Friday, January 25, 2008

Juggling in 3D 365: Reading

Welcome to all this week's new subscribers. If you've been thinking about a face to face conversation and haven't got round to it, Diane has spaces in London on 5th and 6th February and will be coming to Bristol in March.

Diane writes: "Yesterday I had a hair appointment, I knew I would be there a couple of hours so I took with me a pile of things to read. I really do not enjoy reading women's magazines so usually I feel quite cross with myself when I forget to take a book with me to the hairdressers.This time while the chemicals worked their magic I got myself up to date with the latest thinking and research about coaching supervision. People often say during coaching sessions that they don't have time to do the reading they need to do. It is one of those things that easily get squeezed out, but we neglect it at our peril!

When I worked in an office in London I had the most wonderful PA. She was very good at making sure I always had the information I needed for appointments and meetings. My job often took me overseas for weeks at a time, and this was before we had e-mail, when even telephoning was difficult, if not impossible, in many of the places where I found myself. Hence, while I was overseas I had no idea what was happening back in the office. My PA was there to keep my work moving forward. On my return she would always give me three files marked: URGENT - read now; IMPORTANT - read this week; INTERESTING - read on the train. This made my re-entry into my organisation very easy. By the end of day one I had got up to speed on all the current issues and I knew that there was nothing nasty lurking in my in-tray.

Sadly, I no longer have a PA and the world has moved on. Unless I am asleep it seems I can be in contact with the whole world 24/7 from my mobile phone, but people still complain they have no time to read! What about using my PA's idea and adapting it to suit the way you work? The files can be paper or computer generated. Into URGENT goes the material you need to read to be ready for this weeks/months work. IMPORTANT is for ground breaking research which will have an effect on how you work and for the latest books in your field, which you need to read in order to keep up to date.This is the stuff that feeds you and keeps you fresh. INTERESTING - magazine and journal articles and books which catch your eye but aren't directly related to your work.Reading can then be be ongoing and become a regular activity.

That gets the reading matter organised,now where do you find the time? Where do you find yourself sitting with nothing in particular to do? On trains, at airports, over a coffee between clients, in the hour before you start to prepare supper, at the gym after your workout. There are lots of possibilities, the secret is recognising when is a good time for you and being organised enough to use it.I know a man who read 12 pages of theology every morning for 40+ years. It did not take him very much time each day, but it had a massive impact on his ability to keep up to date in his academic discipline. Like him, be clear about what you need to read then create a habit of using the time to read that suits the way you work and live."

Email or call Diane on 0845 458 0156 if a coaching conversation will help you to take this forward.
(c) 2008 3D Coaching Ltd

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