I was once working with a client who has his own business (several in fact) has a family and is also part of a project in the local community. He came to see me because he was in a state of absolute overwhelm. His employees had lost focus, his wife was completely frustrated at never spending any time with him and he didn’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done that needed doing.

When he first came to see me he knew everything that he needed to do, but knowing it overwhelmed him further because he knew he didn’t have time to attend to it.

His work was in the entertainments industry and as such he spent a lot of time visiting clients and spending one to one time with them. This made it difficult for him to do the things that would really make a significant difference to his business. He knew what he had to do, but didn’t have the time to do it. It occurred to me that if something major happened, something that would overshadow the day to day tasks, he would of course find the time to do it. So I asked him how long it would take to do one of the important tasks that he couldn’t find the time to do, a task which if he did have the time to do it, would save him a significant amount of time in the long run. He said it would take 2 days to complete the task.

Then I asked him to imagine that a major client had called him up really keen to work with him. The client needed some one to one time but importantly had requested also, that he spend two days within their organisation getting to grips with their business so he could better understand their needs. I stressed this imaginary company could pay him more than anyone has ever paid him before and there would also be repeat business. I could see he was getting excited by the prospect of my imaginary proposition.

I asked if he could find 2 days to go and visit the imaginary company and he said a very definite “Yes!”

I said “just for the sake of really playing along, what 2 days can you go to the imaginary company?” He checked his diary and told me two consecutive days. He had other stuff on but it was stuff he felt he could juggle to other days.

I had previously told this man to find a couple of days to do the tasks that would in the long run make life easier and save him time and energy. But he replied telling me he didn’t even have an hour to spare. Even though he knew the positive impact of completing these tasks, he just couldn’t find the time.

However when I presented him with an imaginary opportunity which excited him, he was able to make the time he needed.

Whilst he was completely aware of the relief he would experience by getting things done, it wasn’t enough to get him to find the time to do them. His belief that there wasn’t time got in the way. With a different framework, time appeared where it had not existed before.

I then had him put my imaginary event in his diary but told him those were the two days to complete what had now become his priority tasks.

If you have a task that you haven’t found the time to do, pretend that you need to find the time for something you would undoubtedly make time for. When you’ve realised what can be changed or moved to make way for your imaginary event, fill the time with your top priority task.


By Gemma Bailey
NLP & Hypnotherapy Trainer