• Time Management Coach: How to make time for what you really want to do

    by  • June 3, 2014 • Coaching series, Organising Your Life

    Time ManagementCoach: I know you are a great fan of time management.  But does it help you to make time for what you really want to do?

    Me: Sadly I have found that time management techniques don’t really help to solve this problem.

    Coach: What techniques have you used? And why do you think they didn’t work for you?

    Me: I am not sure. I use to-do-lists and all the better known time management aids but I am still overwhelmed. And dismayed and not getting time for the things I really want to do with my time.

    Time Management Dilemma

    Coach: Time management assumes that if you use it well. You can find time for all the things you want to do. But what if this is just not possible these days?

    Me: Just tear up the script. I think. And find a new way of doing things?

    Coach: You are right. You have to find a new time management solution. There is nothing else for it.

    Your Time Management Priority

    Coach: Decide what seems to be the very best way for you to spend your life.

    Me: I’m afraid that it’s an impossible dream.

    Coach: Make it a possible one.

    Me: Alright but it will not be easy for me. As I think about it I am beginning to see what the main things I would like to do are. And doing them is going to be a big change for me.

    Coach: You are on the right track now. Flesh out your plan as best you can. Until you are fairly happy with it.  All you need is a rough draft at this stage.

    Me: Okay I have got my head around that now.

    Your New Time Management Plan

    Coach: Plan time for the items you listed above.

    Me: Just for those things and nothing else. Okay I’ve got it.

    Coach: These are your priorities now. They are what you need to organise your life around.

    Me: So this is my new life plan.

    How to manage your new Time Management Plan

    Coach: Now fit everything else you want to do around the items in this plan. Just drop anything that doesn’t fit in with it.

    Me: That is not going to be easy. Okay the unimportant issues are not a problem. But what about all the important things that I won’t have time to do.

    Coach: Yes you will have to neglect some important friendships. Miss out on some great experiences. Maybe not exercise or eat as well as you wish.

    Me: I get it. It just isn’t possible to do all the important things I want to do. So I have to select those I want and let go of all those other ones.

    Coach: That’s it. We are all good at giving up the unimportant things but that is not enough. The trick is to learn to give up a lot of important things. It is the only possible way you can avoid being overwhelmed.

    Learn to say no to lots of important things

    Coach: We all learn to say no to boring things that do not fulfil us. And we think that this is what good time management is.

    Me: That’s what all the books tell us. It’s what all the time management guru’s say.

    Coach: To be fair to them it’s what we hear them saying. It what suits us to think and to do. And it just doesn’t work.

    Me: I see that. But I find it very hard to say no to things I really want to do.

    Coach: It is not possible to do everything you really want to do. Your only hope of being happy is to limit the list of important things you want to do. To cut it down to the essentials and say no to everything else.

    Me: I can see the sense of that. Can you help me to do it. Give me the support I need along the way. Okay…

    Coach: Sure I’ll be here any time you need me…


    Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, by Brigid Schulte (2014).

    This column will change your life. too much to do? Stop and read this. By Oliver Burkeman.


    We can use positive psychology to improve how we live our lives. So I love to share my understanding of it with others. To help them grow and flourish as I have. The posts on this blog set out to do just that. You need a lot of skill to make a relationship a happy one. So I write about relationship skills. Skills you can learn how to use in your own relationship. To keep it in good shape. To solve problems that may arise in it. And to improve the quality of your relationship. To make both of you happy.