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The Bird Dog Who Chased Rabbits – A Lesson in Time Management

By Peter Turla, timeman.com

In my time management presentations I sometimes use the following story to make a point about staying focused on the objective you’ve set out to accomplish:

Bird DogI saw my new neighbor, Ed, putting one of his dogs into the back of his pickup truck. I went over and asked Ed what he was up to. He said he was going hunting for quail and needed the dog to help him find where the birds are hiding and point them out. I asked why he used this older, slower dog and not Harley, his younger, more energetic dog.

He said, “Harley is younger and faster, and loves to go hunting, but when we get out there in the brush, he forgets his job is to point out the birds to me. Whenever a rabbit flushes out and starts to run, Harley hauls off and chases after him and that’s the end of my quail hunting for a while. A good bird dog knows to let the rabbit go and keep pointing out the birds. Harley has never learned that.”

Are you like Harley? Do you start on one thing and then find yourself getting sidetracked? Do you have the rabbit-chasing syndrome?

Instead of getting sidetracked by the latest or most interesting thing and making that your top priority, keep the big picture in mind of what you want to accomplish. Learn to stay focused on the things that directly relate to you meeting your main objective.

Use this time management idea to stay focused and follow through on the things that help you to achieve your objective: Every time you’re about to start a new task, stop and ask yourself, “Is what I am about to do, going to contribute to what I’ve set out to accomplish today?”


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