If you ask average person to do an additional task, they say they are usually too busy to take on anything new. Their typical response: “not enough time.”
If you ask the same question to a busy person, someone who clearly has a packed schedule, sits on boards, volunteers their time for charitable causes, is an executive or on track to become one, they will think for a moment and then give you one of two replies: 1) “Sorry, I can’t take that on because …” (they tell you why) or 2) “Yes, I can do that. When do you need it by?”
Not enough time? Give a busy person something you need done and they will find enough time to get it done. They work late, cut down on television, get into the office early, squeeze out time during lunch or on the weekend and get assistance when they can. They are busier than most, yet they know how to manage their time well enough to be able take on new tasks. It’s not that these people do anything extraordinary. Yet we see them as extraordinary because of the amount of things they are able to accomplish. How do they do it? For starters, they don’t complain. It’s not in their nature to whine about problems. They don’t focus on “not enough time.” They would much rather put their energies toward finding a solution.
Which one of those reactions best describes your behavior? Are you the “not enough time” person or the “sure, I’ll do it” person? You can mold yourself by asking these simple questions that adjust your frame of reference and have a big impact on your ability to manage your time:
- How much time will this task really take?
- Are you just being bothered because someone asked you to do something that wasn’t initially on your plate or does this task really require a major investment in time?
- Or are you disturbed because of the nature of the person who made the request?
- Will you meet new people and expand your network of contacts as a result of working on this task?
- Will this add to your resume?
- Will you be doing someone a favor (which is a good thing, by the way)?
- What are the ramifications if you personally don’t take on this task?
- Is someone using you as a crutch to avoid doing the work themselves? If so, then that’s a good reason to use the opportunity to encourage them to stand on their own feet.
- Would the task not get done at all if you didn’t agree to do it?
- What are the benefits to all involved if you did this task?
Dig deep and you will probably find that you have the time to do a lot more than you do now. Your actions will change your reputation so you are regarded as the highly prized person that people turn to when they want to get something done. There is always enough time.