Friday, 28 January 2011

Managing Your Personal Bandwidth: Admitting You Can’t Do *Everything*

“How do you have time to write a book?” my friend asked the other day.

I told her, I had to make sacrifices. Mainly leisure time.

Ever since I started researching my second book ‘Juggle!’ I’ve advised and talked to many people who lead - or aspire to lead - multi-dimensional work lives. The biggest challenge? TIME: how to use it.

Whatever you do, whatever the demands on you, there’s something we’ve all got in common. We all have 24 hours a day. In which to do stuff, make a living, have fun, get inspired, kiss our kids goodnight. So you have to make choices. If you want to launch that hobby business or master that new skill, you might have to ditch TV.

Between now and the beginning of April, the pressure is on as I juggle writing a new book alongside a  full portfolio of projects. Some things have to give. That TV series, that evening relaxing, reading that novel. So there are tough choices to be made. To spend Sunday with the family or working on the book. And I’ve just made another one.

In March I was due to be participating in a panel at SXSW Interactive, this would have been my third trip to the festival, being part of the line-up in ‘Ditch The Rule Book: How To Run A Business Your Way’ along with Espree Devora, Lewis Howes, Shane Mac and Giang Biscan.

SXSW has always given me enormous value but it takes a big investment in time (and let’s not forget the cost of getting there). Being away in Texas at a critical point in my book writing with all those wonderful distractions was just going to create too much pressure and stress. So I’ve had to stand down.  I’ll miss my annual dose of inspiration, both for my business and for my soul.

But, it’s a reminder that you can’t do everything at the same time. So don’t try, manage that personal bandwidth carefully.

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