Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday's Time Management Tip: Control

Right now I feel like my life is of control. Not a good feeling. There was a time in my life where I was accomplishing many things. As I reflect on what is different between then and now it occurred to me that I had more control over things then than I do now.

Focus on what you have control over. Believe it or not you cannot control everything. Some people are very, very frustrated because they think they can control it all. Face it you can’t.

Several years ago two of my wife’s sisters had a double wedding and reception. I remember the day of the reception my Mother-in-law was getting very uptight. She was pacing and worrying about all the little details. Since the wedding had been two days earlier, the two newlywed couples were in route to their reception.

I saw that my mother-in-law was wound up. I put my arm around her and asked her what was wrong. She began to rattle off a stream of things that she was worried about, would the kids be there on time, who was going to show up? On and on she went about things, most of which she had absolutely no control over.

“Mom,” I said, “You can’t help when anyone will arrive. What can you do that you can control?”

She thought for a moment and said, “I can find out about the cake.”

So she made the call and got the status on the cake. I got her focused on what she had control over. Her blood pressure came down, and her day began to get better.

One other example to share; I had an employee come up to me and ask to go home. The police were at her home. She had to leave.

I asked her if her children were at home. She told me they weren’t. I asked if they were safe. She told me they were. I asked if anything would be different if she were there. She said no. So I asked her why she had to leave if her children were safe and she wouldn’t change anything if she were there. She said she would be okay and thanked me.

You gain control when you focus on what you can control. You cannot control people. You may influence, but not control. You cannot control the weather, but you can control what you eat, when you go to bed, and when you get up.

Currently I only have a few hours a day that are mine. I need to focus on what I can do in those few hours. I haven’t been doing that lately and I feel like my life is out of control. Not a good feeling. Time to take control over what I have control over. Little by little I should get back to where I was a few years ago.


Anonymous said...

Just don't let the government know that you can't control people... they are usually inclined to disagree, M'man. ;)

I do agree, though worry and frustration over events that are out of our hands is a complete waste of time.

And you can't get that time back once you waste it worrying.

Joyce Alton / @joycealton said...

Sage advice. Thank you!