Sunday, 27 October 2013

From Management of Time to Engagement with Life*

Carol* wanted to discuss her problem with Time Management. She complained about being overworked for most part of her professional life- working for more than twelve hours a day and getting exhausted.  She wondered how ‘others get so much time to work, socialize, attend seminars/training programs, attend fitness regime…whereas despite a breakneck schedule, she reaches nowhere’.

The coaching conversation that followed, I’d say is fairly representative of many individuals who have similar problems. Through coaching conversation, Carol realized that she was missing something very fundamental.

Here are the excerpts:           

Carol: I am so tired and exhausted- I have no energy even to catch a peaceful sleep. I have lost balance of my life for many, many years.

Coach: You are obviously exhausted and also sound frustrated. What is it all about?

Carol: Howsoever hard I work; I do not get enough time to take care of my simple needs. It makes me feel sick. I wonder how others manage to get time to do all things!

Coach: Well, do you know such people?  

Carol: Yes, there are many. For instance, my boss- he has all the time to attend his gym, socialize, take his family out on vacation and respond to all the mails and queries that we have. I think I am lousy at Time Management!

Coach: And what does that make you feel like?

Carol: I feel stupid- I cannot imagine me giving time to things that I like. Time is always so short.  I think I’d like to discuss better time management and prioritization.

Coach: Sure! Let’s deal with prioritization. What happens when you do things that you like?

Carol: Well, I feel excited, I feel alive, I feel motivated- I feel energized.

Coach: Are you saying that you get energy from doing things that you love?

Carol: Yes, that’s what I said

Coach: So, Carol- if you take stock of last couple of days or whoever time horizon that you choose and list how many things you did that gives you energy.

 Carol: Hmmm…hardly, rather- none whatsoever, I think.

Coach: You have been expending and exhausting your energy. What is your model of replenishing it?

Carol: I got it! My issue is not time management but how I overall engage with my life and things that are important to me!


At this moment, Carol could clearly see that her issue is not time management. She could see herself not honoring her own needs to engage in activities which matter her the most. Having understood the real issue, Carol went about re-constructing her daily routine. She could identify five hours in a day which she can effectively utilize in her physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being.

If you relate with Carol’s problems- if you have issues that are similar to hers- then please check- are you doing justice to yourself? How well are you engaging with your own life?

-          Rajesh Vaidya

 (* This article is part of ‘Chronicles of a Coach’ series. ‘Chronicles of a Coach’ series is intended to serve coaches, leaders & managers who have coaching as part of their professional responsibility, and also individuals who are curious about what coaching is and what coaching can do. Coaching subject, situation and coaching conversation is real; identity of the client is however changed completely to protect confidentiality and privacy.)

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