The single most important distinction that you, a time clutter consultant must know like the proverbial bank of your hand is that of a time demand.
Your clients approach you for help from all kinds of angles, that seem to be confusing and have little in common:
“I get too much email.”
“I don’t have enough time to get everything done.”
“I am so stressed out – things are falling through the cracks.”
“I am suffering from informational overload”
What they don’t know, and must be taught, is that all of the above symptoms are related to the way they create, and manage time demands.
A time demand is an individual commitment to complete an action in the future. In some ways, they are like physical objects but in others, they are quite different.
– are always created by the individual (without exception).
– consist of a task, plus a perceived duration, and oftentimes an estimated start and end time / date.
– are born in the mind, and may be stored there also (but not safely.)
– vary in length.
– disappear when the action is completed.
– can be transformed from mental objects to other representations such as items on a todo list, appointments, or reminders. When this happens, the mind may retain no trace of its creation.
– can be “moved” from one location to another in an individual’s time management system.
A good consultant is always working to improve a client’s methods for dealing with time demands. As the number of time demands grows, so should one’s capacity.
With these principles in mind, it’s much easier to consult with someone at any level of skill, as there’s only one thing you need to focus on when doing a Co-Diagnostic activity: “where are the time demands going?”