Spend Time to Save Time

by Eoghan Ryan

PRACTICING POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY COACHING

Whether it’s in our professional or personal life, too many of us struggle with one of the few things we largely control – our time. By control I mean that with a small bit of planning and appreciation for the time we have at our disposal, we can do all the things we want to do and get the sense of accomplishment we all crave. Practicing positive psychology coaching tools and techniques can help coachees (and indeed coaches) to best utilise their time and work on what really matters to them.

START WITH THE DREADED TO-DO LIST

The first step is to understand what time we actually have in any given week. Do we work a 40 hour week or an 80 hour week? What time does this leave us for our personal lives By writing down our tasks it becomes clear which ones are necessary and which ones are getting in the way. Sometimes we need to say no to say yes to the tasks/ commitments that are most important to us. Ask yourself one of coaching’s simplest but most powerful questions: is it what I want?

Step back, reflect and then ask another powerful, clean language question: Is it what I REALLY want? Spending time on this filtering important process (or a series of coaching sessions as often the case may be) leaves our slate cleaner and space for our true goals to emerge.

CATEGORISE TASKS UNDER GREATER GOALS

Having spent time refining our To-Do list, categorise the outstanding tasks underneath a set of primary goals. In isolation completing these tasks can often seem boring or tiring. However when linked to a greater goal, simply ticking off a mundane task can provide a greater sense of achievement and energy. Daily journaling of the positive psychology technique ‘3 Good Things’ is a useful tool to remind us of the mini achievements associated with our greater goals.

PICK A SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR YOU AND COMMIT

Understand how you work best. Whether it’s a weekly task calendar or time quadrant matrix, pick a system that you know you’ll use. Whatever it is, assigning a deadlines and estimated completion time creates a focus to complete the task as part of a greater goal – staying in control and on track with the plan.

PERFORM REVIEWS AND ACKNOWLEDGE ACHIEVEMENTS

Our brains are not natural cheerleaders. We tend to focus on what we didn’t get done as opposed to what was achieved. Spend time at regular intervals, reviewing your daily journal, and acknowledging the tasks completed. Assess whether your process could be refined. Ask yourself – is this still definitely what I want? Plan ahead for the next deadline and use control to save time!