Totally Tapped Out

Published on
May 18, 2015
Chris Taylor
"Ideas are only valuable when applied."
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“After June 8th.”

That’s when I’ve been asking people to circle back with me regarding just about anything that doesn’t absolutely, positively need to be addressed sooner. Why? Because I’m totally tapped out. Every day, evening and weekend from now until June 8th is spoken for, booked and blocked in the calendar. There’s nothing left to give.

But of course that’s not true.

A family friend passed away unexpectedly last week, and of course I was there for the funeral. My mom flew in from out of town for it as well, and so I had a great evening with her, too. I rearranged and cancelled plans to make sure I was there for something important. And yet.

And yet, three days earlier I was vehement that there was absolutely no room in my calendar to move anything between now and June. I was certain there was barely enough time for the things I already had on my plate.

I don’t think the challenge is our lack of available time, but instead is a lack of clarity on our priorities. We’re inundated by options and choices on how to spend our time; so much so that many of us have stopped looking at it as choices.

We’ve unconsciously slipped into a world of “have to do” and “need to do” and the myopic view of the self-important. Of course some things are obviously more important, and we choose without spending much time considering the alternatives. But what about the millions of other small decisions that present themselves? What do we do when the choice to engage is not obvious? Or worse, when we fail to even recognize it as a choice? Just because it’s crossed your radar doesn’t mean you have to do anything with it. But how do you decide what should or should not be addressed?

My “June 8th” trick is a date I set with intentionality. Technically, all my current projects wrap up May 29th, and then we’ll be leaving for Spain again. I have a week of driving the Spanish countryside before the 8th arrives, and I plan to use (some of) that time to get exceptionally clear on the 2-3 priorities for Q3, and then invite in the relevant people, conversations and tools that will help advance those priorities. And for everyone else, I’ll invite them to circle back with me in September, when I’m doing the same exercise for Q4. One change though – this “fully booked” thing, while highly productive (and if I’m honest with myself, makes me feel pretty good), may be limiting my ability to be creative on the fly.

I like the rhythm of quarterly planning prior to making any significant time commitments for said quarter, but this time I’m planning to aim for the “70% booked” target that I’ve seen work well for others.

Side note – if you run your own service-based business and are looking to get really clear on where you should be spending your time, and insight on tools and process for managing the constant barrage of demands on your time, you might be interested in the Business Builder Bootcamp, launching in June. There are still a couple spots available, and the promocode GOOSELOVE will save you $200.