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Think Want, Need, Must About Your Time

pyramids We can place our spending into three categories – wants, needs, and musts. Last time, we applied these categories to money. Today we want to apply them to spending our time.

There’s a trap that’s easy to fall into when it comes to spending our time. We spend time how we want to, instead of how we need to. Then we end up with a must do.

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If you think of a pyramid, with wants at the base, needs in the middle, and musts at the top, we tend to focus too much energy at the bottom of the pyramid at the expense of the top.

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marylynnI may have a lot of things on my “must list” but I’ll zip over to Facebook to see what my friends are up to!

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georgeWhile we need to do quite a bit of research for Bigg Success, I can just get lost in it. I’ve already learned what I need to know, but I’m still interested so I just keep going.

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Why do we work on wants? Without a doubt, there are many reasons. The task at hand is difficult. It’s easier to work on something else. We may prefer to work on something else. It may be more fun to do something else. These are just a few of the reasons.

Start by defining

With our money, our musts are easy to determine – food, clothing, shelter and transportation. They’re a constant. With our time, our musts are much more flexible. They are things that are deadline-driven or crisis-related.

Our needs involve personal growth and interpersonal relations as well as activities that get us ahead of that deadline or prevent the crisis. Our wants then are everything else – generally activities that we like to do.

The time paradox

So why does this happen …

on those days when we have a full schedule, we get a lot done, but …

on days when we don’t have so much to do, we don’t seem to accomplish much?

When we’re required to really focus, we can get it done. When the pressure is off, we’re more likely to drift. We do what we want. If we’re not careful, if we don’t do the things we need to do, the needs move up to musts in the form of a pressing deadline or a crisis that could have been prevented.

Daily starter

So start each day with a blank piece of paper. Write “Musts” at the top, “Needs” in the middle, and “Wants” toward the bottom. Then, map out your day by making your list under each item. When you get done with your “Musts”, you can work on “Needs” and once they’re complete, you get to work on your “Wants”. It’s like a reward!

Musts, Wants, Needs – keeping these three categories in mind helps you best allocate your time!

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We really appreciate you reading our post today. You’ve heard of stepping stones … join us next time when we’ll discuss overstepping stones. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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One More Thing to Add to Your Schedule

balance We were at an event recently as was one of our friends. As he was leaving, he announced that he “had another thing”. Now he’s a really busy person; there’s no grass growing under his feet as the old saying goes. He’s into his job, which requires a lot of meetings.

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But his “another thing” remark got us thinking. What a great way to politely excuse yourself!

And that “other thing” could even be personal. He may have been going home for dinner for all we know!

It leaves a good impression – you’re a busy person. You like to stick to your schedule. It’s also a great way to excuse yourself, even from people who like to talk your ears off!

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georgeI’ve used this before. As a business owner, I had some flexibility with my schedule. I would go to a “lunch meeting” which sometimes meant I was meeting a friend. Or I’d sneak in a work out in the middle of the afternoon by saying I was off to a meeting.

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marylynn When I was in radio, we used to have a “Morning Show Meeting” once in a while. My co-host and I would get off the air and sneak out for some breakfast. It was a great way to bond, talk about work, and just get away for a bit. We found that sometimes we got more done by leaving the office!

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Now we’re not recommending that you use this technique to excuse yourself for a huge part of the day. But as a busy person, sometimes the best way to balance your personal and professional lives is to integrate the two!

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the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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There’s a new study that shows mean breeds mean. Next time, we’ll discuss how to avoid the trap. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Is Your Schedule Overloaded Like A Dishwasher?

dishwasherSome couples argue about whether the toilet paper should roll over or under. Others squabble about whether toothpaste should be squeezed from the bottom or the middle. We might be unique, but we have a running disagreement about how full the dishwasher should be.

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marylynn If you’re keeping an eye on the news, you see that a lot of large companies are cutting marketing and even customer service. They’re cutting jobs and even entire departments. They’re streamlining.

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georgeAnd Mary-Lynn doesn’t fill it up enough … we spend money we don’t need to because we waste water and electricity.

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marylynn Well, we spend money when we have to wash the dishes again because some of them didn’t get washed in the overload.

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So now you see where we reach an impasse!

More importantly, this whole dishwasher discussion made us think about our schedules.

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marylynn My theory is that if you put too much into your schedule, just like the dishwasher, you can’t get it all done.

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georgeI don’t disagree that you have to be careful about overloading your schedule. I may be guilty at times of doing that, just like I overload the dishwasher according to Mary-Lynn. But you know the old saying – if you want something done, give it to a busy person.

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marylynn It’s the old 80/20 rule – 80 percent of the work gets done in 20 percent of the time. It is true that when you’re super busy, it seems like you are more productive. However, when you get too overloaded, you may not achieve what you set out to do. The result – you get frustrated and discouraged. It can even paralyze you at times.

4 ways to keep from being overloaded

#1 – Plan for reaction time

georgeWhen I first started managing people, I often overbooked myself because I didn’t allow for time to respond to my employees. I’ve seen a lot of first-time managers make this same mistake. The closer you are to the front line, the more important this is. Allow time to react to customers and employees or you’ll find yourself with too much to do in too little time.

#2 – Understand your patterns 

marylynn George is more of a morning person … I’m more of an afternoon person. So we just don’t work together at all! Seriously, plan your schedule so you’re working on your most important activities when you’re at your best.

#3 – Work at human capacity

georgeThis is a tough one. My dad, who’s one of my heroes, always thought he could get done more in a day than he actually could. He taught me well! Make sure you’re not planning ten hours of work if you only have eight hours to do it. Realize that you’re human, too. There will be times when you need to slow down or take a break.

#4 – Sometimes it pays to procrastinate

marylynn A prime example is the post you’re reading. Yesterday, we were trying to get this show done and I just wasn’t feeling well. We felt like if we pressed on, our end product wouldn’t have been as good as what you’re reading now.

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georgeSo we decided to put it off for a day. There was no reason not to … and hopefully, you’ll agree that we did alright!

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marylynn Now if I can just get George to stop loading the dishwasher so full!

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