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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

Want to improve your time management? Forget it and do this instead.

Long to do list and not enough time? Too many competing priorities? If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with the basics of time management: set realistic goals, chunk them down and fit them into your calendar at your optimal times. So if you’re hoping that better time management/“productivity hacks”/sleeping 20 minutes upside down during a full moon are going to solve your problem, you could be disappointed. Story: I had a powerful conversation with a business leader - Tim - this week. He shared that he’d spent his 20s, 30s and 40s climbing to the top of the success ladder and made it, only to find how lonely it was and how he’d missed out on precious moments with his family. Shortly after he’d finally decided to get off the corporate treadmill and set up his own business, his wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness. He regretted that he’d put achievement and financial security first, and felt that it had cost him a lot more than money. All this time, he was trying to get more done, more quickly and now felt that he could have made different choices altogether. Of course, he has the benefit of hindsight and it’s easy to fall into unnecessary regret. But what could this tell you about time management? You can be super-efficient at doing what you’re doing, but if you’re doing the wrong thing, you’re setting yourself up for some “massive pain” to use the words of Tony Robbins. (see the short video for a bit more on these ideas).
Tim told me that the biggest insight he’d ever had around this is that it’s not time management but choice management that’s the key. Of course, it's important that you have goals and work towards making them happen. But it’s not necessarily the actions you prioritise. It’s your values. And your values will guide your actions. So what do you value? Money, fame, status? Connection and relationships? Being of service? Curiosity and wonder? In the end, you value what your state of consciousness allows. If you tend to be in a fearful, anxious, survival mode, you’ll be driven mostly by the need for safety and significance; if you tend to function in a trusting, optimistic, creative mode you’ll more likely be drawn to learning and making a contribution as your priorities. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle. If you feel like you’re scrambling to get things done, running around trying to find a shortcut to your goals and getting nowhere, you could be stuck in a survival cycle. You’ll need to sit down and deactivate the time bomb… Legends in the making: My clients are all doctors working in extremely pressured environments (hospitals, general practice, war zones, fragile states, intergovernmental finance negotiations) and their mission is to deliver for patients and vulnerable populations. Firefighting and emergencies are pretty common. Yet, they’re able to master their decision-making and recover a sense of inspiration, clarity and flow amid the madness. Reactivity can be a doorway to the extraordinary if understood properly. The good news is anyone can do it! Becoming a master of time Of course, this kind of digging into your personal psychology to master it isn’t for everyone. It’s what makes the biggest difference to your life and career, but there is a multitude of reasons it may not be right for you, right now. Perhaps you’re cruising along purposefully which is a blessing to be grateful for. This is true success. Perhaps you prefer the status quo (which makes you completely uncoachable by the way!) You’re comfortable browsing the internet or reading stuff, and letting things trickle through slowly…Bearing in mind we filter what we read, the shelf-help won’t touch the problematic blindspots that result in time wasted on planning and action for things you don't really want or need! The big shifts that help you rearrange your life effectively require that you step outside your comfort zone and take a few risks. Everything you really want is outside your comfort zone. You’ll have to be brave to feel the magic but it's closer than you think and you don’t have to do it alone. Until next week, Amina ANNOUNCEMENT!
This month, I opened two coaching spots for my six month Career and Life Transformation process “Create a Career and Life You Love”. There is one spot left for an inspired soul. If you’re not interested stop reading, now! I’m creating a formal website page for this. In the meantime, read on if you want more information. Thank you! I work with a limited number of people; and blend deep coaching with strategic planning. Results from past clients include:
  • their dream job in medicine

  • better relationships and team dynamics

  • consulting contracts with intergovernmental organisations

  • making a higher income than ever before through promotions or consulting

  • long term funding for passion projects

  • being more at ease and relaxed with their path.

See here for a range of testimonials.

The process may be suitable if:

  • you’re passionate and hard working but not sure how to move forward;

  • you’re going around in circles and your confidence is dropping;

  • you want to feel inspired and clear again, sharpening your strategy and strengthening your intuitive wisdom;

  • you want to use your talent to have a positive impact in world and use your medical or professional skills differently;

  • you have a niggling voice/inner-critic that holds you back and you’re fed up with it.

If you think that’s you, let’s find out! Applying: 1) Email with “I’m interested!” in the subject line 2) I’ll send you a questionnaire to fill in (this will be a useful exercise for you to get more clarity on your career and life) 3) If I think I can help you, I’ll invite you to a Career Turnaround Session (here we’ll go deeper into your career aspirations, what’s in the way and leave you with a plan and feeling inspired again!) 4) At the end, I’ll share my reflections and we’ll talk about whether there is scope to work together further.

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