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The Wizard of Time. Monday July 10, 2017

In my forthcoming Time Management workshops, I can safely predict that participants will express a desire to:

· 'make more time'

· 'find more time' and

· 'get more time'

I used to make the mistake of correcting these as what I saw as misunderstanding of the nature of Time. I'd gently tease, "What, are you a Wizard? Can you create or make Time?" – in a good-humoured way, of course!

Then I'd look under the tables and chairs and explain that I was trying to find more time. On a good day, the attendees would laugh.

I suppose I could have opened my prop – a Pirate's Chest – and pretended to get more time out of it too – for Time really is one of the greatest treasures.

My point, even though it was in error, is that we could only 'Take Time' – by planning in advance and 'taking time aside' dedicated to what we wanted to achieve.

As with so many matters, I now have to eat humble pie and admit I'm wrong. You can make more time, you can find more time, and you can get more time – if you become a Wizard.

Today's blog is about sharing magic and becoming magicians and wizards together because I know that I know that I know that you have a ton of time-saving tips you've learned the hard way over the years. This is my invitation to share them!

Time is this wonderfully fair resource. The richest person on Earth has 168 hours a week to enjoy and the poorest person on Earth equally has 168 hours to invest. Time is no respecter of persons. The difference that makes a difference is our choices.

Wendy Cope captured this in her wonderfully perceptive poem: "Bloody Men!"


This means that making time, finding time, and getting more time comes down to decisions on what to do with our time – how to spend it – which bus to catch.

To open the time of sharing, these are the time-saving techniques I've applied over the years – techniques that have given me more time to spend on other activities.

1) Develop memory skills – so that I don't waste time looking for stuff, or letting people down forgetting things.

2) Learn to touch-type – this has changed the speed at which I can capture, edit, and the disseminate my thoughts with my friends like you!

3) Master Mind Mapping – those strange spider diagrams invented by Tony Buzan. I found that learning to structure my thinking with a Mind Map saved me so much time and stress that I almost bought the company (I became one of their trainers).

4) Get comfortable with saying, "No!" because saying, "Yes!" to anything really means saying, "No!" to something else – simply because there isn't enough time to do everything.

Would you share your tips and techniques too? I'd like to find, save, make, and get more time, and I hope you'll help!

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Marmaladegirl Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 6:51am

Just say "No" - to everything. Especially requests (especially requests for time saving techniques ;-) )!

Jane SG Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 7:24am

This made me smile Marmaladegirl :)

Lex Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 7:32am

Me too, Marmaladegirl - grinning is winning!

Anonymous Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 7:20am

Great post!

Lex Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 7:33am

Thanks, Anonymous, have a rewarding day!

Jane SG Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 7:26am

Simple - get up earlier, get to the office before anyone else and I get so much more done. However I may be creating more work by allowing more time to work. I know this isn't quite what you were looking for Lex!

Lex Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 7:35am

Actually, I'd say it's bang on point, Jane SG. It's the dilemma that faces so many of us - we become more efficient so, naturally, more work opportunities come out way, lol. Couple that with Marmaladegirl's "No!" and you and I will stay on top of our work AND have more time for what we want! Result. Mornings are my favourite time.

David Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 7:27am

Forget time management techniques if you enjoy and want to do something you will always find the TIME.

Lex Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 7:35am

Aint that the truth, David?! I've been thinking about the liberty that comes from doing things whole-heartedly...

Lex Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 7:37am

Hi Folks, if you're wondering what Time Management has to do with Moodscope, it comes from a personal challenge I have. Namely, if I feel under time pressure and cannot cope with my commitments, my mood plummets and I get really irritable. Then I don't sleep... I'm sure you can guess the rest! Thus, managing my commitments is absolutely essential to me managing my mood. Are you the same?

Lex Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 7:49am

...and I'd be as bold to say that when we're trying to cope, time-saving can be life-saving. So, give us a lift and help our souls soar like an eagle by sharing your tips... thank you!

Eva Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 7:56am

Delegate and outsource, and then accept what your husband/partner/freelancer/cleaner/employee provides (maybe you could have done it better but that's not the point!) you can do more/add to/embellish/leave as is as you see fit after...

Decide in blocks what is achievable today, make a priority list, and get on with it.

Relax about time, do what you can in the hours you have available.

Block out a wee bit of time once a day for social media and then step away from the time sicker!

Those are my top tips, with fatigue I have opted on days that I don't need to be up early to not set an alarm, I'm generally getting the sleep I need and am being more productive in the shorter time that I allow myself to work than I was previously, so although I have less time awake, it's better spent.

Interesting blog Lex.

Eva Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 8:11am

Oops meant that to be time sucker!

Eva Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 8:11am

Maybe time sicker is just as apt ;)

Lex Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 8:13am

Wonderful, Eva, wonderful... thank you! I hope you know the Wendy Cope poem too - that really summarises the conflicting interests of time and commitment and choice...

LP Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 8:03am

Hi Lex,
I guess less is more, not in terms of time, but in terms of stuff. So my 1 would be
Decluttering. Bain of my life as I've kept so much, but ever hopeful that I'll get to a point where the place is quick and easy to keep organised, freeing up more time to enjoy being in it!
2. There and then. We all know how it helps to do things straight away rather than leave them for the tomorrow that never seems to come! The burden of having it on my mind is worse than doing whatever it is. There and then has an energy to do it quickly and get it out of the way. The leave it till some other time seems to make it drag a lot of slowing with it.
3.Get ahead of the game. If you can do something in advance you free time up when the allocated time comes around.
4. Be prepared. Things just run more smoothly if you've thought it through and it's all set up .
5. Listen to your body. Be gentle with yourself and do what feels right for you.

I have to say that I'm not there by a long shot! I know these things, but writing them feels a bit working and I'd much rather relax about things, take it as it comes and take my time to do things rather than rush.
Getting a balance that works for each of us we're all so different.

Thanks for a great blog Lex. Better crack on! :)
LP xx

Lex Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 8:14am

Thank you so much, LP - great tips! xx

David Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 9:04am

I was a TMI disciple. I bought everything they had and oftem multiples of it. Then I discovered COVEY and the "Principle Centred" Leadership and Time Management "First things First". It was a step change from TMI (too much info - I ended up calling Time Mgt International)! So I apply everything to the Covey Magic Quadrant and even have it glued on a card on my desk. I used to climb a lot of trees but soon found myself in the wrong forest each time. Now I spend a lot more time thinking before executing ...but executing much more efficiently. The "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" has become one of the few books on my shelf.

Lex Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 4:45pm

That's a great endorsement, David, and one I'd echo. Time to share the rocks, and pebbles, and sand, and... story?

Wyvern Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 10:19am

My most crucial time-saver and stress-reducer is the old-fashioned 'a place for everything and everything in its place'. So I don't have to spend time looking for things because I can't remember where I last left them. Many things at home (if OH hasn't moved them!) I can find in the dark or just by feeling into the cupboard where they are... I hate wasting time by having to go and ask him, 'do you know where the Thing is?'

Wyvern Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 10:22am

Leah, I have left another comment on your Friday blog :-)

Lex Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 4:52pm

Thanks Wyvern! I had a sudden vision of being able to find the pots and pans in the cupboard I can't see into! I so agree!

Julie Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 10:37am

When I was working at a busy ITU as a nurse I loved honing my time management skills. Correctly estimating how long each job would take and planning ahead were crucial and I found I was actually always one step ahead of myself which gave space for emergencies. I still think planning is key and being realistic about how much time things take is vital, and concentration on project at hand without getting distracted gets the job done.

Lex Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 4:46pm

Thanks for those key tips, Julie - I'd like to avoid time slippage on my promises to others!

The Gardener Mon, Jul 10th 2017 @ 6:16pm

Absolutely disorganised day - not like me - week-end was deliberately social - but taking 3 people to get Mr G in a car or chair when we go out takes the shine off. Cardinal rule all my life - like Jane SG above? Get up early, and know what you are doing. Mr G's birthday, and he's going SO downhill - thinks I am his mother (feel old enough) is his father still alive (Mr G 87 today). I still try my old format - did it with young babies and now with Mr G - making sure important things done when you can concentrate. Like Julie's format, above. I am going to make a HUGE effort to do the 'everything in its right place' so tomorrow starts 'clean' - and AVOID tennis on TV - quite easy, Mr G hates tennis and hates me watching TV, so don't waste time with that. I've mentioned before here - a course on Personal Time Management run by the then Agricultural Training Board - for a week we had to keep a time-sheet of EVERYTHING we did, and how long for. Shattering how much time you spend dithering, inertia, on the phone, and that was before social media existed! In our job Time and Motion were vital.

Melanie Tue, Jul 11th 2017 @ 1:31pm

Live by "First things first"; Slow down and stay conscious so don't lose time clearing up messes. X

Silvia Thu, Jul 13th 2017 @ 6:02pm

Hi Lex, this is one of my favourite themes! But, sorry, I could not post.
There is another one I remember.

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