Life management became the focus of my live interview on the LA radio show “Ask Brien.” This business-focused show turned into a life coaching episode as the topic of time management easily and quickly moved into life management. Check out the full interview below.
The host asked me to define and talk about time management, especially for new entrepreneurs struggling to grow a new business while balancing their personal lives. I believe that time management consists of taking a holistic picture of what’s happening in the present moment, therefore time management is akin to life management. Time management is focusing on ways to get done what needs to now while planning for the next task.
Time management, like life management, is most effective when you approach your tasks and day with a sense of reasonable expectations. If your expectations of what and when you can accomplish tasks are unreasonable, you’re going to set yourself up for failure. The problem is you’re going to end up at the end of that day saying, not only did I not accomplish what I wanted to, but because I didn’t meet my expectations, there’s something wrong with me. This way of thinking will lead you into a downward spiral of negativity. Yet in reality, there might not be anything wrong with your approach except having too high of expectations which were totally unreasonable.
How does one create reasonable expectations? Well, you really have to get honest with yourself and figure out what you can realistically accomplish and stick to that. Often, especially with entrepreneurs who are starting out doing their own business, it’s a one-person show; they don’t have a team. Therefore, you get into the mindset that I’ve got to do everything by myself. So everything becomes a priority. So as not to burn out you really have to figure out what it is you can and can’t do.
Be honest with yourself about what you know, what you’re good at, what you can do, and what’s reasonable. Then you’ll need to come up with a solution for what needs to get done. That solution becomes part of your to do list. So I think one of the things we need to do in time management is to begin to understand those areas that I can work on and those areas where I need to find somebody else or some other business to make it happen.
Recently, I find most people are coming to me for life coaching, stating that their life is stressful, their job is the worst, or their relationship isn’t what they think it should be. This is what people are feeling, but what’s really going on is a sense of a lack of purpose in life being manifest or showing itself through stress and anxiety. People are asking the questions, “what is my life about?” “Where am I going with my life?”
An aspect of many people’s outlook that I’ve observed is a focus on the negatives of life, If you’re always looking at life as negative, you’re only going to see the negative. Those who are asking questions about the purpose in life are actually looking at the positive in life. They want answers or solutions, and by their nature, solutions are positive.
We need to change our perspective on that piece right there. There’s nothing wrong with questioning, but we also have to see life from a whole different perspective based on whatever is happening now.
We need to acknowledge what the negatives are in our life. I’m not saying to deny the negatives, that’s part of our reality, but we don’t want to just focus on them. So we can say, here are all the negatives going on in my life right now, but also, what are the positives going on in your life right now? There’s always something that you can find which is positive. I guide my clients on how to look at things differently so that they can not only find the positives but also to create the solutions.
Life management covers not only perspective and expectations but our outlook on life in general. Check out the entire interview for more information on my take on being a realist while practicing mindfulness.