The Client-centred Blog

Better time management – is this ever the real issue?

A while back I did some coaching work with a client who came to me with what she thought of as a ‘time management issue’.

She described her situation to me and I remarked that she did indeed have the fullest schedule I can ever remember seeing!

In one week, she had something like 28 client meetings booked in and the next 6 weeks (which was how long she booked ahead) looked very similar.

Although her situation was unique to her, time management can often be seen as the problem when, in fact, the deeper issue is something else altogether.

The conventional approach to time management is a linear approach to a non-linear problem.

Let me explain…

In the linear world time management is about taking control, better processes, being organised, priority management, dealing with e-mail better, etc.

I am certainly not discounting the value of these things but are they what make people successful?

I read in a recent article on time management that…

‘The highest achievers manage their time exceptionally well.’

So, do people such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Warren Buffet build business empires because they are better at time management than most other people?

Or is something else going on?

There is an intelligence built into all human beings that will guide us through life. The more we are aligned with this intelligence the more we thrive and live in ‘flow’.

We all have unlimited capacity for new, creative thinking and to live in rich, satisfying feelings.

But when we get scared, anxious, insecure etc. we lose sight of this intelligence and our thinking gets constricted.

As my client and I explored what was driving her behaviour she began to realise the amount of insecure thinking she had around money.

How it looked to her (in the state of mind she was in) was that she had to keep ploughing on, bringing in as much money as she could even though she was completely overloaded.

She was afraid to change the system (e.g. do less work for higher fees) because on one level what she was doing was working for her.

The fork in the road

Down one fork is to try and fix what you perceive as the problem by applying mind management techniques or external fixes. This may work; but often doesn’t.

Down the other fork is realising the fact that your thinking is the only source of your experience and that the potential to think again is ever present.

Our feelings give us the heads up on the quality of our thinking. The more we over-think, feel tense or insecure the less reliable our thinking becomes.

This is all we need to realise because the mind will clear itself – this is inherent in the design.

As soon as my client saw this for herself, she was amazed and thrilled at how she stopped struggling and intuitively saw what she needed to do. Apart from reducing her schedule and putting up her fees, she re-engineered her business in many other beneficial ways too.

To me, the most important thing of all was that she learned to listen to and respect her own inner wisdom.

There is a beautiful simplicity in this, and it is only ever one thought away…

John Dashfield

John Dashfield spent 14 years as a self-employed adviser. Since 2006 he has been a coach, mentor and author helping advisers create transformations in their business and personal lives.



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