My #1 Tip for How to Overcome “I just don’t have time to learn”

Real people.  Real time management challenges.  Real strategies.  Easy to implement solutions.  Getting into the nitty gritty every day details of time management is my focus for the month.  I’m excited about this focus – as I’m a huge believer in taking action – and I envision a lot of opportunities for action takers this month!!!!!

Real Scenario #1:  “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.”

My thoughts:  So many of us have “super busy” lives where we prioritize the urgent over the important on a regular basis.  Whether our goal is to learn how to be more effective and efficient with our time, or learn how to connect with potential clients on LinkedIn, or learn how to give a “knock ’em dead” presentation, or (insert your goal here!!!)  . . . there just “never seems to be enough time left over at the end of the day” to do these “non-urgent” tasks.

We know that in the long run, devoting time to these activities will be beneficial . . . but how can we possibly find the time to fit these tasks into our daily schedule?

There are a number of strategies that my clients have used successfully.  However, my #1 Tip is to schedule 15 minutes for this task at the beginning of your day.

Let’s talk about the important pieces of this strategy.

  • Schedule – by blocking of time in your calendar you will make this a priority.
  • 15 Minutes – when you focus 15 minutes a day for 2 weeks and you have devoted over 2.5 hours learning a new skill.   This is the equivalent of a book, 2 webinars / podcasts, or 10 blog posts.
  • Beginning of Your Day – Before email.  Before “emergencies”. Before every one “needs a piece” of you.

Once we can devote a small chunk of time to learning time management skills, or LinkedIn, or presentation strategies, or (insert your goal here!!) we are able to move closer to achieving our goals.  We are able to be proactive.  We are now making choices – instead of letting our day “get away from us”.

I’m curious – what strategies do you use when you want to do something “important” and your day is filled with emergencies?  Please share below!

Be sure to check back all month for real life challenges and solutions.  Next, I’ll tackle Real Scenario #2 – “I’ll look into streamlining my schedule a few weeks from now when I have a little more time.”

Intrigued by this suggestion – but want some other options?  Then I invite you to attend my monthly time mangement teleseminar.  This month, we will be focusing on

The Power of Focus: You Can Learn to Choose the Right Tasks at the Right Time to Change Your Life.

.  Registration is limited – so I urge you to reserve your spot today.  

 

 

 

 

 

2016-12-07T20:00:48+00:00 By |Calendars, Prioritizing|61 Comments

61 Comments

  1. Ken Weliever July 2, 2014 at 3:38 PM - Reply

    Lisa, I like your strategies. I have found it’s effective to use the Franklin Day Planner to prioritize my daily tasks. Have a great month!
    Ken Weliever recently posted…GREAT VERSES OF THE BIBLE Philippians 4:13My Profile

  2. Yani Ransome
    Twitter:
    July 2, 2014 at 4:14 PM - Reply

    Hi Lisa,
    I really like the simple 1-2-3 of this post.
    Take a chunk of time every day and get it done.
    I know scheduling things in is important and it is one of the challenges I am seducing for success.
    I do use the blocking of time (occasionally) and when implemented I found it to be very helpful.
    I find setting a timer can help me not waste focus time also.
    Thanks for sharing and reminding me to make the time by making it a scheduled priority.

    • Lisa Mallis July 2, 2014 at 4:31 PM - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by, Yani! I also find that when I schedule I tend to accomplish more. I work with a greater sense of urgency, plus I “know what I need to do next”! Timers are great – which type do you use? Your phone? The computer? . . .
      Lisa Mallis recently posted…My #1 Tip for How to Overcome My Profile

  3. Sherri Hayter July 2, 2014 at 4:19 PM - Reply

    Hi Lisa,
    Love the idea of taking that 15 minutes first thing. Oftentimes I think we get overwhelmed with how much there is to do that we forget that minutes put together add up to hours add up to days and on and on. I love the song “put one foot in front of the other” from the Rudolph cartoon, that’s all we need to do!
    Sherri Hayter recently posted…Driving Past BeautyMy Profile

    • Lisa Mallis July 2, 2014 at 4:33 PM - Reply

      Sherri

      Exactly – 15 minutes all week is over an hour!!! We are in control of our destiny – we just need to remember AND plan for it! Love that song, by the way! Thanks for stopping by!

      Lisa
      Lisa Mallis recently posted…My #1 Tip for How to Overcome My Profile

  4. Minette
    Twitter:
    July 2, 2014 at 8:45 PM - Reply

    I love this perspective on time management. Your tips are spot on. I am a big fan of time blocking and use this with my coaching clients who say they don’t have time for marketing! Stopping by from UBC – shared on Twitter, too.
    Minette recently posted…Mix and Match Marketing Plans for Creative EntrepreneursMy Profile

  5. Kristina July 3, 2014 at 6:46 AM - Reply

    I like the 15 minutes a day suggestion. There is a home management blogger out there called FlyLady and she emphasizes that you can do anything for 15 minutes. One way I get more learning in is to listen to blogging and genealogy podcasts while driving, cleaning house and cooking.
    Kristina recently posted…President Cleveland’s Secret SurgeryMy Profile

    • Lisa Mallis July 3, 2014 at 8:48 AM - Reply

      Kristina

      I love that you are able to listen (and comprehend) blog posts while driving, cleaning house, and cooking. I find that I struggle to retain info unless I can take notes . . . so I’m always jealous of people like you that can do both at the same time!!!! I appreciate your comment!

      Lisa
      Lisa Mallis recently posted…My #1 Tip for How to Overcome My Profile

  6. Dawn Teresa
    Twitter:
    July 3, 2014 at 8:20 PM - Reply

    You are correct that it’s all about priorities. If something is important to me, I’ll schedule it on my calendar. If I don’t schedule workouts and plan ahead when it’s raining, hot, etc, they won’t happen. I rely on several things to survive: Lists, sticky notes, email reminders, etc. I try to review each morning at the beginning of the business day and again at the end of the day. And I make my lists according to priority of what I’d like to accomplish, while thinking about best strategy to get it done.
    Dawn Teresa recently posted…Kids Corner: Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer CholdenkoMy Profile

    • Lisa Mallis July 7, 2014 at 6:36 AM - Reply

      Dawn –

      Love your multi-step plan! The exercise piece hits home with me . . . on the weekends when my day is much more unstructured, I tend not to schedule my workouts . . . and then find I’m scrambling to fit them in at the end of the day. But, when I schedule – I do them! Thanks for commenting!

      Lisa
      Lisa Mallis recently posted…Start Today to Streamline Your ScheduleMy Profile

  7. […] the last post of this series, I addressed “This may sound ridiculous, but I’m so busy, I don’t even have time to read about time manage…  Be sure to check it out an leave a comment if you haven’t […]

  8. Clara @NotreCharme
    Twitter:
    July 7, 2014 at 10:13 AM - Reply

    I love this tip Lisa! I scheduled my French lessons !

  9. Delia @ Blog Formatting
    Twitter:
    July 7, 2014 at 4:35 PM - Reply

    Ahh, I love this tip, Lisa! 15 min at the beginning of Your Day – Before email. Before “emergencies”. Before every one “needs a piece” of you. I resonate with the last sentence a lot, haha!
    Delia recently posted…5 ways to grow your email list with your blogMy Profile

    • Lisa Mallis July 7, 2014 at 5:30 PM - Reply

      Delia

      Distractions can be so, well, distracting! lol!! So carving out 15 minutes BEFORE the “normal” distractions can be key to getting “stuff” accomplished! Thanks for stopping by, Delia!
      Lisa Mallis recently posted…Start Today to Streamline Your ScheduleMy Profile

  10. Holly Matson July 7, 2014 at 5:08 PM - Reply

    I too love the idea of first thing (before other distractions – I CAN come first!) and only 15 minutes – a manageable amount of time. I won’t feel like I’m taking time away from my clients by doing that. And yes, I know that’s a backwards way of thinking about it LOL!

  11. Lisa
    Twitter:
    July 8, 2014 at 5:27 PM - Reply

    LOVE the 15 minute regroup idea. When I do this, it helps me tremendously. Great post Lisa, keep up the good work
    Lisa recently posted…Homemade BBQ Bean RecipeMy Profile

  12. […] the previous posts in this series, I addressed “This may sound ridiculous, but I’m so busy, I don’t even have time to read about time manage…  and “I’ll look into streamlining my schedule a few weeks from now when I have a little […]

  13. […] may sound ridiculous, but I’m so busy, I don’t even have time to read about time management techniques, let alone practice […]

  14. […] may sound ridiculous, but I’m so busy, I don’t even have time to read about time management techniques, let alone practice […]

  15. […] may sound ridiculous, but I’m so busy, I don’t even have time to read about time management techniques, let alone practice […]

  16. Nela Dunato
    Twitter:
    July 23, 2014 at 12:30 PM - Reply

    I use the same principle for finding time for meditation.
    It has to come first thing in the morning, before work or e-mail, otherwise it simply doesn’t get done. The cumulative power of 15 minutes a day is huge, yet people tend to underestimate it…
    Nela Dunato recently posted…How to price your art — Demystifying the art pricing process for beginnersMy Profile

    • Lisa Mallis July 24, 2014 at 8:29 AM - Reply

      Nela

      Great example! I’m finding the same with doing my core exercises. 15 minutes each day adds up – and it is NOT the same as trying to do an hour 2 times a week. It’s like the saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away, not 7 apples a day”. Thanks for stopping by!

      Lisa
      Lisa Mallis recently posted…You Can Overcome the Urgent Demands of Your DayMy Profile

  17. Stephana Johnson July 23, 2014 at 1:01 PM - Reply

    I use Ben Franklin’s 13 week focus – so I have numerous projects but I focus in blocks of 1 week at a time. The basics that MUST get done are there and definitely from important versus urgent. Also, I begin with my end in mind around my values – if it doesn’t align with my values – why is it even in my radar! I love the work you are doing here!

  18. Leanne Chesser
    Twitter:
    July 23, 2014 at 3:19 PM - Reply

    For me, what works is to set my vision for the year and then create my monthly, weekly and daily actions based on that vision. That way, my goals and actions get me where I want to go. And then I schedule that stuff in my calendar. There’s room for change and re-evaluation and there’s flexibility . . . and screw ups 🙂 . . . but generally this is how it goes. So, if I want or need to learn something, it’s definitely scheduled in.
    Leanne Chesser recently posted…Be Yourself: It’s Sexy as FuckMy Profile

  19. Amelie July 23, 2014 at 3:34 PM - Reply

    i like rotating whats important. I might have many important routine, so instead of doing everyone of them every day. I can rotate them. That feels less overwhelming for me.
    Amelie recently posted…Letting Go of StuffMy Profile

    • Lisa Mallis July 24, 2014 at 8:19 AM - Reply

      Great idea, Amelie! My “morning routine” would take 3.5 hours to complete each day . . . so I break the tasks up to different days . . . otherwise, my morning would easily bleed into my afternoon!

      Lisa
      Lisa Mallis recently posted…You Can Overcome the Urgent Demands of Your DayMy Profile

  20. Natalie Heath July 23, 2014 at 3:49 PM - Reply

    Fantastic piece of advice, scheduling it at the start of the day is such a good idea because otherwise you’ll get too busy and it won’t get done. Thank you for sharing this. x

  21. Jane Lovas
    Twitter:
    July 23, 2014 at 3:49 PM - Reply

    This idea is so powerful. Little steps taken consistently create big results.

    Thanks for sharing.

    -jane
    Jane Lovas recently posted…How to Write a Vision StatementMy Profile

  22. Veronica
    Twitter:
    July 23, 2014 at 3:58 PM - Reply

    I Love this Lisa!
    One of my most defeating times of the week is when I don’t actually plan my days correctly …and when you do that …time can be stolen from you. This is absolutely fantastic!

  23. Ruzica
    Twitter:
    July 23, 2014 at 4:28 PM - Reply

    Great tips Lisa! Especially prioritizing by importance and blocking of 15 min before everyone ‘needs a piece of you.’ Lol, so true. Schedule and show up for what’s important! 🙂

    Ruzica Kozul
    LOA Life Coach
    Ruzica recently posted…How to Transform Limiting BeliefsMy Profile

  24. Diane Allen July 23, 2014 at 4:41 PM - Reply

    Hey Lisa!
    I’ve used a lot of these techniques and they truly have saved my sanity! However, some days I purposely plan to have “loose” and go with the flow – but aware of the difference between “urgent” & “Important” even on flow days makes a difference!
    Smiles! Diane

  25. Henry Matlock
    Twitter:
    July 23, 2014 at 4:56 PM - Reply

    Lisa, I\’m all about getting rid of excuses. Love this post. Actionable and simple. 15 minutes and Done!

    Henry
    ——–
    Henry Matlock
    The Writer Re-Igniter
    henrymatlock.com
    Henry Matlock recently posted…The Author’s Best Friend (aka What You Can Learn from the NFL Draft)My Profile

  26. Kimberley Wiggins
    Twitter:
    July 23, 2014 at 5:10 PM - Reply

    Great tips, I have always managed my time that way. I am a conscientious type on the DISC scale so I am very detailed oriented that way. That has always been a major thing for me.
    Kimberley Wiggins recently posted…Niche To Be RichMy Profile

  27. Denise Toffey
    Twitter:
    July 23, 2014 at 5:14 PM - Reply

    Lisa this is so doable. I love the 15 minutes scheduled right into my schedule. I\’ll be using this technique for other things as well. Denise S. Toffey

  28. Leslie Hassler
    Twitter:
    July 23, 2014 at 5:24 PM - Reply

    What a great simple way to break it down for everyone. I share to remember that we all have the same 24 hours to work with. And usually when you say that you ‘don’t have time’ it usually means you are choosing not to make time for it. That’s fine if it is the case, but more often it is because you are choosing to spend time on things that don’t serve you. I always challenge myself when I say I don’t have time. Is it really true? Is what I’m spending time on benefiting me? Suddenly things gain a lot of clarity!

    Leslie Hassler
    Business Strategist | Time Leverage Stickler | The Queen of Healthy Boundaries
    http://www.yourbizrules.com

    • Lisa Mallis July 24, 2014 at 7:48 AM - Reply

      Hi Leslie

      Thanks for stopping by! I teach my clients “it’s choice management, not time management”. I use the same strategy with money. I no longer say “I can’t afford that” instead I say “I choose not to spend my money on that”. Proactive!!!

      Lisa
      Lisa Mallis recently posted…You Can Overcome the Urgent Demands of Your DayMy Profile

  29. Renae
    Twitter:
    July 23, 2014 at 6:19 PM - Reply

    Wonderful post! Short, sweet, now I just need to get it implemented! HaHaHa
    Definitely a good suggestion and one that I will share.
    Renae recently posted…Who Teaches Our Kids to Manage Money?My Profile

  30. Peggy McAloon July 23, 2014 at 9:20 PM - Reply

    Thanks Lisa. I work so hard to prioritize and then 20 new emails hit and I get sidetracked. I have decided to prioritize the ‘experts’ and remove those things completely that do not provide extremely high value. Part of the issue today for many of us is that we don’t want to be rude. As a classic example: I was gone all day, but I love PJ’s activities, so here I am, long after everyone else has gone, trying to get through the list when I should be going to bed. We all need to learn to make better decisions on our use of time. Thank you for a very “Timely” article!
    Peggy McAloon recently posted…End of Summer National Book Club: Clean Indie ReadsMy Profile

    • Lisa Mallis July 24, 2014 at 7:22 AM - Reply

      Peggy – thank you for your comment! I believe the key to success is “choice management” not “time management”. You are totally on the right track with removing things that don’t provide high value. Then, set your boundaries! I also was unable to participate during the Power Hour, so I decided 1) reply to all comments left on my blog 2) read and comment on those that commented on my blog and 3) if time allowed (and I chose to use 1 hour only!!) pick other posts to read that were high on my interest list.

      lisa
      Lisa Mallis recently posted…You Can Overcome the Urgent Demands of Your DayMy Profile

  31. Sarah Arrow
    Twitter:
    July 24, 2014 at 2:56 AM - Reply

    Love your strategies! Wish I’d found them last week before I schedule a new employee an hour every morning to read a book. If you make the time it happens and as your post demonstrates, a little a day becomes a book in a fortnight!
    Sarah Arrow recently posted…Marketing: What Makes People Buy?My Profile

    • Lisa Mallis July 24, 2014 at 7:11 AM - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by, Sarah! You can start now (hint, hint) just look at your first open morning (or afternoon or evening) and schedule the time in. Eventually you will be able to get your schedule the way you want it! Check out the post I reference below for more info!
      Lisa Mallis recently posted…Start Today to Streamline Your ScheduleMy Profile

  32. Nelda July 28, 2014 at 9:41 AM - Reply

    OK, Lisa, you nailed me! I had to laugh, because I never seem to have time for learning better time mgmt because I’m off to the races on build a program, getting to that LinkedIn group, etc.

    Thank you for your simple tips. Yes, first thing and then it’s done. Great read.

  33. […] may sound ridiculous, but I’m so busy, I don’t even have time to read about time management techniques, let alone practice them.”  Strategy – 15 minutes a […]

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