Time Management Struggles

This is something I’ve posted about before possibly but something I continue to struggle with. As they say old habits are hard to break.

In continuing with my them last year of “simplify” and this year to take action, I have to push my self on one of my action items.

That action item is to control my day and not let the day control me. (Easier said then done.) I tend to be a bit of a work-a-holic (I know shocker) but with now having grand kids I’d like to not work as much but still be as productive, “Work smarter, not harder” as they saying goes.

For me that has been difficult because I tend to be reactive to the events of the day regarding my clients on the web items I handle so it’s not always easy to say from 9am – 10am I’m going to put out this fire. I do however need to think about scheduling a set 4 hours a day for scheduled tasks of things I’d like to accomplish, and then a couple hours for things I NEED to accomplish which would leave a two hour window for fires.

You’re probably wondering by this point why I’m rambling about this here. I’m hoping that by posting this live it will force me to take action. Plus in posting this I might get some comments that will help me achieve these goals. (And for those that do leave a comment, thank you in advance.)

I’ve heard that to conquer an addiction you must first acknowledge you have one. And I kid that if I’m going to have an addiction the a work-a-holic is a profitable addiction LOL. Thing is though I love what I do. I love being creative, I love being an entrepreneur, I guess the trick is to find a good balance and figure out how to get the biggest bang out of the time available.

I’m sure I’m not the only person that struggles with this, and if you’ve read this far I appreciate it. If you have any suggestions please comment, if maybe you’re in the same boat maybe comment and join me in beating this.

I know this blog is about web strategies but I’m thinking in away this is part of a web strategy to be able to control your day and your work space.

13 Comments

  1. Mauricio Martinez on January 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Hi Frank,

    I think you’re bound to fail in your quest.

    I’m not trying to be mean, really!

    Let me explain. If you go back and read your post your priorities are obvious. No, it’s not your Grandchildren and it’s not your need for balance.

    Your top priority seems to be meeting the needs of your clients. (Knowing you I know you’re highest priority is God’s will in your life but that’s another post.)

    My point is that you will always, always accomplish your priorities – whether you are a “disciplined” person or not. The rest may or may not get done.

    So, how DO you change your priorities?

    I’m not sure. When you find the answer please let me know 🙂

    God bless you,

    Mauricio

    • Frank Deardurff III on January 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks Mauricio – I hadn’t thought about it that way. I thought I knew what my priorities was but looking at what others has commented maybe I should reevaluate.

      I appreciate your response!

  2. Jeanette Cates on January 22, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I was all ready to comment, when I read Maurico’s comment – and gee, I have to agree with him. Until you put YOUR priorities first, nothing will change.
    I know you love serving your clients. But each of them is used to be treated as your ONLY client. So it’s time to put your foot down. (And yes, you risk losing some of them.)
    Explain that your life is passing before your eyes and you are missing out on LIFE by being so responsive to them. Explain that while you care about them, you also love your family. And that as your family grows, you want to spend more time with them.
    In order to do that you need to set boundaries. You will check email 3 times a day. But there will be times when your IM is off. And during those times you won’t be answering your texts or phone. You MUST carve out time for YOU – and your family.
    Frank, we all love you and depend on you. But we also want the best for you. RARELY is an “emergency” truly that. Yes, it’s more important to that ONE client that you take care of them NOW – but it’s more important to ALL of us that you take care of YOU in the long run. Everything else can wait.
    FOCUS is my mantra for this year – can you tell?
    Jeanette

    • Frank Deardurff III on January 22, 2011 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks Jeannette, As you know from our platinum group sessions I have pared down my customer list. So now it’s just a matter of “focusing” and setting time to finish those products of mine that our 99.5% done. Oh and then Market them LOL.

      You are probably right, most of the issues are not “emergencies” all though there are some to me that I think need immediate attention. I’ve been trying to look at it, will it effect the sales of my client and go from there.

      Thanks for posting – and good look on your… hmm… what was it…. OH FOCUS 😉

  3. Jennifer Wortham on January 22, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Goodness! Tough Love Saturday!

    Jeanette and Mauricio are absolutely right. As long as you are in the mindset of “I want to do …, BUT…”, you will never do the things you want to do.

    Organizing and strategy are a must. There will always be fires. I’m on a Mac, and I use a program called OmniFocus. It is a miracle. It’s on my Mac, my iPhone, and my iPad, and it keeps the trains running on time. I don’t forget things anymore, so they don’t become fires. And the fires I do have are prioritized along with everything else. It’s awesome. I’ve never seen anything on PC that touches it, and as it comes on all of the above platforms, you could have just one of them and it would be a blessing. The whole thing is based on David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”, which I recommend everyone read.

    I know it’s a struggle not to live life as dictated by your inbox, but in the end, is that what will matter? Go love on those grandkids!

    Jennifer

    • Frank Deardurff III on January 22, 2011 at 10:52 pm

      Jennifer – thanks for posting, sometimes we all need some tough love and the way I look at it a true friend will tell you like it is especially when you need it the most so I appreciate those that have posted for their honesty and friendship.

      I tried reading “Getting Things Done” I couldn’t finish it. Don’t get me wrong it did have some good strategies but that system just would not work for me. It felt like I would spend more time trying to plan to get things done then to actually get things done. Maybe I’ll try it again sometime soon.

      Another good book to consider is from a friend Dave Lakhani – “The Power of an Hour”. He has some very good tips in that.

      Thanks Jennifer for taking the time out of your Saturday to post.

  4. Rachelle Anslyn on January 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Yes Frank, I relate. This January has been dedicated to systems and organizing. I can’t say how it will turn out as it hasn’t felt very successful as of yet! My creative side really doesn’t know how to follow a plan and I don’t know who will win 🙂 I think if I can be creatively productive…

    I did purchase 2 books last night and maybe they’ll be useful to you.
    “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity”
    David Allen
    “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles”

    Best of luck 🙂
    Rachelle

    • Frank Deardurff III on January 22, 2011 at 11:01 pm

      Rachelle, Thanks I will check out your post and I can relate to family moving out of the country. My daughter and her family moved to Germany end of last year we did get to have a 1 year party for my grand daughter before they left. Technology has been helpful in keeping in touch. Skype is pretty great for that you can even run it from the iPhone (hmm wondering if I had that on my iPhone app post). I do get to see my grandson a couple times a week.

      I wish you well on you January goal always a great way to start the year. For System planning you might check out some things from Jeannette’s site I think her name links to one of them.

      And I can relate to the creative side not wanting to follow. Seems like an idea is sparked everytime I look. I’m trying to keep my evernote open and jot ideas to go back to instead of loosing track on current project not always easy.

      Thanks for posting and good luck.

  5. Rachelle Anslyn on January 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I just saw Jennifer suggested the same book I’m getting 🙂

    Also about your grandkids… My last blog post is about that! My brothers’ family is moving out of the country TODAY, and my parents have been a daily part of my nieces lives. So it’s a sad day. Bittersweet as I am happy for them…

    For Grandpa INSPIRATION read…
    http://www.concentricbalance.com/2011/01/the-legacy-of-a-radiant-heart/

    Go give those kids a cuddle 🙂

  6. George Dooley on January 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Bud, Unless you put your priorities in Place nothing will change – Heck I’m still waiting for a call back from you 🙂 I’m not great at this however when I do schedule time away from the office – be it a networking event or teaching Skiing or kayaking it seem to insure That i focus on life not work. Heck, I remember many nights one of my friends IMing with my wife while I was attempting to sleep at 2:00AM and their spouse was doing the same – Oh I forgot, that was you. 🙂 Set the priorities first Wife, Grand Children, ME and then work. you’ll be in a better place. You’ll be amsazed that when you do set the priorities everything that NEEDS to get done does get done.

    • Frank Deardurff III on January 22, 2011 at 11:05 pm

      Hey Bud – I was driving when you called and then when I remembered it was late my apologies I’ll catch you this upcoming week. I think the number I have for you in my contacts has changed I only recognized the area code.

      hmm another one for the priorities I should really check into those!

      Thanks for posting – catch ya soon! REALLY

  7. Jerry Frederick on January 23, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I know I need help in this area. Seems to me in order to change ones behavior you would need to identify the patterns and tendencies that inhibit controlling ones day.

    Once you have identified the patterns and tendencies that are causing your problems, you need to “analyze” how to “alter” your unwanted behavior. Then implement the actual changes you have identified to control your activity during the day.

    Then, I think it would be very helpful to have a real person to report your positive activity and achievements too ( or even your failures). Kind of having a one-on-one “hotseat”.

  8. Nancy Boyd on January 24, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Hi Frank, All of the above comments are spot on 🙂 And I’d like to add one more perspective: What do you want?

    Sometimes conflicting intentions trip you up. You can want both to provide top level response to your clients AND to run an efficient business. They don’t HAVE to conflict, but they sometimes do. That’s when it helps to have a solid picture in your mind of the flow of your ideal day/week/month and overall business. What does success look and feel like to you?

    When you are clear about those things — which seem simple, but it’s amazing how we don’t really change our “picture” while our business grows or changes — then you can be flexible enough to get everything organized and operating the way you intend, without feeling pulled off base every second, or wishing you were doing one thing while doing something else.

    We’ve all been there. Each day we get another chance to get it right. Go for your BEST!

    And do please share what’s working for you as you make the changes you want 🙂

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