Tomorrow I’ll be flying up to Sydney to attend the Australian Institute of Training and Development National Conference at the Australian Technology Park which will be on Wednesday 13 May and Thursday 14 May.
As is the case for any conference I attend, there’s always a bit of nervous energy and anticipation and this one is no different. Although I hadn’t originally planned to attend this conference, I was kindly invited by Michelle Ockers from Coca Cola Amatil so that we could jointly present on the guided social learning design program, the “Work, Connect and Learn Program” that I designed and that she implemented within her organisation (among many other social learning initiatives). You can read more about these in her blog.
So how could I say no to this kind invitation to see her, as well as see my fellow Sydney learning and development and Third Place friends?
For the last month, I could say that I have been busy but that would be lying. In actual fact, I think I’ve reached a information overload online.
…Saturated with information.
…Drowning in tasks and actions.
…Confused with so many directions and possibilities.
So much so, that everyone I spoke to was also “so busy”, “so swamped” and “couldn’t possibly have time to meet” that I began to think, “are we actually busy or that we don’t make the time because that task is simply not important for us?”
Is it a motivation issue and not a time issue? After all, we all have exactly the same amount of time in our day.
(If I sit down and seriously think about WHY I feel this way, I think I know why. It’s because this month, I have taken the role of a ‘lurker’ and been snooping around in other networks outside of Learning and Development to check out what other professions are doing, sharing and learning. I’ve been overcome with simply too many new ideas and insights that I could use in my own work that it is confusing me as to what I should and shouldn’t be doing. Put simply, I get excited with new ideas).
Then, I saw this…(for the record, I watch Casey Niestat’s vlogs every morning before I start work as part of my daily routine).
So I decided to go back to logging my time for one week in 15 minute slots as a means for not only mindfully, focussing on one task at a time but to also pay attention to times I was multi-tasking and then stand back to see what I actually achieved. For me, what is important is that I spend my time doing valuable, tangible things that get some form of outcome for me but I have noticed that the things I don’t like doing (namely daily exercise and housework) are simply tossed aside so that I could do the things that I enjoy such as:
- Working On My Business (this month I created systems to streamline my client work such as Activate My Learning monthly tip newsletter as well as an online booking calendar for free consultations on my website).
- Working In My Business (my client work; presentations to be created; webinars to be delivered; workshops, strategies and programs to be developed)
- Professional Development
- Leisure (knitting, watching TV, socialising)
- Family (they give me peace of mind and a great support network – and they make me laugh).
What did the results show?
Well professional development rates quite highly and it is not uncommon that I put in about 3 hours daily just on learning something new. It usually involves much time in front of the computer or on devices or listening to podcasts during my daily exercise. Some of this time is also involved with social networking (both online and in person) which I consider one and the same thing. It also includes writing in my blog.
Secondly, I noticed that during my leisure times, I multi-task. For example, I logged that ALL my time in front of the television was spent with a tablet on my lap surfing the internet while I was knitting. So I had three things on the go: watching TV, knitting and being online.
Thirdly, I noticed that I seem to be working more in my business than on my business (and I should be doing more of the latter). For example, I have been undertaking client work and enjoying it immensely but I had to start thinking about how I could create systems that streamline this so that I could repeat the process however, I am struggling with this simply because every client situation is completely different and I like to customise each and every solution. This means that I have to consider the cost of my time to every client.
All in all, it’s been an interesting and reflective month but unfortunately I haven’t blogged as often as I would have liked because I felt my mind to be too scattered to achieve any coherent blog post. Let’s hope June improves…
So in answer to my question “how do you make more time in your day?” would be as simple as, “make it important for you and you will always find the time somewhere”.