I didn’t have enough time to … Is this one of your favorite phrases? Do you hear it from your team members? The leader establishes the culture of the organization; therefore, if the leader isn’t concerned with effective time management – no one will be concerned. There will never be enough time.
This two part article is an overview of my presentation It’s About Time: Control Your Time – Control Your Life on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at West Wake Tech in Cary, NC. Click Here to register.
Part I – Plan the Work and Work the Plan
Control is not a four letter word, yet people appear to be hesitant to use the word. We hear people lament that “my life is out of control” yet seldom hear, I’ve got control of my life.” The more you believe you can get control, the more you will try to control, the more you will control. When you get control of your time, you will get control of your life.
Since each person is unique, there is no one size fits all method to get control of your time. Here’s a new flash…You get to choose to get control. Yes, it is about choice. We do what is important to us. Remember, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
To get control of your time, you’ve got to play to your strengths. Identify your strengths and collaborate with others who have complimentary strengths. If one of your strengths is communication, collaborate with a person whose strength is focus. If your strength is not working with excel spreadsheets – find someone who loves excel spreadsheets. You waste time trying to turn a weakness into strength. Play to your strengths.
How much time a week do you spend planning? Thirty minutes spent planning enables most people to recover an hour a day. The key to successful planning is to answer the Big Six Questions:
1. Results – what do I want; what are my goals?
2. Activities – what must I do to achieve these goals?
3. Priorities – what are my priorities? What do I do first? What can wait?
4. Time – how much time must I dedicate to each activity? (Be realistic, everything takes more time than you think)
5. Schedule – each activity. What time of day will I commit to each activity?
6. Flexibility – what will I do about things you can not control?
Is scheduling and planning interchangeable? No, planning is deciding what to do. Scheduling is deciding when to do it. Planning is an intention; scheduling is a commitment. Shut your door. Don’t check emails and do not answer the phone. Give yourself quiet time to do your planning and scheduling.
Goal is a four-letter word. I encourage clients to replace goal with intention. Anyone can set a goal for you, but only you can set your intentions. Setting intentions is more powerful than goal setting. You want those intentions to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed.
Next month, Part II – Results or Consequences. If you want to get control of your time – and your life, contact me for a complimentary coaching session.