Coaching two clients recently on their time management habits inspired me to dig into the wisdom form Gordon MacDonald again. A timeless truth is that, unless we budget time for goals and tasks, we might end up not achieving our goals nor accomplish the tasks on our to-do list. Gordon MacDonald, in his book "Ordering you private world" calls this the laws of unseized time.

Law 1 says that unseized time flows toward my weaknesses. Without a clear mission or at least clear goals in my life, I tend to spend large amounts of time doing things I'm not good at.

Law 2 says that unseized time comes under the influence of dominant people in my world: If I don't budget for time, others easily enter my world and force their priorities on my time.


Use the last 15 minutes of your workday to plan for the following day. In addition, writing down gets things off your mind:

  • Keep a to-do list. Check a task once you have accomplished it.
  • Note the e-mails you need to send the next day.Too often we get caught up in just responding to e-mail, whether they are important or not.
  • Clear your desk of clutterand make sure its tidy, Starting the day with a neat desk helps to keep your thoughts organised.
  • Make a list of important things you want to achieve with your new work day, & check that you have achieved your goals for today.

(Real Simple – life made easier Magazine, Aug. 2007)

Image Credit: Greg Rakozy- 76571 unsplash

Was it just the other day that I was on holiday with my family, starting each day with a steaming cup of coffee, gazing over the Western-Cape ocean? Now suddenly I am back in my office early morning – at least the steaming cup of coffee is still there, – but having to manage priorities again.

Do have good intentions for the new year? And if you have goals, do you have plans how to achieve them? I have tried one of the famous planning systems which promise instant success: Guess, what happened?

Firstly, the system is so cumbersome that it took forever to get the planning to a point where I could set goals.

Secondly, it seems that you need to study and spend lots of time to keep track of your progress.

This is the time of year-end parties – and speeches.  I attended a year-end dinner just recently: The ambience was festive, the food was delicious, there were beautiful flower arrangements, the evening gowns of the ladies and suits of the gentlemen were lovely to watch, but the speeches! Yes, you guessed it: The speeches were boring. There were long sentences and words difficult to understand. The speeches were too long, and it was difficult to follow the speaker’s thoughts.

Why do some speakers manage to write speeches that people enjoy listening to? Because without realising, we write our speeches just as we write a report or an academic paper – suited to be read and not heard.  The style for business writing is usually formal, with longer sentences and technical jargon. If the reader does not understand a sentence or paragraph, he/she can re-read the difficult piece of text.