“Planning is a process of choosing among those many options. If we do not choose to plan, then we choose to have others plan for us.”
— Richard I. Winwood
I almost lost a friendship because I used to be late all the time. My friend told me not to ever call her again to make lunch plans until I was sure that I could be on time!
I bless her because she is the reason I chose to develop a plan I call ‘Schedule for Success,’ which over the years has made me more attractive in all of my relationships.
A pet peeve for most people is waiting for other people who are continuously late – friends who are late for a lunch date, associates who are late for meetings or responding to requests, service providers who are late in meeting the due dates set for completing projects.
Most of us do our best to take into consideration that everything happens for a reason and everything will always work out in the end.
Yet, most of the time – each of us has the free will to choose what we will do and by when.
And, as a result of coaching thousands of people over the past 20 years, I have come to understand that most people do not intend to be late and they feel very badly about their self when they are. They feel it is a very un-attractive pattern which they feel powerless to break.
They know that their behavior is having a negative effect on their relationships with family, friends and business associates.
I thank Brenda Wiener for being so open and honest about it:
“There were some items I would schedule each week and never complete. As I was choosing to be more and more personally accountable to myself for completing what I had scheduled each week this wasn’t sitting very well with me. In fact it was downright embarrassing!”
And then she mastered — ‘Scheduling for Success’.
The 3 top reasons why people are habitually late are:
#3 – Something unexpected occurs and they attempt to fix it expecting they can do so and still be on time
#2 — They say ‘yes’ to requests before considering what they have already agreed to do
And the #1 reason why people are habitually late (drum roll please)…
#1 – They lost track of time
These were the same reasons I gave for being late before learning how to ‘Schedule for Success.’
Once I began practicing ‘Schedule for Success’ I now…
* Meet my due dates
* Keep my appointments
* Communicate immediately once I know I will be encountering an unexpected delay
‘Scheduling For Success’ gives us power to be on time because we choose to use our calendar to schedule start and end times for what we intend to do…and we also schedule in space between activities to allow for travel times and any unplanned activities and requests that happen unexpectedly every day.
Most people do not ‘Schedule for Success’ because they do not schedule clear start and end times on their calendar. Instead, their calendar (if they use one at all) is filled to the brim with what they intend to get done that day.
They enjoy playing ‘beat the clock’ to see just how much they can fit in because their mind set is ‘there is never enough time to get everything done.’
‘Scheduling for Success’ reminds us that we have specific goals we are focused on achieving. First, we identify the activities that will be required to achieve each goal. At the start of every month, we schedule those activities on our calendar with specific start and end times so that we are assured that those are the activities to which we will give our first and foremost attention. Then, everything else fits in around those activities.
Let’s now explore how ‘Scheduling for Success’ can support people in addressing the #3 reason for lateness.
#3 Something unexpected occurs and we attempt to fix it and still be on time.
It is to be expected that the ‘unexpected’ is likely to happen at some point during the day. Scheduling a 5-15 minute ‘rest stop’ between activities gives us a chance to not only take a moment to breathe and rejuvenate our self to boost our energy – it also gives a chance to deal with the unexpected or to make a call to inform someone that we will be late so that they are not waiting for us to show up.
#2 Saying ‘yes’ to requests before considering what we have already agreed to do.
Most people hate saying ‘no’ when others make requests of them. They either truly want to be of help or they don’t want to feel guilty by turning down a request. So, what they do instead is say ‘Yes’ even when they actually do not have the time to do it.
They say ‘Yes’ because they do not have a close relationship with their calendar. If they did, it would be easy for them to say ‘No’ because they could honestly say they do not have the time to accept the request.
By scheduling the activities they truly want to do on their calendar with actual start and end times before the day begins, they can more accurately respond to a request for their time from a friend, family member or work associate. Instead of an automatic ‘Yes’, the answer can be ‘Let me check my schedule and get back to you.”
Now this is what Brenda Wiener says, “Since reading the book, Chi-To-Be! Achieving Your Ultimate B-All by Stacey Hall, I noticed push-push-push is what I grew up with. Even our vacations were spent moving from one location to another. Today I can honestly say that I am taking better care of myself and not pushing so much. I am learning to stop and appreciate when I am able to accomplish something with velocity and ease. I am supporting my re-programming though my use of Stacey’s tips. I am especially finding Scheduling For Success combined with Rest Stops is very helpful. I schedule a Rest Stop in between activities to support myself in being able to appreciate the ease with which I accomplished the previous activity before I start the next activity.”
#1 Losing track of time
We have all had the experience of getting so caught up in a project or a situation that we have lost track of time. However, when losing track of time occurs over and over again it is an indication that the person does not use a calendar to schedule their activities. Instead, they are doing their best to remember their schedule in their mind and the mind is becoming overloaded.
The only way to keep track of time is to manage our activities on our calendar with specific start and end dates.
Again, we schedule the activities we are choosing to do in order to achieve our goals with greater velocity and ease. When each activity is something we are enjoying doing because each one is bringing us closer to the achievement of our goals, our calendar no longer feels like a straitjacket.
Instead, our calendar becomes our #1 tool for keeping our energy high so we can sustain our ability to stay in The Attraction Zone.
And, that is how ‘Scheduling for Success’ makes us more ‘attractive’!
I would love to hear how you use ‘Scheduling for Success.’ If your schedule allows, thanks for taking a moment to share your insights and ideas with me using the Comments section below.
Go For Yes Success Strategist
Speaker, Best-Selling Author
CEO, Chi-To-Be!, LLC