There are 8,760 hours in a year and there is nothing you can do about it! If you destroyed every sundial, stopwatch, oven timer, and clock tower in the world – time would march on! In his book, ‘Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity, David Allen reminds us ‘you don’t manage five minutes and wind up with six’.
Time management is really self-management. Here are a few Self-Management Tips:
- PLAN: Establish your own system of tracking tasks and events – then use it! What works for you: sticky notes on your computer monitor, electronic task manager on your smart phone, white board on your wall? The hard part isn’t designing a process, but having the discipline to use it– especially when the tasks are challenging.
- JUNK THE JUNK: Shed the ‘mediocre stuff’ and make room for the ‘best stuff’. Your busyness doesn’t count, your productivity does. What is a THE most important thing you must accomplish today to move your organization toward its goals?
- FOCUS, FOCUS: Try not to interrupt yourself. Multitasking can reach the point of diminishing returns. Pushing through one activity with determination, again, requires discipline. Discipline is self-management. (See also Illusion of Productivity)
- MAINTAIN A MARGIN: Allow for a little wiggle room because you can almost always expect the unexpected. How many times do you think, “Huh, I didn’t see that coming!” Surprises are not a reflection on your ability to manage your efforts, your team, or yourself. Surprises are simply unexpected events.
- PERSEVERE: Review your plan often and revise it, if needed. Having the perfect plan is not the prize. Executing a good plan well is the prize! Your “I’m gonna do it even if it is hard or scares me” attitude makes a huge difference. Consistency generates results.
Perhaps, Stephen Covey said it first in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: ‘Time management is really a misnomer. The challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves.’ How was your discipline yesterday? What, if anything, circumvented your self-management? Tell me, how would planning, junking the junk, focusing, maintaining a margin, or persevering make today a better day?
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman, an Executive Business Consultant with Leading Synergies, helps high-performing executives refine strategy, inspire teams, and delight clients (specializing in information technology, project management, consulting, and franchise management). She also leads Synergy Groups, weekly 55-minute virtual business mastermind calls for REALLY BUSY Christians in leadership. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 21 years.|