Here is a guest post from Susan Reid, author of Discovering Your inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman's Journey to Business Success. I like Susan's point about the importance of how we treat time (and the pitfalls of falling into a time management mindset). Susan is doing a virtual book tour on several blogs - you can see the other posts and her tour stops here. Thanks for contributing to Management Craft, Susan!
Take Time Out of Time Management for Business Success
How many times have you said to yourself, “I really need to manage my time better”? Or, when evaluating an employee, “they really need to work on their time management skills”?
We blame time for the reason why we don’t start a project. “I didn’t have time,” we explain, when we can’t get something done. “It took forever to get here,” we sigh when we are late. “There wasn’t enough time,” we complain, when a deadline is missed. We either don’t have any time, don’t have enough time, or don’t know if we will have time. What’s up with time?
It’s Never about Time
How much time is there in a day? There are 24 hours. That’s 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds. That’s how much time we all have in a day. So why is it that some people get more things done in their day then others? Because they’ve come to understand that it’s not about time. It’s about their priorities.
There is such power in being clear about what’s important to you. Knowing what’s important not only defines your priorities, it also gives you a basis from which you can determine what to say yes to and when to say no. Once you have your priorities in place, then the only question to ask yourself is, “Does this or doesn’t this activity support my priority?”
Top Two Priorities, One Month Commitment
Here is an easy, three-step process for taking time out of time management:
- Get clear on what your two A-1 top priorities are for the month; write them down on a piece of paper, then draw a line beneath.
- Relegate everything else to below the line, and work on or complete them after you done what you’ve needed to do each day on you’re A-1 list.
- When something else comes up that begs to be added to the list, ask yourself, Does this or doesn’t this activity support my A-1 priorities? If yes, do them. If no, do them after.
It takes courage to set priorities and stick with them. That’s why it’s important to keep others informed about you’re A-1 priorities. This way, you will have eliminated the need to do things you don’t want to do and won’t have to explain to others why. If you are in a leadership position, sit down with those who report to you and work with them to determine their A-1 priorities for the month so they are in alignment with the business.
Taking time out of time management can be quite a liberating experience. What are some success tools that you’ve used to tame the time management beast? What’s worked for you?
From Chapter 10 of Discovering Your Inner Samurai.