Regrets and Time Management Execution

Getting rid of “negative” thought-patterns that destroy peace of mind is one of the side-goals that a professional can set as a target when managing his/her own time management system.

Why is it important?

In 2Time, the goal of a time management system is to produce peace of mind for the user.  When someone develops the habit of allowing stressful thoughts to go unquestioned, the result is a destruction of peace of mind and further un-productivity as energy, time and attention are frittered away.  The ever-elusive “flow” state of mind simply gets pushed away by other less-productive moods.

Some of the common negative thoughts include:

“I am a terrible procrastinator”
“I wasted the entire day”
“I should have done more”
“I am lazy”
“I am not working hard enough”
“I have an awful memory”
“I never have enough time”

While we all have these thoughts from time to time, there are some professionals who believe them, repeat them and then try to take time management programs in order to turn things around.  As a teacher of these programs, I probably should not say that many professionals need a different kind of training than the kind that I present.

They need to develop some habits that involve developing their capacity to inquire into the nature of the above thoughts.

Towards this end, I strongly recommend the Work of Byron Katie, which can be found at http://thework.com.

The process she advocates is a simple one — identify the thought, write it down, ask 4 questions to investigate its truth and turn it around to its opposite for even further inquiry.

The results in my case have been simply astounding.

After practicing for a few years, stressful thoughts don’t hang around for long before they are questioned on paper (which I
prefer,) or in my thinking.

Professionals who take a time management program come in order to get rid of one of the above, listed thoughts can very well find themselves wasting their time. Once the thoughts become habitual, there is no degree of productivity that can be attained that remove them, and the unhappy feelings that ensue.  These are best dealt with by following the process Katie’ advocates, rather than trying to become more productive.

This is no less important than learning the 11 fundamentals of time management that I describe here in 2Time. However, it definitely is cheaper, and saves a great deal of time.

5 Replies to “Regrets and Time Management Execution”

  1. This is a stimulating thought and one which I will pursue. I often think of myself as a procrastinator and that tends to prove itself true.

    Thanks, I will also investigate Katie’s work.

  2. While I agree that negative thoughts will steal your productivity, if you have hundreds of tasks vying for your attention day in and day out, you will still feel stressed, at least I did. I used and taught Covey and Daytimer for many years before reading David Allen’s GTD book and switching to GTD.

    This was a real breakthrough for me as I didn’t understand that my stress was due to trying to remember too many things. I would write most tasks down in my planner, but would then review the same pages over and over again thinking that I had forgotten something.

    And then I found an application that allows me to view my entire GTD at work on my Win machine, at home on my Macs and even on my cell phone. And another app lets me call in tasks to my GTD without any writing or typing, great for those thoughts that hit me while driving. This took the stress away like magic. Now, whenever a thought, email or phone call feed me a task, I get it into my trusted system and forget about it.

    I’ve written about my experiences with GTD in a blog post at http://johnkendrick.wordpress.com/2008/03/27/more-getting-things-done/ John

  3. Great post. Eliminating blame and negative thoughts is one of the most important steps to moving on with your work.

    I haven’t studied The Work yet, but Oprah did an interview with Byron Katie recently that is available through Oprah’s iTunes channel.

  4. Francis,

    This is such a great feature.

    Negative thoughts are like a prison of your own making!

    You own the key to get you … it’s up to you to change the way you think NOW!

    Miss Gisele B.

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