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Time Management? No!

By Dorene Lehavi, Ph.D.
Posted Thursday, September 2, 2004

Many people want to be coached to manage their time better. I say No! to that. You cannot manage time anyway; it just keeps ticking away no matter what you do. What you can do is manage yourself based on the two concepts I keep mentioning: self-knowledge and self-acceptance. Following are four principles to maximize the time that you have. They take time to incorporate into your life at the habit level. Don't give up. Keep practicing.

Good Enough

Accept that no human being is meant to do everything. We all have our uniqueness; things we do better than others and vice versa. Perfection is not a human condition. Cut yourself some slack and adopt the concept of "good enough". You can rework your resume 50 times. Is it really so much better than a much earlier draft? You can shop for the perfect dress endlessly? Wasn't the first one you tried and liked as good as the 15th? How much time did you spend past "good enough"? Demand higher standards of excellence where it really counts.


Concentrate on excelling in what you do well, what you would enjoy doing better, and new areas you would like to learn. Delegate, hire, share, partner with people who complement you or can fill the needs you have in areas you don't enjoy or do not know that well. Don't ever berate yourself for not being able to do it all. Appreciate your talents and excellence and flaunt them. They are you, yours and very special. Let others have their specialness too. The results will not only save time but enrich and free you.

Energy and Time

Know and honor your energy levels. Are you a morning person, do you have an afternoon slump? Your time will be best used if you pace the tasks you have to do based on this knowledge. Do the most challenging at your peak energy time. Build in your Joy Breaks (see last month's newsletter) both as rewards for finishing a formidable task and to refresh yourself at low energy periods.

Focus in the Moment

Develop habits that help you focus on what you are doing in the moment. Do not allow yourself to think of what you have to do next while you are doing what you are doing. Put a "do not disturb" sign on your door and do not take phone calls. By putting everything else out of your mind while focusing on the task at hand, you will be using your time efficiently. If you get stuck on something, take a break. Move to something else, get the information you need to continue, change scenery, stretch, whatever it takes, but don't sit there stuck.

Note: You may have noticed I refer back to ideas from previous newsletters. The suggestions I make are not one dimensional or simple. The questions I suggest you ask yourself have multiple answers and may be different on different days. I hope you keep them all in a file or notebook and refer back to them regularly. You will gain a lot if you do.

Do you have a self-management technique that helps you maximize your time more efficiently? If so, I'd love to hear it and share with other readers.

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About the Author
Dr. Dorene Lehavi has more than 25 years experience as a professional assisting clients to reach their Next Level.

She holds a Master's degree from Hunter College and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.

Prior to coaching Dorene was a therapist. In response to her client needs and her own preference, she phased out her therapy practice in favor of coaching. Her education interwoven with life experience has supported and enhanced her interest and innate talent for helping people achieve their Next Level of success in their business and personal lives.

Although her company, Next Level Business and Professional Coaching, is based in Los Angeles, Dr. Lehavi coaches people across the country by telephone. She is an active member of the Los Angeles chapter of PCMA (Professional Coaches and Mentors Association). She is also a member of the Century City Chamber of Commerce and an active participant on the Law and Business Council. She periodically facilitates seminars and workshops at the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Beverly Hills High School Adult Education among others. Dorene has received recognition for her coaching members of the recovery community of Beit Teshuvah, Los Angeles, CA and Inner Circle Networking Association at University of Southern California.


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