Time management is such a challenge for us all, but especially for Project CHANGE members who have to juggle their service hours with study or family or other part time job commitments to make ends meet. Sometimes, the demands can feel overwhelming. One member recently had to give up shift work because it was just too much. He was simply not allowing himself time to sleep! How does one work out some sense of priorities when everything feels urgent and there does not seem to be enough of you or your time to go around?
The work of Gary Klein is one possible answer. He wrote an amazing work called The One Thing, and members at our training were each given a copy. The book claims that we suffer from delusions about multi-tasking and will power and how we usually go about determining the tasks of our day. He says the brain is built to focus on ONE thing, not Two or Three. He uses the example of a brain surgeon or an airline pilot landing a plane in a storm. He says we all expect the surgeon or the pilot to be totally focused on the ONE thing that matters- saving a life or landing safely. So, in our normal lives, he recommends that we ask the clearing question.
“What is the ONE thing that I can do here that will make all the other things easier or even unnecessary?”
We can use the same idea for a host of other areas in our lives that are in danger of being cluttered up with more demands than time.
“What is the ONE thing that I need to do to be more effective at my service site that will make all the other things easier or even unnecessary?”
“What is the ONE thing that I need to do to be more satisfied with my relationships that will make all the other things easier or even unnecessary?”
The team were asked to experiment and to try the question in their work. At our next meeting, we might ask how it all went.