Time Management Expert, Event Speaker: Mark Lamendola

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Time Tips: Learn to Relax

We hear all the time about hard-driving people, as though they are the ones who accomplish everything. When I introduce myself as a time management speaker, people are often curious because I don't seem at all anxious. I don't even wear a watch. But that's precisely because I manage my time.

Here's my advice: Learn to relax. This seems counterintuitive. But, what happens when you are rattled?

A customer contacted me about a purchase her boss wanted her to make for two people in her department. She didn't take the time to read three lines of instruction for ordering that product. But, at least she e-mailed me. I e-mailed her back, then called her.

I tried to walk her through this simple procedure, but she kept jumping ahead of me. Because we had to keep emptying the shopping cart and starting over, this 40 second process took about 5 and a half minutes.

Then, she e-mailed me later asking me to e-mail her a receipt. The system sends receipts out automatically, but she tried to print hers out and accidentally deleted it. To "save time,' she has her e-mail client set such that deleted items are gone for good. She asked me to snail mail her a paper copy, and I told her that was very time consuming. I e-mailed her a replacement copy.

Her problem is she's got too many demands on her time. So, she works frantically to keep up. My advice to her would be to slow down and work at her capacity. This way, she won't spend time fixing mistakes. I have been in her mode many times, myself. I have to stop and realize that's what I'm doing, then correct my behavior.

If you find you are doing things over, following up to correct mistakes, following up with "oh, I forget to tell you" messages, overlooking key information, or making other "I'm rushed" mistakes, then you need to stop what you are doing. Get up, walk around, take a breath. Yes, this takes up time. But, it relaxes you. Then, return to what you are doing and ask yourself what is the most urgent item you need to do. Do it, while ignoring the rest. If you can't decide which item is most urgent, just pick one at random (or alphabetically, if you prefer).

Then, move to the next most urgent item. Repeat this until all of the urgent items are completed. Of course, not all urgent items may be doable at the moment--perhaps you need a resource you are waiting for, or you need to reach a particular person.

Once you have completed the urgent items, ask yourself (or your boss, as the case may be) which of the remaining items is most important. That is, which item will provide the most benefit or prevent the most pain if you do it. After you do it, move on to the next.

Yes, you'll have a queue of items waiting to be done. So be it. You can do only so much. The rest will just have to wait.

Just remember, if you try to work too fast, you end up working half-fast. Say this out loud: "I will not work too fast, because doing so results in half-fast work."

Now you get the picture.



Do you want to radically improve how well people in your organization make use of the limited number of hours in each work day?

Contact me to arrange a time when we can talk about a presentation: mark@mindconnection.com. Why arrange a time? So I can give you full attention during the call. There's a really powerful time management tip. Ask me why it works.