#WFH: You Can’t Manage Time

The virtual world is always moving and most of the time you are accountable to yourself. Although some companies use conference tools and video devices to keep track of what you are doing, surveillance really doesn’t work well. Most of us choose to work virtually because we appreciate the freedom. We want to be responsible enough to set our own schedule and meet the deadlines. One of the biggest changes for the pajama worker is the psychological adjustment to setting and enacting your own priorities. No more punching the clock, no more Puritan work ethic and no more playing the games. The priorities are yours and results are your results.

You cannot manage time but you can manage you. Time just is. Depending on how honest you are and how willing you are to take charge, it is possible to determine what your priorities really are quickly. At the end of this chapter, you will find an exercise called the “You Analysis.” This will help. You want to take charge of your thoughts, feelings and emotions and set your priorities. Then, once you have set these priorities, you want to apply your intent to consistently move toward them. If you are not getting what you want done and accomplishing the priorities you think you set, chances are you have another hidden agenda. You say you want one thing, but your actions say something else. The first step to changing something is being aware that it exists.
If your priority is to be a top-notch salesperson for your company, but you are not contacting your leads and making the sales calls, you are probably not going to do very well!

If you are taking an online class, but you do not do the readings and participate in the group work that probably isn’t going to work out so well for you, either. If you find that you set your priorities but rarely enact them, you might want to ask yourself, “Why?” If you can’t easily answer that, there are literally thousands of self-help books, counseling approaches, coaches and psychologists available if you want to use them.

More often than not, you are either unaware or you have developed a to-do list that is unrealistic, overwhelming and impossible. When you don’t focus on what you want, you are not going to accomplish it. When you create situations that are impossible, you are probably not going to succeed. It is impossible to go to your daughter’s ballet lesson, be on the mobile responding to email, edit that report and shop for dinner all at the same time. So why do people working virtually try to do this? You didn’t do it when you worked in the cubicle. You went shopping and to dancing lessons after work. Where, once upon a time, your employer set the rules and schedule, now you have more freedom, but you still have to establish that critical path. Creating your own personal journey between waking up and going to sleep is what allows you to stay focused on your priorities and accomplish them without excessive stress, worry or fear. Setting priorities requires confidence, creativity and courage. Enacting priorities requires desire, dedication and discipline.

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