As the world moves in a speed that seems to be going faster than ever, what we find wanting more of is time. Evolving with the world means developing new life goals and habits. Unfortunately, the constraints with time have made it harder for us to create new habits to support the things we now want. Though we work hard, we seem to be less and less productive. Discover a groundbreaking research around time management and its three core elements: evaluate, discard, and implement.
Let's have a look at the “Your Life by Design Model”.
We all have things to do, people to see and targets to hit. Many of us either run our own businesses or work for others. If there is one thing that we could have more of apart from money it’s time. In fact, since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, as access to information and ease of communication started speeding up, we have found ourselves with less and less time.
The neurosis of modern civilisation is clock time. We are seeing more people getting sick and dying, more divorces and failed relationships, more alienation of the young because we have lost control of time. Many of my clients and patients have struggles involving relationships, achieving targets, and even being able to sleep. Others struggle to develop new habits to support their new life goals and ambitions. At the heart of all their struggles is an uneasy relationship with priorities and resource allocation.
I have long been fascinated by how people use their energy. I have always looked at cutting-edge ways to do things more easily. My calendar has always been chock full of things to do and targets to hit. I thought I had worked out a very good energy-management system.
However, as time went on, I began to realise I was working harder and harder but feeling less and less effective. Many of my strategies and methods were becoming less productive. I wonder if you have ever felt this way too? This led me to review some ground-breaking research around time management and what neuroscience has to say about how our brain processes time as we grow older and how we process time as we become more stressed.
After almost thirty years of feeling I had an effective time management system, I reached the limits of what I knew. As the number of companies I was running and the complexity of the projects I was involved in grew, I realised that a brand-new approach was called for. I could no longer repeat the same old tired strategies.
I became aware that most people did not value their time enough. They often did not use their time in fruitful and effective ways. Also, at different times in our lives, as we go through life cycle changes, our priorities and values change as well.
This would dramatically impact our relationship with time and productivity. Simply trying to squeeze more into the day would no longer work, or be effective. We had to learn to focus on higher-ticket items in our lives and businesses.
So from all these perceptions and the experience of working with more than 15,000 individuals, a new model of time management was born. This model includes the latest findings in neuroscience, concepts in systems thinking, and meditative practices as well as concepts familiar to energy management. The graduates of my programs have long asked me to formally put all these concepts together.
With this model of time management, you will begin to understand your personal, day-to-day time rhythms as well as the life cycles that you move through. You will learn about the value of your time, and what you can do to increase this value. As you do so, you will find you are doing more and more in less and less time, easily and effortlessly.
There are three core elements of this process:
Identify the Difference that Makes the Difference
One of my seminar participants once accused me of making life “boring” by insisting on prioritizing and planning. She felt that she wanted to be in the moment and be spontaneous.
It took her a few years before she realized that you can be truly spontaneous only when you have a disciplined approach, developed core skills, and then set time aside for spontaneity.
So in order to understand what really matters to you, you need to explore and evaluate. Those who eventually become crystal clear about what matters do so because they have the benefit of hindsight, experience, and evidence that something really works for them.
To explore all that is relevant and possible, you need a base from which you can narrow down what is clearly the core for you, the crucial “difference” that makes the difference.
You have to explore and evaluate a broad range of possibilities in depth before you can conclude about what really works. So you need to test things out in small ways before committing in a big way to what matters to you.
Contrast this approach with many Singaporeans who finish school, go to college then polytechnic or university, then go out into the workforce. They know nothing about what truly matters in their personal, emotional or professional lives.
They accept conventional perspectives about what is important. Then in their late thirties or forties they start struggling with overwhelming doubt. In private conversations in my office they often plaintively ask me, “What is my life purpose?”
If you believe, as I did when I was living my “Compulsive Life”, that being driven and being overly busy was a sign of productivity, you also believe that creating the space and time to think, explore, and reflect is a luxury. Yet, these very activities are the cure to the curse of focusing on trivialities while missing the core issues in your life. They are crucial for identifying the difference that makes the difference.
Dedicated “Life Designers” spend significant chunks of time exploring, questioning, arguing, and thinking. The purpose of the exploration is to hone in on what truly matters. To focus on the difference that makes the difference.
Discard the Irrelevant
However, are you really ready to get rid of what you should “throw away”?
In other words, it is not enough to identify what activities and commitments do not work for you. You have to actively discard them. I will show you more in the Podcast how to discard the “clutter” in your life so that you can have a well-designed and meaningful life and make vital contributions in what really matters.
You will also do it in such a way that you become more respected, acknowledged, and valued in your home, workplace, community, and society at large.
Getting rid of things and projects in your life and business will not be easy. There will be that nagging fear that you gave away something that you will desperately need later on in your life
This feeling is perfectly normal. Research has shown that when we don’t own something we value it less. Those that we own we assign a higher value to and so find it harder to dispose of.
The critical question when deciding what to de-clutter is, “If I did not have this opportunity, what would I be prepared to sacrifice to get access to it?” However, remember that in the Life Design model, whenever you don’t say “No” to something, you are agreeing by default.
It’s easier to become clear by asking yourself, “Instead of saying ‘Yes’ to every opportunity and activity, what would I say ‘No’ to?” This question will clear the cobwebs and give you great clarity for you and your team. It is the core questions that will allow you to make
breakthroughs in your life, your career, and your business.
Whether our goal is to plan a birthday party for our child, climb up the ladder at work, or complete a project at work, we tend to think of implementation as hard work, something we need to force and make happen.
However, the Life Design model is very different. We don’t need to force implementation; because of the prior stages of Evaluate and Discard, a system has been created for removing obstacles and making implementation effortless.
These three elements — Evaluate, Discard, Implement — are parts of an iterative, cyclical process that moves you towards higher levels of performance and personal satisfaction.
To achieve this effortless state, all the elements required of the previous two stages have been well explored and the necessary steps clearly delineated. Appropriate resources have been acquired; timelines have taken into consideration the flow of energy and resources, and how people operate.
While compulsive types force execution of plans, those who understand the Designed Life implement effortlessly. When all unnecessary details have been eliminated, habits automated, and sequences streamlined, implementation becomes a seamless piece of the whole. We naturally want to do things the easy way.
One lucky listener that posts a review on iTunes will win a private confidential consultation and coaching with me on discovering your soul’s purpose. I will lead you on a personal journey to discover your unique mind-body psychosomatic map of your life. You will get a detailed report and a personal 45 minute consultation with me that is worth thousands.
On this podcast I’m going to help you design a life that works. So you are able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down.
The more clear you can be about how to organise your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you’ll step into your true potential, stay on track and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen?
Feel free to reach out to me to ask your questions at AskDrSun.com. Your life is a gift. Design it. Do what matters and join me each week as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. I am Dr Sun. Join me next week on Your Life by Design.