Why Do You Feel Guilty?

Why Do You Feel Guilty?

One of the most frequent complaints I hear is that people don’t have enough time.  Time to get their work done, time to hit the gym, time to catch up with old friends, time to see their kid’s sports games, time to coach their kids team, time to get something done at home and time to participate in a self-indulgent hobby or something fun.

Everyone seems to be time poor—but why? 
We have more technology and are more efficient than ever before.  How can these tools actually make us feel like we have less time?

I believe there are two things that get in the way of us having all the time we need to accomplish all of the things we want.  They are:
1. Guilt—depending on where you’re from, you were raised with some kind of “work ethic.”  Could be that you are from farm country where you were up before dawn and worked until after dark.  It could be that you are from the Midwest and have embraced the “Midwest work ethic.”  Could be your mom told you what my mom told me, “You can have whatever you want; you just have to work for it!” Whatever it is, it’s deep inside of you.  So when you are not working you feel guilty about it (I know I have) and you don’t know why.  Those work ethics, while great, also came during a different time.  We can do in 1 day what took 5 days, 1 hour what took 5 hours and 1 minute what took 5 minutes.  Technology has changed the rules.  Efficiency is the name of the game so take the feeling of guilt, give it a hug and set it aside.
2. Lack of tools/discipline—once you’ve placed guilt aside then put the tools in place.  Whether it is a default calendar, checklist or to do list on your phone build a calendar that lets you get your stuff done. Then be a shark with your time. Do what you scheduled yourself to do and don’t be surprised when it gets done. Dare anyone to interrupt you during certain tasks (closed door or red sticky note on door MEANS I cannot be bothered now unless the house is on fire). If you don’t respect your time then no one else will.

Think of this as self-management instead of time management. It’s a discipline thing. There is a constant barrage of noise—music, ads, emails, websites, phone calls, knocks at your door with, “Hey, you got a minute?” all looking for a little bit of my attention.  Information at my fingertips and distractions that I can’t seem to live without. 

I find that managing the distractions is one of the key steps to becoming better at managing myself when it comes to time.  Heck, the most successful people in the world as well as the least successful have the same 24 hour day. Stop trying to manage the hours; manage yourself in the context of those hours. 

So here are a few tips to remove distractions:
· Put your cell phone on silent at all times.  It can wait.
· Check email once an hour.  It can wait.
· Plan time in your day  to check social media.  It can wait.
· Schedule meetings with others to be brief and to the point. And, “Well, I can give you a minute now or I can be with you for 20 minutes this afternoon. Which works best for you?”  It too can wait.

Your business should give you more life.

Take action today on managing yourself in the context of time and then go run a lap! Business is Fun!

Tony Marder is a Gastonia resident and President of ASM Ventures Corporation. His clients are family businesses that make more profit and are ready to grow.  You can reach him for questions or comments at tonymarder@att.net

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