This morning I waved my eldest son off to school to face a week of mock Common Entrance exams.  Whether he is prepared or not, time will tell.  I admired his quiet and calm determination and also the fact that he did put in some good revision time over the weekend.  Whatever the results of the next few days, there will be much to learn from the overall experience.

So for my son and many other children across the country, their time this week is almost totally mapped out and planned for them.  They will be, like cattle at a market,  herded to the right room at the right time and given the right exam paper.  All they have to do is stay awake and fill in the answers.  Here’s hoping!

But what if your week is less structured?  What if you are entirely and solely in charge of how you spend each of the next 7 days?  Is that a good thing or a pressure?  For those running their own businesses or working on their own that is very much the case so in order to keep that motivation going and to get to the end of the week having achieved what needed to be done and feel satisfied rather than drained and annoyed that time has been wasted there needs to be a plan.  A structure on which to frame our waking hours.  

With the buzz of 21st Century living comes the undercurrent belief that in order to be a success we must be BUSY.  But as Henry David Thoreau put it, 

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants.  The question is, what are we busy about?”

And to quote another, Anthony Robbins, 

“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!”

Which quote are you living closest to?  Are you filling your working days with masses of things to do but flitting from one to the other?  Or are you planning ahead – for this week, for this month, for the next 5 years?   Do you know where you are trying to get to and how you are going to get there?

Making good use of the time available to us on a daily basis is a gift we can relish or abuse.  It’s an individual choice – with huge knock on effects.  Probably the most important thing all of us could do this week is to stop achieving or rushing for 30 minutes and plan what we are aiming for and how we are going to get there.  What are we going to add on and what are we going to apply my 3Ds to (delay, delete or delegate)?

This is a subject I come back to again and again with many clients and with myself.  How we operate, how we use our time needs to be revisited regularly.  If you are struggling or finding this frustrating and would like to chat things through please do use the contact details on my website and get in touch, either for a face to face session or for some coaching by ‘phone.