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What LEGO taught me about time management!

LEGO GroupImage via Wikipedia

Our boys received a number of gifts this Christmas that had that familiar red "LEGO" on the box.

So, over the past few weeks, I've been helping them to build those different feats of engineering and design.

And... during that time... I've been noticing that LEGO has been teaching me some things about time management.

Lesson One: Start with a plan.

Have you put any LEGOs together lately?  WOW! Some of the kits that our boys received this year came with... not one... but TWO instruction manuals.  That's right!  In fact, the one my youngest son and I were working on last night had over 150 steps needed to complete the model.

At first, I thought this might be overwhelming.  Honestly, when I first saw the two volumes of instructions fall out of the box... my heart raced.  But I found that as long as we just took it one step at a time, it was completely doable. 

As long as we took it step by step, we did just fine. 

Plus, we had a lot of fun and put it together much faster than I expected.

How does this play out with our time?  Well, I bet you already know where I'm headed. 

Start each day with a plan.  Know what you need to accomplish in the day and put those "to-dos" in order, so you can go from one to another... just like our LEGO model.  That way... even the most overwhelming tasks can be tackled... one step at a time.

Now... I'll be the first one to admit that life isn't as simple as LEGO, but I have noticed that if you start your day with a plan, you'll get a lot more accomplished than if you don't have one.

Lesson Two: Group the Pieces.

When we first dumped out the box on the table, it was chaos.  It was a jumbled mess of blocks, tubes, planks and LEGO people. 

We found that as all the various pieces of LEGO sat on the table, it made sense to group some things before we got started.  So wheels would go into one pile.  Square pieces would go into another.  Long narrow rectangles would get their own pile, too.  That helped us to find the pieces we needed quickly.

How does this play out with time management? 

Well... recently, I was meeting with an entrepreneur.  He was trying to bring some order to his week and give each of his business entities the time it needed.  As he looked at his schedule, it felt like a big pile of LEGO pieces piled up on a table.  There wasn't a lot of order and there was sense of chaos. 

So, we spent some time "grouping" things.  Instead of trying to squeeze everything in... every day, we started to say one day could be for entity A, and the rest of the week could be for entity B. 

That "grouping" allowed him the ability to focus on the things he needed to do and not get overwhelmed.  It also allowed him to be more in the moment and know that everything had more order.

What could you "group" your pieces? 

Are there certain tasks that you need to do each day or each week that you could "group?"  You know... do them all together... and do it with some specific and protected time?

What could that do to your ability to focus?  How might that save some time? 

Lesson Three: Play when you are done!

That's the beauty of LEGO.  When you are done with all the steps, you have a TOY to play with. 

I know this may seem simple but since it takes some work to put it together, it's easy... even for the kids... to sometimes forget to play when it's done.

Can you identify?

Have you ever told yourself that once a big project is done... you'll finally relax or go do something fun?  But then, when that project is complete, you find yourself jumping into the next big task or duty!

Well... take a lesson from LEGO. 

Plan for some times to PLAY.  That's right!  Schedule some times in your day or week to play a bit.  Whether that's taking a 15 minute walk or calling a friend or... you fill in the blank. 

Schedule some time to play when you are done with a task... even five or 10 minutes.  And just see what it does for your overall productivity!

That's it for now. 

Those are some of the lessons I learned from those blocks... wheels... and planks.

So... I say... thanks LEGO for the reminders! 

I should have expected no less from such a great company and from such amazing toys!

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