Life isn’t a circus so I suggest that juggling should’t be something you do often. How many oranges can a clown handle before going crazy and losing his job? I don’t know but one thing I am sure of is that trying to play super clown will leave you feeling incompetent because the only thing you will succeed at is failure; failure to bring out the best in you.

So what’s this all about? Circus, clowns, juggling? It’s about your daily patterns. What you do and decide not to do. What you say yes or no to. Just this week I posted on Facebook about an important lesson I learned, and that is, to say “No” to too many favours people ask of me. I don’t want to find myself doing things that suck the life out of me and at the end of each day get me going to bed tired like I’ve been digging my personal mine shaft only to achieve one thing to my benefit –  nothing, but leaving a harvest of benefit to another person. That’s an unbalanced life, trust me on that. What does this all boil down to? Time management and a sense of mission.

We all have limits in time and energy so the wisest decision would be to utilize each day to the full by juggling few oranges. An important principle about time is that if you do not plan for it then someone else’ agenda will determine how your day goes; you will say yes to every request and join the circus clowns except you’ll be juggling tasks that are not of value to your mission.

messy desk_full

Let me talk about mission: Once you have a mission in life you will ensure that your daily activity helps you fulfill that mission. Whatever is parallel to your mission will receive least priority. Having a mission means deliberately budgeting for your time early in advance and putting in your calendar activities that gravitate toward your mission. If someone from the audience throws you a banana, ignore it.

Allow me to share some key principles I picked up from a book by Gordon McDonald; if you do not plan for your time in advance and take control of it then the influential people in your life will control it. How? They will ask you for this favour and that favour and since your calendar is disorganized you won’t say no. How about tea? Ok. Escort me to town. Ok. Type this for me. OK. Because time is not planned for you will give attention to every emergency that arises. How many emergencies can you juggle. Hey, my laptop crashed, may you type my assignment cause it’s due in five hours? Ok. After all there is nothing on your calendar. Furthermore, if you do not seize your time deliberately by planning for it in advance, you will give attention to events that win you public acclamation. For instance, many of us fail to say no to invitations to sing, do poetry, dance or speak at events where we will in some way be praised. Initially we are in couch potato mode then we receive an invitation to an event, be it a concert or conference, and we straight away say “yes I will be there.” Why? Because we seek to look good before other people. But here’s what caught my attention from Gordon McDonald’s writing: When we don’t capture our time, we spend most of it giving attention to our general weaknesses. The attitude is, “because I am a good rapper I spend little time rehearsing since I know I always do a good job anyway.” Ahaaah. Right there is the biggest problem. That’s why singers spend more time doing secretarial tasks, preachers spend time watching movies and mathematicians crack their heads studying geography. Because I don’t need to rehearse I can do you that favour. I’m good at what I do. No becomes an unfamiliar word. The result is you and I become no more than substandard performers in what we are wired for.

Of course we should help others so it’s not wise to say no to everyone so as to achieve a selfish personal mission. The point is, command your time. This will give you power to say No or Yes when necessary. Unplanned time implies that you will always say yes to every favour asked of you. In short, you will say yes to every favour if you have no sense of mission because of a disorganized calendar.

How do you take charge of your time? McDonald suggests that you plan way in advance based on your mission, identify when you are most productive daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Set your high priority tasks in your times of high productivity e.g. is it mornings from Tuesday to Thursday? Choose to do what is best rather than good enough. Do people one or two favours when your calendar is free according to your plan.

You lose the power to say No when you give up the power to command your time.

True character in this will not be measured by an ability to choose right from wrong but an ability to choose the best instead of good enough.


~ by thenativez on March 7, 2013.

2 Responses to “NO MORE CLOWNS PLEASE by gEO”

  1. awesome. THANK YOU! I NEEDED it. Thank you.

  2. Love the article. Really on point Geo. Thanks for this lovely reminder

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