The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

Free Time Should be Me Time—Part 1

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, March 23, 2020
Featured Image

I hear the laughter and disdain already: “Free time? Are you kidding?”
“Me time? Huh? I don’t even know where “me” is these days!
“What planet do you live on? We had a cutback and now I need to be three people!”

I got it. The volume of work seems never ending. Family demands don’t stop. Folks are stretched so thin they’re like a rubber band ready to snap. No wonder that burnout is now listed by the World Health Organization as a global occupational hazard.

But if YOU don’t take control of what you accept in those 24-hour blocks called a day, your life will vanish before your eyes. Notice that word “accept”. Unless someone is holding a gun to your head, your steady “yes” can be changed to “no, “not now”, or “who else can do this or help me?”

I’ll be writing a series of articles about time control—not time management. Control precedes management. You want to find the definitive areas that are in your control first. From that time management actions can start.

1. Control the conversation about where your time goes. For example, there are activities that add no value to your organization or your life. But you haven’t stopped to question: “Why am I doing this?” Ask that question three times, each time with a different emphasis:

WHY am I doing this? Is it because someone said so? Is it because no one stopped to question the validity? Is this old programming that can be changed?

Why am I doing this? Is this really my “job”? Have I convinced myself that I am the only person who can do this? Have I bought into the notion that “by the time I tell someone how to do this, I could have done it myself.” That last belief can hold you back from helping others grow and possibly discovering a better way.

Why am I doing THIS? Does it need to be done now? Can I do only part of it? Does this action I’m doing right now help or hurt me in the future? Could it be that “how” I am doing something is the burden. For example, if only a summary statement is required, why am I creating spreadsheets, a slide deck and footnotes?

The conversation and thus control begins within your head and then can move out to teammates, a manager, or your family members. You DO have control.

2. Know what your peak performance time and control is what you put in that time block. For example, I am a morning person. If I try and do a difficult task after 4pm, it will take me much longer, probably be loaded with errors, and leave me exhausted. Rank-order your day into four time slots, from your most to least productive. Control what actions you put where.

You can read Part Two here.

You can read Part Three here.

Share This Post

Like this post? Please share it!

< Back to All Posts


Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

View all posts by Eileen

Subscribe to My Blog!

Like My Blog?

Please share it!

Recents Posts




Honoring Veterans Office Celebrations Talk Ain't Cheap Book LGBTQ Sustainability Thanksgiving Aging civil discourse Human Interaction Mother's Day Conversation earthquakes Energizing Words Radical Resiliency Depression Meetings work life balance Joy Resolutions cancer employees Guns e-mail Leaders Open Doors Book WASP Stress U.S.A.A. employee retention Spirit Optimism Deloitte Humanity Managers John Mattone Loneliness Disruption Happiness USAA Charity Breath Boston Marathon Corporate Culture Jewish Career Advice resilient organizations Suddenly Single Children Fear St. Patrick's Day Trust Book Reviews Vegan Back To School Compassion waiting Positive Brain Repatterning Humor Listening Adam Grant Twas The Night Before Christmas Hurricane Irma Writing Laughter Divorce Dogs creativity Multi-tasking Marriage Henry VIII Persuasion Motivating Others New Year resolutions Siblings Sexual Harassment angels Climate Change Ownership John Havlik gratitude Hurricane Harvey Learned Optimism Travel preresilience Volunteer Kindness Networking More Fun at Work Christmas Married Yoga Relationships Adventure John Blumberg Ecotourism holidays resiliency Play customer service Spelling Bee Sales teams Building Resilience Change Seder Eve Intentions Your Resiliency GPS Memorial Day conscience Walk For Hunger Alzheimer's Postive Work Environment ecology Speaking Emotional Intelligence Feedback Strangers Branding Option B Time Management Fun Work Environment Idea Mark Scharenbroich coaching Arlington Cemetary Patriots Exercise Soft Skills Women Connection Family Bill Treasurer Art Energizing Others Tornadoes in Texas Vacation Sheryl Sandberg Technology Voting Bullying Engaged Workers Breathe love Energy Reshaping the Brain Napping Leadership Skills Politics Disrupt Gifts From The Mountain Diversity Road Trip resilient leaders Sleeping Superbowl Faith Adaptability Content Generation Empathy Requisite Variety Burnout Loss Anxiety Nursing The Last Jedi Animals Interview Employee Attitude Survive goals Communication Social Media resilience women in leadership Environtment