The way you use your time is the way you live your life.
Whether you’re creating an info product, starting to write a book or special report, creating a business plan, working on your taxes … whatever it is, the first step can be difficult. And we all know that if starting has you stymied, then you are basically stuck!
In the past I’ve written here about the helpful tactic of starting with small steps by chunking your tasks down into bite-sized pieces. This is one of the most powerful time tools you can adopt – and once you start using it, I think you’ll be amazed at how small those bites can get!
I recently had a very interesting dialogue with Solo-E CEO Terri Zwierzynski about some time challenges she was mulling over. (You can read the exchange here.) We ended up discussing ways to find a balance between discipline/productivity/focus and exploration/creativity/flexibility.
When do you let go of a planned activity to pursue a creative spark? When do you choose to jot down a note, and pursue an idea later? These time choices are important. We make them constantly, and quite often subconsciously – and they are crucial in shaping our days.
So, it was a fascinating exchange, and it left me thinking more about moving from one project to another – and how to make those transitions as smooth and efficient as possible.
TS Eliot famously wrote, in the last line of Quartet #2 (East Coker) of his “Four Quartets”:
In my end is my beginning.
He also said: “What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”
Without becoming too esoteric, I’d like to suggest that this is a very useful concept when thinking about time and time management. That’s because beginnings and endings, starting places and stopping points, all mark time boundaries. They are places of picking up and letting go.
Breaking it down to its most basic component, you could think of these processes as like in-breaths and out-breaths.
So, thinking about the end of a project as the starting point of another helps keep things moving for you. The rhythm continues … inhalation follows exhalation … picking up follows letting go.
And to put this into practice, what I suggest is that, when you complete a project you do 3 things:
What do you do when you finish a big project? How do you keep your momentum going and find the balance you need in your working day? I’d love to hear!
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