Dear Coach Paradise,
I am a small business owner. I am always on the run. I have tons to do and never seem to have enough time to get it all done. I was feeling this way a while back and hired someone to help me, but here I am — running, playing catchup and always wishing I could fit more into a day. My planner is so jam-packed with appointments and things to remember that I can hardly read it. Before going to the store to look for a planner with more space, I figured I would see if you can suggest any ways that I can find more time to get more things done.
On the Run in Paradise
Dear On the Run,
You definitely have company here. Why do you think they call it the fast track and the rat race? I must acknowledge you for realizing that the solution doesnt lie in getting a bigger planner or even in hiring more assistants. You are on the same track as Einstein, who said something along the lines of, "A problem cannot be solved with the same mindset (consciousness) that created it."
Heres a challenge: How can you get 10 times more done in half the time?
Are you scratching your head? Smiling? Patting your head and rubbing your tummy?
Paradoxes can get you to stop and think outside of the box and reveal paths you hadnt noticed because they werent linear or logical.
In her book Money, Meaning and Beyond, Andrea Lee suggests that you reconsider how you can do more with what youre already doing. And in doing so, recognize youre getting a lot more done than you think. First, relax — this automatically creates a sense of more time and space. Then consider this delightfully familiar activity as metaphor: roasting a chicken, and seeing the gravy just happen without any extra effort at all. It is a delicious byproduct which is only valuable if you recognize it and use it. Lots of people pay no attention to the drippings.
Ask yourself, What is your gravy?" What is happening as a result of all that you are doing that you are overlooking? That could be of great value. Are you writing a monthly newsletter and bemoaning the fact that you never get around to writing your book? What if the newsletter is the copy for the book, and it is already written! Worried that you have to get out there and build your mailing list when you have been attending business after-hours meetings and forgetting to gather business cards or take yours? Where are you making things harder than they need to be?
Notice how much more you are already getting done than you thought you were! This always brings a great sign of relief and pleasure and a pat on the back. Acknowledging how far you have come and what you have done to get there is far more productive than focusing on whats wrong and how much farther there is to go. Taking the time to notice the gravy, stir it and savor it creates a different state of mind, which may be just what Einstein meant. And it may be just what you need to do in order to shift your perspective, lift your spirits and help you to see that its not always about doing, but about seeing. I cant help mentioning that this is what coaches are especially good at.
To your Extraordinary Success,
Editor's note: Coach Paradise (AKA Anne Nayer), Professional Life Coach, is a member of the International Coaching Federation, an MSW clinical social worker/psychotherapist and a medical case manager with 30 years experience working with people of all shapes, sizes and challenges. For further information about her services, call 774-4355 or email her.
Coach Paradise: Stop and Smell the Gravy
Dear Coach Paradise,
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