Time management tips can help you manage change. In fact, they can help you initiate the most important changes in how you use your time.
In 1997, James Prochaska pioneered a fresh approach to assist others in creating powerful, lasting changes for the better. Initially, he developed this 6-stage model of change to help clients overcome powerful addictions. However, it’s equally effective in any area where you feel “stuck” and trapped by time constraints. By dividing this transformation into 6 distinct stages, you can understand and embrace your biggest challenges, using more effective time choices.
As mentioned in earlier articles of mine, the 6 Stages of Change are:
5. Maintenance and
Emerging through Precontemplation:
Has something been bubbling up? Perhaps you’ve already moved from vague dissatisfaction with yourself, with others and even with life in general to deciding there must be something you can do to find more time! You’ve come back to yourself over and over, rather than try to deny or escape this challenge that may be hard to describe at first.
Your Next Big Step: Contemplating Creative Change
Your transition from precontemplation to contemplation is a very powerful move! Contemplation sets the stage for you to take effective action. Here, you zero in on how to fine-tune your time choices to make your life work better.Another change expert, author and psychiatrist Scott Peck, described his “enlightenment” when a neighbor bluntly rejected his excuse that he “somehow” was unable to make simple repairs. “That’s because you don’t take the time!” Taking this “guru-like simplicity” to heart, the doctor dramatically increased his effectiveness by carefully contemplating the next mechanical problem he encountered.All deeply rooted time problems require this contemplation period.
- Broadens understanding
- Presents new perspectives and
- Helps you identify the best possible approach.
That is the heart of the quandary. You need to take time to save time. Impatience only pulls the tangles in life into tighter knots. So acceptance of the contemplation stage is all-important.
You may wish to ask yourself a series of questions to make sure you are making the best use of your contemplation time.
5 Contemplative Questions:
- What are my highest priorities?
- Since my “basket of time” can only hold so many commitments, what am I willing to remove from my basket to find time for my new activity?
- What expectations of mine are realistic, and what expectations need to be whittled down?
- How much time does each slated activity really require?
- How can I break big changes into small action steps, each of which can be completed in a single sitting?
I’ve written about the grit that is required to stay with discomfort long enough to grasp the heart of a problem. All the strength and patience you develop can now be applied to successful contemplation and creative problem solving.
Loyalty to feel your way through pre-contemplation and think your way into contemplation is really deep loyalty to yourself. You build patience, stamina and trust in yourself by dedicating time to making strong time choices.
The more you use your time to explore time, the better friend you will be to yourself, and the more pleasure you can take in finding time for what matters the most to you.
Now, what can you do today to create life-altering changes for finding time?© Copyright 2009 Paula Eder, Ph.D.