The other day I had an appointment to sign some papers. It should've been a 15 minute thing, maybe 30 minutes at the most. Instead I was there for over an hour, on a Saturday morning.....because he was talking....about himself. I left there feeling frustrated, and honestly, a little angry. I had to percolate those feelings a bit to get to the root of why I had these feelings.
The reality is that the time in that office belonged to both of us. We are required to share time - even if we do not share the same goals with that time. Every conversation, every interaction, every event where there is more than one person is a practice in time-sharing.
Looking back I see that maybe this person was lonely. Or maybe he was bored. Or maybe he didn't respect me and my time as a client. I'll probably never know, but it helped prepare me for the next time I'm time-sharing, but not necessarily goal-sharing.
- Decide how much time I have to devote to this activity. If I only want or need to spend 20 minutes, I need to determine that before I even start.
- Prepare for a graceful exit. Phrases such as, "I appreciate your time, and I really have to wrap this up in the next 5 minutes..." let's the person you're with know that you value his/her time but have other things on your scheduling plate.
- Ask a question. I know...if you're trying to finish, the last thing you want is to start asking questions, but sometimes questions can get the point across - productively and politely. Notice that the following questions also come with finality - later time, summary, next time - they all suggest ending and yet looking forward to meeting again.
- I am really in a time crunch today. Could we please continue this conversation at a later time?
- Your points are interesting. Could you please send me an email summary?
- I wish I had more time to spend on this today. When is the next time we could meet?
Those of you who know me know I'm a "get the job done", no nonsense kinda gal. We all have things to do, places to go, and people with whom we want to spend our time. I also believe strongly in building relationships, and acknowledge that it's a two way street - the middle of your sentence can't be cut off by the beginning of mine!!!
My point you may ask? On a personal level I want the people in my life to know how important they are to me, and truly being present in their presence (kinda catchy, eh?) is one way to demonstrate it. I also know that on a We Love Messes level, it's important that each and every one of you knows how important you are - I'm honored that you've chosen me for your decluttering journey, and respect both your time and resources. And if you need a little help with time management - I can be your co-pilot to get you headed in the right direction!