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Time management, but different

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

Realize that now, in this moment of time, you are creating. You are creating your next moment. That is what’s real.

Sara Paddison

One of the big reasons you don’t change your career – even though 47% of you want to – is because you don’t have time.

You don’t have time to think about it. You don’t have time to make stuff happen.

Which is kind of weird, isn’t it? You don’t want to stay in your current job. For you to make a change you have to take action. Which you don’t do. Because your current job – where you say you don’t want to stay – takes up so much time!

Fair summary?

Or should I perhaps add you spending your time running after your kids and partner, making them help you clean the kitchen/bathroom/their rooms? Leaving you exhausted, frustrated, resentful and with a distinct feeling of ‘is this it?’.

Or did I forget the free time, where you are pointlessly scrolling through Facebook, watch ‘Back to the Future’ or some mindless sitcom for the seventh time on TV, making you feel guilty for not using your time wisely?

All of the above? I hear you.

Time. One of your big barriers.

And then there’s the other – related - one. Noise.

Noise of all the things that you have to do.

That are on your mental ‘to do’ list. You know? The one for at work. The one for at home. The one for your family. The one for the weekend.

Which keep singing around in the back of your head. And keeping you from getting on with what you really want to do. To find work that you love. To feel free, and happy, and valued.

So today I’m going to give you my top 3 tips to get on top of the ‘time’ issue. And to get on top of your to do list.

So that you can focus on changing your career. And on becoming happy and free and valued in the work you love.

1. Time management, but different

Have you been on any of these time management courses? Where they told you that – to get your work done – you had to focus on the big ‘stone’ first, before you tackled the ‘pebbles’? Or where they said that you had to ‘eat the frog’ first?

The idea of that is that if you tackled one big task first (the stone), then you could feel as if you achieved something and fill the rest of your day with smaller jobs (the pebbles).

That’s all well and good, but I don’t think it works for changing your career. In fact I actually think it is keeping you stuck!

Because you now look at this career change as this massive big thing that you need to tackle. This huge task that will never get done. It starts to look daunting and not fun at all!

And that’s what it was all about, wasn’t it? To find a career you love. And to have fun trying new things out. Not this great big thing that you need to ‘tackle’. And I’m not even talking about frogs. (Eating frogs! Whatever next!).

So, what to do instead?

What if you looked at career change as a whole load of small exercises. Things that are fun, bite-sized and can be done in short bursts?

What if you scheduled 20 minutes each day (During your commute? Or instead of your commute?) to think, to write, to experiment, to try things out, to talk, to read?

Twenty minutes. Go on! Even you have twenty minutes!

2. Your great big to do list

We talked about your great big to do list. So what is on it? Take a deep breath. And go!

Everything-you-have-to-do-Now-if-not-before-Everything-someone-else-wants-you-to-do-Everything-every-sane-person-would-do-if-only-she-had-time-Everything-you've-been-putting-off-forever-and-really-can't-face-doing-Everything-that-would-be-very-sensible-for-your-long-term-future-and-have-been-putting-off-because-you-can't-even-think-about-now-Everything-that-you'd-like-to-do-One day-Things-for-the-house-Things-for-the-children-Things-for-your-partner-And-his-family-And-yours.

And breathe out.

See how totally unachievable that list is?

Some would call it aspirational.

Whilst actually what it is is fictional, delusional.

You are never going to be that person. You do not have time to do all of it. And, quite frankly, do you really want to?

If you really made the effort to write all of this down. All the things that you feel you ought to do. All the things that are ‘niggling’ you. That take the focus away from what is really important to you. How much of it is really necessary?

So, my 5 step plan:

1. Write your massive to do list.

2. Decide what is important, and do it.

3. Stop doing what you hate to do (or delegate).

4. Schedule time to start doing what you love doing.

5. And stop worrying about the things on the things you don't do and were never going to do anyway!

See how much time you gain? See how you now only spend time doing what is really important to you? *

3. See your current job as just that – your job whilst you figure out what you want to do next

And finally, your current job. Where you spend so much time. That is keeping you from getting on with making that career change.

Ask yourself this: If you are spending so much time in your current job, putting so much effort in, going above and beyond. If you spend so much time in your job that you don’t have time to do anything else - let alone changing your career - what are you actually committed to?

What are you committed to? The job you want to get out of? Or the career you love (even if you don’t know what that is yet)?

See if you can shift your perspective. See if you can start seeing your job as the job you are going to get away from. Where you are only staying until you can make the transition to the career you love. It will ensure that get you away on time. So that you gain time. So that you spend that time on focusing what is really important to you.

So there you have it! My top 3 tips.

What are you going to do to use your time better?

*Courtesy of Barbara Sher


Tineke Tammes is an ICF credentialed Career Coach, who supports professional women in making successful transitions to careers of Freedom, Flexibility and Fulfilment! Besides that she is also a lifelong feminist, part-time portrait artist, never-only-read-one-book-at-any-time reader, and obsessive doodler. Oh, and she knows a bit about change management too.

Join her now in Pick 'n Mix - the FREE community for creative, multi-passionate women or sign up to the newsletter.

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