What are you listening to? Let’s talk about “time management”

Well it’s blog day and I’m just starting a post at noon.


Because, as usual, I’m running in circles like a chicken, failing completely at “time management”

That’s in quotes because I’m humoring the theory of Rory Vaden that you can’t manage time: You can only manage yourself.

And baby, I am a nightmare to manage.

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Do you ever consider why we aren’t drowning in free time? When they invented the washing machine, people must have thought, ‘WOW we are going to have SO MUCH FREE TIME NOW!!!!!

SO MANY THINGS have been automated and eliminated to theoretically give us more time.

But of course, we just keep filling that time up.

And if you’re like me, you take whatever time is available and try to cram an extra 10% in, just for funsies.

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So my recommendations this month are dedicated to seeking a better, healthier, most sustainable way.

Let’s do this thing.

Procrastinate on Purpose: Five Permissions to Multiply Your Time by Rory Vaden

I’m actually relistening to this book right now. It’s changed the way I look at my day, but I still have a long way to go on implementation.

I find myself getting sucked into long lists of tasks that feel urgent, but in retrospect weren’t that important. Things that could have been skipped. Or done by someone else. Or done more efficiently.

Vaden urges readers to put each potential task into a funnel and ask:

  1. Can I just eliminate this?
  2. Can I automate this?
  3. Can I delegate this?
  4. Can I do this later?

I’m telling you, I fail on just about every count.

I do things that don’t need doing. I reinvent the wheel again and again because I’m too disorganized to devise and follow a system. For those same reasons, it’s hard to delegate. As a result, I’m so overwhelmed, I just do the first thing in front of me instead of considering which task should be given priority. Then I wonder where my day went and why the important things are still undone.

If you can relate, I’d highly recommend this book.

If you want the Cliff’s Notes version, check out Rory Vaden’s TedTalk: How to Multiply Your Time

Profit is a Choice Podcast with Michele Williams
Episode 23: Success with Systems to Alleviate Stress with Matt Malouf

Along the same lessons, but in podcast form and specifically about SYSTEMS.

Custom upholstery is notoriously hard to quantify and systematize. So much of what we do is one of a kind.

So it’s really common to just do everything ourselves, probably in a relatively inefficient way.

Exhausting. Unscalable. Unsustainable.

Though our workload may be intensively custom, there are ABSOLUTELY places we can create systems, for ourselves, and those we work with. Systems for streamlining client communication, or keeping the shop tidy, or delegating simple tasks to a shop helper.

A system created today is an investment in more time tomorrow.

Matt Malouf’s advice to his coaching clients is, “If you do it twice, create a system.”

I can think of a LOT of things I’ve done more than twice without a system.

But we’ve started, and it’s making a difference.

Part of our education push this year with the support of Fabric Supply, Inc. has been to create reusable teaching tools for commonly sought after topics. Rather than explaining everything beginning to end, in person, to every student, we’re trying to create systems to be more efficient, effective and repeatable- videos, packets, worksheets, etc.

I wish I was sharp enough to think about such things after two repetitions, but somewhere around the 100th time of explaining a boxed and welted cushion, I finally thought, huh.

Maybe there’s a smarter way.

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What can I say? Some of us are slow learners.

But learn we can. I BELIEVE IN US!!!! Here’s to a 2019 of working smarter, not harder. What are we going to do with all this extra time?

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(Thank you for reading! There is an affiliate link in this post, so if you buy Rory Vaden’s book, I’ll make ten cents or something. Personally, I think you should get it from the library instead, because libraries are awesome.)

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