The One Question To Help Manage Your Time

Does this need to be done right now?


If you have more to do, than you have time to do it in – then this question is one you need to ask yourself often. Every time you are faced with a new task, a new email, a new phone call, a new request for help, stop and ask yourself, "Does this need to be done right now?"

Chances are good it doesn't. I know that you just want to get it off your plate, and sometimes it's just easier to handle it now. But that will get you off course, and take you away from the things you know you need to be doing, that mysteriously never seem to get done.

For example, I leave for Canada tomorrow. I should be writing my speech, gathering my travel documents, packing product, and planning my outfits. Instead I'm playing on Facebook. Until I ask myself, "Does this need to be done right now?" The answer is no. I get off Facebook, and get back on task.

Write that question down and hang it over your computer. Tape it in your car. Hang it around your neck. I promise it will make your life easier. It sure made mine.

Love, your frazzled motivational speaker who never seems to have enough time,


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. I bet that I'd be the first to comment as I'm the one who isn't taking your advice!! I should be working on a speech as well, but enjoyed reading your truthful words of wisdom.

  2. I call it escapism.  Then I'll straighten up like a good little soldier, write a list, prioritize, take action, and check things off as they're completed.  Productive spurts that take discipline, a sprinkle of panic and a looming deadline.  Then it's back to la la land :)

  3. Okay – excellent advice for absolutely anyone – but as a motivational speaker who ALWAYS has more to do than enough time in which to do it – this one was for me. Thanks Kelly. Writing my note now.


  4. Making signs NOW Kelly – thank you for these wise words.  Usually I am a master of doing the things that don't need to be done in oreder to put off doing the thing that DOES need to get done now.  Like taxes – which I happily squeaked in under the wire!  Great reminder – I think those signs will sell like hot cakes : ) 

  5. Geez – I do this every time I travel!  You know the part about waiting until the night before to pack – and sometimes late into the night to pack…you would think after all these years as a motivational speaker, I would learn to put down the magazines, and the remote control and pack a bit earlier than absolutely necessary.  So far – hasn't happened yet!


  1. […] DO the best you can with the time and energy you have now. If you get interrupted, ask, “Does this have to be done right now?” See Kelly Swanson’s article. […]

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