Making sure you are personally well organised, relaxed and successful.
Time Management is such a misnomer!
No one can manage time. Time proceeds independently of us, and will tick on regardless of what we do. What we can do is manage ourselves so that we make the best possible use of the time we have at our disposal. And the key to that is ensuring that we are well organised.
What simple action can we take?
To be well organised and successful, means you:
- Know exactly what you need to be doing every day
- Identify and balance the different priorities that keep coming at you
- Understand the difference between the Urgent and the Important
- Use tools and systems, and get rid of time wasters
- Manage pressure so that it does not become stressful.
Know exactly what you need to be doing.
It is important to always have a very clear focus for the day ahead. It can never be “just another day”. Every day has to dawn with a set of challenges and goals that you have clearly identified and that you are ready to accomplish. You need to know exactly what you are going to be doing to be successful for the day
Identify and balance the different priorities that keep coming at you.
The single most important element of being organised and successful at work is, within the rush and hurly-burly of life, to cultivate the ability to identify, understand and rank your priorities. Choose what to do first, then second, then third – every day. Sometimes there is a practical need to fine-tune these priorities during the day. At the end of the day reset your priorities ready for tomorrow, knowing exactly what you are going to tackle first.
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least” Goethe.
Understand the difference between the Urgent and the Important.
It is easy to end up chasing your tail every day. There is no success or satisfaction in it. Often the Urgent matters are those that create a whirlpool of busyness – things like some emails, some deadlines, some meetings, interruptions. This single minded dedication to busyness can mean that the Important matters – things like relationship building, planning, prevention strategies – are sacrificed and put on the back burner, only to emerge as a crisis at a later date.
If you don’t get your car serviced, at some point that lack of action will jump up and bite you – probably at midnight on the motorway. Make time for the Important.
Use tools and systems, and get rid of time wasters.
Actively choose to move away from a life of crisis management by simply using some effective tools that take the pressure off you.
Make use of your Calendar and To Do lists – they will drive your self-discipline. Also, consciously and deliberately reduce time wasters like some emails, some conversations, some meetings.
Manage pressure so that it does not become stressful.
The bonus with good time management is that you do not feel unduly pressurised or stressed.
Too often pressure is internalised as stress, and this then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Pressure in a modern job goes with the territory. The key barriers to preventing pressure feeling like stress is to:
- Acknowledge that there is pressure in your job and that this is normal
- Don’t be afraid to take pressure and use it to challenge yourself to be better organised
- Foster a calm demeanour and put in place practical personal relaxation strategies that help you keep pressure as pressure, no more than that. These may simply be ensuring a regular personal regime of basic health & wellness practices. They may also involve a mind element like meditation
- Apply self-discipline and keep on working hard at keeping pressure where it should stay – as an external element of your job that doesn’t get to you
It is all about working smarter not harder.
Following these guidelines should help you and your team members to be better organised and ultimately more relaxed and successful. Keen to learn more? Positive People run a Time Management module as part of our popular Leadership Development Program. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 09 445 1077 to discuss our group or individual training, coaching and development solutions.