Article on Time Management
How to get results without working so hard
Are you sick of trying so hard? You put a heaps of time and effort only to find you don't get the results you want, or your boss, partner, mother/father wants.
Are you feeling under paid and overworked (and this applies to you business owners as well!) Sometimes it is possible your effort to try hard actually makes things more difficult. Then this article on time management and trying easier will interest you.
How is it possible that trying harder can make things more difficult?
I first came across this concept when I was involved in elite sport. Top sports people, coaches and sports psychologists know that there is a point at which an athlete tries too hard and their performance actual gets worse.
When we started coaching executives I looked at whether the same principle could apply. And I found it did. Over and over again.
It's fascinating and very rewarding to help people see that they can get the results they want by actually trying easier.
The best way to explain this is to use a story. I am borrowing this one from Aesop.
The Sun and the Wind were talking and being caught up in the competitive world we live in they were arguing about who was more powerful. They decided to create a challenge to prove which one of them was more powerful.
Just then a man came walking along the road they decided to see who could make the man remove his coat, thus proving whether the Sun or the Wind was the more powerful.
The Wind took up the challenge first. He decided he could blow the jacket right off the man. Wind can be very powerful as you may have seen in storms or tornados. The wind began to blow. He blew as hard, then harder and harder at the man, trying to get him to remove his coat.
But the more the wind blew, the more the man clung to his coat and hat, and the wind had to give up.
Next the sun gave it a try and turned up his rays so it began to warm up. As the day grew brighter and the man grew warmer, he naturally found it too hot to keep his coat on and was happy to take it off.
The key point behind the story is that trying harder to do something that is not working, will not all of a sudden make it work. And that is the point we want to reinforce in this article on Time Management.
Here is another way to look at this. Imagine you are in Sydney Australia with you rental car and you have a map of Auckland New Zealand. You get in the car heading for a meeting and just can't work out the directions. You call your boss and she says, You are not concentrating. Get your self together and try harder. Work it out. And get here quickly!
Will trying harder be useful when you have the wrong map? Of course not!
When you push yourself to "try harder" you trying to force a round peg into a square hole.
When you force the process, you are pushing against what I call the natural flow. You don't see or sense things clearly. Your body becomes stressed and operates under fight or flight mode. This is a survival state. It is not the state you want to be in to produce high performance (unless there is a real chance you might die in the situation).
Trying easier is about detaching from the result AND the method.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the day to day we go in to trying harder automatically and we don't see what we are doing. This is when having a friend, mentor or coach who can help you become aware of your trying too hard state is very valuable.
This is especially important if you are involved in managing or selling to people.
People resist being told, pushed or coerced into anything. In your try harder state you can push others to do or buy, but usually the more you push, the more they resist.
Where in your life right now could you be trying easier?
Time Management Exercises:
In the next 24 hours, take some time to reflect, reread this article on time management and ask yourself:
In what areas in my life am I trying very hard and not getting the results I expect?
In what way might you be pushing hard to go fast in your business, only to spin your wheels?
How often do you feel as if "I should" or "I must" in your business? Take note of exactly when you feel like this?
If you could make your own rules, what would you stop doing?
More Time Management Articles
How to Stop Procrastinating
When is busy activity worse than doing nothing? Effective Time Management Skills
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