Metaphors about time

As Business Manager of Genius Within I know 2 things.

  1. I need to manage my time well.

I have work tasks that need to be done in a timely manner or my boss (Hi Nancy) gets cross.

I have home tasks that need to be done or my family get cross (and go hungry).

I also have me-time tasks or I get cross – not a pretty sight.

  1. Using Metaphors to explore how you perceive time helps to “un-fog” your thinking so you can “clearly see the road ahead”.

I have what I call a “plate stack” brain. If you pile tasks and ideas onto me the one on top gets sorted out first. But this has obvious pitfalls when I need to go pick up a child from school club and the phone has just started ringing- let’s face it who can resist a ringing phone? This, obviously, can make me a little disorganised and make me forget important tasks in favour of something more interesting.

So I looked at the Genius Within e-learning for Time. I like the e-learnings because I can dip in and out of them and use the bits that are relevant to me at the time. They are great to go back to as a reminder of how I can work better at managing my time.

How would I describe time? What Metaphor would I use?

I like time to be nice and ordered and under control. It’s like I am working in a factory with boxes of time and blocks of work that fit nicely in the boxes.

BUT … actual, real time isn’t a nice factory. The boxes of time are all funny shapes and the blocks of work don’t fit very well. Someone will come along and throw a huge spanner in the works and the conveyer belt goes too fast so it all piles up. This usually results in me running round like a headless chicken or sitting in the corner with my fingers in my ears singing “La la la I’m not listening”.

So the clues from I took from my metaphors are:

  1. I want things to be under control
  2. I don’t want odd things popping onto the top of the pile
  3. I want the conveyor belt to slow down a little so I can fit the work blocks into the time boxes nicely
  4. I want to be able to handle the spanners that get thrown into the works

When I think deeper about CONTROL and how I want it but other people won’t let me have it I realised … I work from home, I manage my own time and my own tasks. Who won’t let me be in control? Or maybe more importantly WHY AREN’T I in control?

So I wrote on a piece of paper “You like to be in control – SO TAKE CONTROL”

Then I wrote down the one thing that Nancy measures her Business Manager on – the Coaching Order book. That is my work conveyer belt that drives everything else that I do. So that goes to the top of my To Do list and I keep it open all day and update it as new information comes in.

Now I need a timetable to be truly in control. But, hang on a minute. I used to write millions of those at school for revision etc. and I never stuck to them. So my timetable can’t be too rigid – the time boxes can’t be too small or I’ll never get the work blocks to fit.

My timetable is now:

Every morning

  • check emails and update To Do list
  • ensure Order Book is up to date

Rest of the day

  • work through To Do list

As for spanners and other things popping into my brain to distract me, they have their own little process:

Does it need to be done NOW?                                                          Yes – do it.

No – add it to the task list

Can it be done now without causing too much disruption?               Yes – do it.

No – add it to the task list.

End of!

http://www.geniuswithin.co.uk/index.php/product/time_and_planning/20