic I got myself up to date with the latest thinking and research about coaching supervision. People often say during coaching sessions that they don’t have time to do the reading they need to do. It is one of those things that easily get squeezed out, but we neglect it at our peril!

When I worked in an office in London I had the most wonderful PA. She was very good at making sure I always had the information I needed for appointments and meetings. My job often took me overseas for weeks at a time, and this was before we had e-mail, when even telephoning was difficult, if not impossible, in many of the places where I found myself. Hence, while I was overseas I had no idea what was happening back in the office. My PA was there to keep my work moving forward. On my return she would always give me three files marked: URGENT – read now; IMPORTANT – read this week; INTERESTING – read on the train. This made my re-entry into my organisation very easy. By the end of day one I had got up to speed on all the current issues and I knew that there was nothing nasty lurking in my in-tray.

Sadly, I no longer have a PA and the world has moved on. Unless I am asleep it seems I can be in contact with the whole world 24/7 from my mobile phone, but people still complain they have no time to read! What about using my PA’s idea and adapting it to suit the way you work? The files can be paper or computer generated. Into URGENT goes the material you need to read to be ready for this weeks/months work. IMPORTANT is for ground breaking research which will have an effect on how you work and for the latest books in your field, which you need to read in order to keep up to date.This is the stuff that feeds you and keeps you fresh. INTERESTING – magazine and journal articles and books which catch your eye but aren’t directly related to your work.Reading can then be be ongoing and become a regular activity.

That gets the reading matter organised,now where do you find the time? Where do you find yourself sitting with nothing in particular to do? On trains, at airports, over a coffee between clients, in the hour before you start to prepare supper, at the gym after your workout. There are lots of possibilities, the secret is recognising when is a good time for you and being organised enough to use it.I know a man who read 12 pages of theology every morning for 40+ years. It did not take him very much time each day, but it had a massive impact on his ability to keep up to date in his academic discipline. Like him, be clear about what you need to read then create a habit of using the time to read that suits the way you work and live.”

(c) 2008 3D Coaching Ltd

3D Juggling 363: New Diary

Diane writes: “I guess many of you have new diaries. I love getting a new diary, especially one that feels good, has nice paper and plenty of space but also is easy to carry around! I stick with a paper diary, but what I am going to suggest can apply equally well however you choose to record your diary.

What do you write first in your new diary? After you have filled in the first page with all your personal details, what do you put in next? I once had a senior colleague who was an extemely busy man, he had a huge job, he sat regularly in the House of Lords and chaired at least one committee at a national level. He also had some very rich personal interests in art and literature. Every year he bought his new diary in the summer as soon as they came into the shops. The first thing he wrote into that diary, in ink, were his days off and holidays for the whole of the coming year. All of the rest of the appointments went in next, in pencil, because they might change. Only in very extreme circumstances would he change his days off and holidays. Whenever he told people this they looked at him in amazement and you could see the words forming on their lips, “But I couldn’t possible do that, my job is far too demanding.” The words died on their lips unspoken as they looked at this man who had an incredibly demanding job plus huge responsibilities.

Is it too late for you to put your days off and holidays into your diary? Why not give it a try and see what effect it has on you through the coming year? It could transform the way you manage your work!”

(c) 2008 3D Coaching Ltd Ltd May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 362: New Years Transformation

Diane Writes: “Happy New Year to all our subscribers! We hope you all had the kind of Christmas celebrations you were hoping for.

2008 is here and many of you are sitting at your desks on your first day back at work. No doubt some of you will have been thinking about New Year Resolutions and making fresh starts. I would like to offer you a challenge for 2008. What one thing would you have to change in order to transform your life or work this year?

It may sound like a tall order or even an impossible dream, but it is possible to make just one change and trigger a real transformation. It might be something in your personal life, or it might be about how you organise or use your working time.

I have a friend who is a Senior Executive who was always complaining that he never had time to think. His desk was piled high with articles and books he wanted to read but he never got round to it because other things always crashed in on his thinking /reflecting/reading time. Three years ago he made a change to the way he works. One day every month he goes to a hotel for the day. He arrives at 8am for breakfast, then he finds a comfortable sofa and he settles down to read, think and reflect. He stays until 6pm. During that day his laptop is used only for recording his thoughts and reflections, he does not check his e-mail and his phone is switched off. He is on retreat.

At first it was hard for him to guard his retreat days, now it has become a habit which is nourishing and life giving to him. He is up to date with his reading and often impresses his colleagues with his ideas and insights. He speaks of that change he made to his monthly schedule as transformational for him and for his organisation.

What change could you make?”

(c) 2008 3D Coaching Ltd May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 360: Overbooking

Claire writes: ‘Airlines always overbook flights on the assumption that some passengers won’t turn up on the day. It works really well until everyone arrives and customer service staff become overstretched. Do you overbook your diary… and then discover everything turns up? Ellie has been on crutches for the last fortnight and will not be very mobile until Christmas. My diary is booked on the assumption that she is independent and takes herself to and from school. Adding a daytime taxi role has been huge pressure and has involved asking or begging all kinds of people to step in. We have managed to arrange things, but it had added significant extra pressure.

Crises or unexpected events happen. In your organisation (or family) they may happen more or less frequently than others… but if you reflect over the last few weeks or months, you’ll know how much of your time is affected by managing the unexpected. If your diary is completely full of appointments and preparation – and if you have included admin and email time – anything unexpected will put enormous pressure on you and you’ll either have to work smarter or longer or drop something.

What will be possible if you recognise that, on average, you spend half a day a week managing unexpected crises in your organisation and schedule an empty half day into your diary each week? You’ll find that when the crisis happens you will be able to move other things around to make space to manage it. And if there is no crisis this week, you’ll be able to use the time for something else which is important. ‘

(c) 2007 3D Coaching Ltd May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com


Interesting, isn’t it, how the blog becomes really appealing when a deadline is looming and you’re meant to be focussed on something else!