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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesCoach Paradise: Time's A-Wastin'

Coach Paradise: Time's A-Wastin'

Dear Coach Paradise,
I am a writer who works at home. My customers visit with me in my home to discuss ideas, review current work and brainstorm ideas. I love what I do and I like my customers. I have been bothered lately by clients calling to cancel or change our appointments at the last minute and by clients who stay long after our work together is complete.
I need for my clients to understand that my time is valuable, and I need advice on how to set things up so I don’t insult them and so that I make the best use of my time. I’ve had to pay for therapy appointments I’ve missed, and I wouldn’t call a doctor’s office to say I’d be an hour late — and expect to be seen! Working at home may make it look like I am a person of leisure, but I’m not. The more successful I am, the more I need to get straight on how to handle my clients and time. Please help.
Pressed for Time
Dear Pressed for Time,
Time is energy, just like money, physical vitality, creativity, enjoyment and relationship. We can learn to focus and direct these energies toward what we truly want, or be frustrated and in a perpetual bad mood. Your question makes it clear that you are looking for a handle on how to manage the energy of time and for a way to communicate this to the people around you.
I know the people you are talking about, both because I have had friends and clients who have “wasted” my time and because I have wasted time myself. Your primary work is an “inside job.” Get really clear. Figure out how much your time is worth (in dollars and in satisfaction), and how you want to allocate the hours in your day. Become conscious of where you leak or waste time. Decide how much time you want to spend on work and play, writing and seeing clients — i.e. what is the most efficient and beneficial use of your time. Look, see and tell the truth here, because this is the foundation from which all else will follow.
Many professionals charge by the minute or the hour, and people tend to honor their commitments when money is at stake. They make this known right from the beginning, often in writing …. Creating a contract is a great way to communicate your expectations of others and let them know what they can expect of you. It is also something you can refer back to if there is a question at any point.
Instead of feeling as though you are cracking down and becoming intolerant, realize that using the energy of time wisely means demonstrating your “inside job” clarity in the world. Next time someone asks to show up late, let them know that you want to make sure they get all the time they deserve and it would be better to come on time or to reschedule — in the interest of producing the results you both want.
What are you going to do with all this newfound energy?
To your energy of time,
Coach Paradise
Editor's note: Coach Paradise (AKA Anne Nayer), Professional Life Coach, is a member of the International Coaching Federation, an MSW clinical social worker-psychotherapist and a medical case manager with 30 years experience working with people of all shapes, sizes and challenges.
For further information about her services, call 774-4355 or email her.

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