Real Life Time Management Scenario #8 –  I feel that I must read newspapers before I can recycle them.  I don’t put my subscription on hold when I go out of town.  So then I have a ton of papers to go through when I get back, along with the new ones.  I feel that I might be missing something that I should or would want to know about.  Then I feel that I can’t read other material such as books or newsletters that I would like to read.  I know logically that there isn’t enough time in a day or a month (or longer) to read everything that I would like to read – so much to read & not enough time.”

If you’ve been following my posts this month – you know that I’m tackling real life time management scenarios all month long.  If you have missed a previous post – be sure to check out any that apply to YOUR life.

  • “This may sound ridiculous, but I’m so busy, I don’t even have time to read about time management techniques, let alone practice them.”
  • “I’ll look into streamlining my schedule a few weeks from now when I have a little more time.”
  • “When I’m trying to reach a goal, I track my progress on notes of paper that I keep all over the house, and my system is taking me more time than it saves me.”
  • “I want to take steps to use my time better, but I when I slip up I get down on myself.  It’s hard to keep putting the effort in.”
  •  “I’m working hard to use my time better and make progress towards my goals, but it’s sort of a lonely process, and I think it would be more inspiring if I had people encouraging me and noticing the small successes.”
  • “I have a great idea, but I don’t know where to start, and the project is floundering. I will probably give it up and just keep on with my regular routine.”
  • “I set my goal and detailed my daily action steps, but the demands of the day always take precedence and real progress continues to elude me.”

The key to this scenario is “so much to read and not enough time”.  Exactly!  We could read 24 / 7 / 365 and still not consume every written word!!!  (Plus, when would we sleep!)

If you find yourself embroiled in this dilemma – I suggest start to build awareness around your reading expectations.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. If I had unlimited time, what would I want to read?  By answering this question, you can start identify the different types of publications you WANT to read.
  2. What knowledge am I hoping to gain by reading?  (This answer may change based on WHAT the publication is)  Are you reading for pleasure?  To implement new business strategies?  To keep up with current events?  By answering this question, you can start to gain an understanding of your purpose.
  3. If you read everything in #1, how long would it take each day?  (By answering this question, you can start to figure out how long it would take you to read EVERYTHING!)
  4. If I only had 15 minutes each day, what would I read?  By answering this question, you can start to prioritize.
  5. What am I willing to give up on a daily / weekly / monthly basis to read the items I identified in #1?  (By answering this question, you can continue to prioritize.)

Now that you are starting to build some awareness around your reading habit, create a plan.

  • How much time is reasonable to spend reading?
  • What publications and topics make the cut?
  • Determine when “reading time” is.

Then – eliminate the other publications.

(If you leave them around, you will only feel guilty about not reading them!)

Be sure to stop back as I tackle Real Life Scenario #9 – “I’ve heard about the 80/20 Rule, but I’m not sure how I can apply that to my daily life more productive.”

image provided by pixtawan/

Your turn!  How do you “keep up” with your reading?  What other time management challenges do you have?  Please share!

Would you like to join my supportive environment?  We will tackle real life time management scenarios such as this and more!  The Motivated for Action Group Coaching Experience starts soon.  Here you can be a group with like minded individuals striving to create change!

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