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Ask a Luminary

“I know we all have 24 hours each day, yet I’m always rushed and feel like I’m behind the 8 ball. How can I get ahead and actually create time to do the things that I feel I need and want to do?” ~ Lillian, Lafayette, CA

We’re almost at that date when Marty McFly arrives in Back to the Future, so we might just be getting close to bending the space-time continuum. But… we’re not there yet, I’m afraid.

1. Ask yourself what you can do more efficiently. Sometimes this means cutting out some extra steps with a little planning. (Ask yourself, “If I had to do this in half the time, how would I?”)

Sometimes this means lowering your standards, so it’s just good enough. (Ask yourself, “what does ‘minimum viability’ look like?”).

And sometimes it’s letting go of completely some things that you “should” do. (Ask yourself, “If it was just up to me, what would I stop doing altogether?”)

2. Pick one thing. Is it meditation or exercise or something else? Don’t get tangled in the “I tried to do everything, so I did nothing” conundrum. Negotiate a plan with your spouse, so you can both support each other to find the time and space to do one thing each that matters.

3. Get more sleep. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but the science is clear: getting more rest will actually pay off in your capacity to get more done, smarter and faster.

Michael Bungay Stanier

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Michael Bungay Stanier is the Founder and Senior Partner of Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work. They give busy managers the tools so they can coach in 10 minutes or less. Michael's latest book is The Coaching Habit. It shares seven essential questions to help you work less hard and have more impact.

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