10/30/18

"I can never work under a boss again"

When Evelien was young she didn't want to have her own company. She saw how hard her parents worked in theirs.

Now she is a business owner since several years and she doesn't think she could ever work under a boss again.

Listen to her story in this interview



For more information about the Timefinder package that helped Evelien beat her habit of procrastination, click here.


10/23/18

You can run but you can't rush

"Sometimes I l am late when I go and pick up my daughter from day care. Then I run. I enjoy running. I make sure I don't feel stressed though. If I am  stressed I just transfer my stress to her."
I was very happy when I heard one of my Holistic Time Management program members say this. It indicates a good understanding of the holistic part. You don't only manage your time, you look at the whole when doing so.

For many there is a connection between running and rushing. Between being fast and being stressed.

Trust me. There is no such connection. Unless we create it.

When I lead one of my first major projects, many asked me:
"Annika, how can you be so calm?"
It was as if I was supposed to be stressed since the project risked delaying production start for a new car model. This is very costly and I was aware of that. I also knew that stress would make it worse - not better.

A few projects later I went into the room of a colleague and asked him about something that my project needed. He picked up the phone and called someone else. When talking to the other person he turned to me. When he saw I had taken a seat in his office he said:

"Yes, it seems to be really important because Annika is actually sitting down."

It took me a while to understand that this meant that I normally was up and about, moving from one place to another to do whatever it took to get my project where it needed to be. I was always on the move. So when I sat down I showed I wasn't going anywhere until I had received what I came for.

Many get surprised about how I can get so much done, yet be so calm.
There is no contradiction.
Actually there is a connection.

 I get a lot done not despite being calm - but because I stay calm.

Speed and stress are only connected if you connect them.

Don't be afraid of speed, just make sure you keep stress out of the picture.




The basket ball coach John Wooden expressed it very well when he said:
Be quick, but never hurry.

10/9/18

Don't hide behind your high standards

"I am not sure anyone even reads my status reports."
I was talking to my mentor, airing my frustration about the time I spent writing status reports I wasn't sure were read.
"Next time, prepare your report, but don't send it. Send the old one. If anyone says something about it you can just go "Oh, I attached the wrong one" and then you send the latest. If no one notices - well then you know it is not worth your time and effort to write them anymore."
I followed my mentor's advice. It turned out that my report, one of many in a large multi-site project, was not read.

When I talk to people who want to find more time in their everyday lives, many tell me they are perfectionists. They have high standards and are unable to do all the things they want to do, since they want to do each thing very well.



I understand the feeling. I also believe in high standards and always doing your job in a way that makes you proud.

There is only one catch:
Not every task is worth your highest ambition level.
I often refer to the expression:
"Whatever's worth doing, is worth doing well."
This should not be confused with "whatever you are asked to do is worth doing well."

There are times, like in my example above, when we are asked to do things that are not worth our time and effort. In an ideal world we shouldn't do them at all. But at times, refusing to do them may have consequences you are not willing to take.

That is when it is time to look beyond your high standards. Look beyond them and adjust your ambition level to the task at hand.

If you want to do everything at the same ambition level, maybe you can fit in 10 great things in your glass of time. If you adjust your ambition level to the task, maybe you can fit in 13.

The choice is yours.

Don't hide behind your high standards and say "you don't have time" to do more than you do today.

When you make conscious decisions about what to do and how well to do it, you have taken a big step towards mastering your time. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.

10/2/18

What makes you think you know?


Why do ticks even exist?

Peter Wohlleben describes in his book The inner life of animals,  how he - to his surprise - often gets this question.



As a dog - and cat owner, I do not like ticks. They are annoying, they spread diseases and I find them gross. But I am as surprised as Peter about the question.
Just because we do not know what value or purpose a tick has in this complex universe, doesn't mean it doesn't have one.
The same is applicable for unexpected events in our lives.

Many things happen during a lifetime. Extraordinary things, small ordinary things.  Some events we love, others we hate. When life changes in a way we did not want or expect, we often wonder:

Why did this happen to me?

Why is life so unfair?

Why can life never go according to plan?

These questions lead nowhere. Remember:
Just because you don't know why something happens in your life, doesn't mean it doesn't have value. 
We don't have to like everything that happens. And we for sure don't need to like ticks. But when we think that a certain animal does not have value, or that life is no good if it turns out differently than we had expected, we make the universe and life smaller than they are.

Let's not limit the wonders of universe and life by our current understanding.

There is so much we haven't understood yet, so much left to learn.

Isn't that an inspiring thought?