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As an advocate of time management from a life perspective or, to put it another way, as an advocate of principle centred personal life-leadership, I am always conscious of an overwhelming ‘need’ to be productive all the time. Which is self-defeating. I’ll tell you why.

It creates a paradox between two states. The first state is that of being present and involved in what you are doing now, which may be something you’ve planned for, even joyfully anticipated and couldn’t wait to start. The second state, that of the ‘productivity nut’, is that of being already aware of and eager to move towards the next thing you have planned or which you know you are going to do.

When I go shopping with the wife I am gravely conscious of how long it takes her to buy the same things we’ve bought before, those routine groceries and toiletries that never change, bought from the shop w always shop in (a time saver, you know). I find myself particularly aware of how long it’s taking when I know I have other things to do which are being delayed by her delaying.

But it is much WORSE when, being a ‘thinker’, a thought suddenly pops into my noggin, a thought of an unplanned to-do which is more important than shopping – and this is the point at which her methodical reviewing of the things we never, ever buy (and never will) starts to get my goat. “Come ON”, I’m thinking, “I’ve got something I need to do NOW” – even though it doesn’t really need to be ‘now’ at all. My focus is now on the future rather than the present, and the present is something from which escape is occasionally impossible – like when shopping, before you’ve collected all you need and haven’t yet paid for the goods.

Occasionally, just being in the moment is enough. That is what the current popularity of ‘Mindfulness’ is promoting. And as I recently tweeted, “I was thinking about writing a book on mindfulness until I realised EVERYBODY ALREADY HAS. It’s about being aware. That’ll be £10, please.”

Yes, I am bored and even dismayed by the glut of Mindfulness books on the shelves. Not that the concept has no value, just that everyone has a take on what is, essentially, a simple concept. One book is enough. The rest are profiteering.*

One book is enough to tell me to stop worrying about what I am doing now because of what I have to do next. Because ‘next’ can wait until the shopping is finished, and that is when I can re-prioritise.

Mindfulness. Time management ‘thinking’ for the woo-wah types, without the practical advice for managing time.


*Have you noticed  that Rhonda Byrne’s books (The Secret, The Power, The Toilet – okay, I made that one up) all seem to say the same thing  at a high cost, and have you also noticed how many other books now use the same artistry and format. They aren’t riding on her success at all, are they!! Just like the new cottage industry that is ‘Mindfulness’.


Blog Part

I realised I didn’t say a lot on Sunday, so just to let you know I am 2.25 lbs away from my ‘upper target’, and therefore well within reach of getting to my ‘lower’ weight target by the deadline. I also just ran my fastest 5km run and my longest ‘long run’ at 5.1 miles, proof that the running programme on this site has value.

To be specific about the diet I am using: I have two Slimfast milk shakes as breakfast and lunch. I (usually) have a fish and veg dinner, with a slice of toast (and one for my dog) and a Muller Light yoghurt for supper. This is supported by several cups of coffee and the odd biscuit when I have coffee with my mum. The dinners vary occasionally with a fish or ham salad, but the objective of this meal is not to exceed 800 calories if at all possible. Do I cheat – yes, I have Saturday off and do tend to indulge a little but having lost nearly 3 stone I find that I indulge a lot less than I used to because the willing (and the stomach space) is no longer there!