Time Management is All About Your Choices
Hardly a week goes by without someone asking or telling me about Time Management issues. Sometimes it is their personal time management issues and other times it has to do with their respective team members. Yet, most people feel Time Management is all about some hard skills or techniques – we are supposed to use everyday.
Thus, the continuous call for Time Management workshops or how to manage our time better.
Hey, the truth is Time Management is All About Choices. Yes, the choices you make everyday and basically every minute of your day determines your use of the precious time available to you. Now, it is truth in the business world others do take control of your calendar quite often – mostly for meetings rather than actual results oriented actions.
You can take back control of your life – time management – by reviewing your answers to seven simple and straight forward questions. The key is to REVIEW Your Answers and Responses to the questions for insights into how to become more effective and productive – every day.
The Seven Time Management Questions
- Why are You on the Payroll?
This question makes you focus upon the outcomes and results that are expected from you. It is too easy to bog down in the routine activity rut and totally miss the results orientation you should be expecting of yourself and others.
- What is the best use of my time right now?
This is designed to uncover the highest priorities for your time at this moment. Personally, I have to create a list of important outcome based projects for each day in order to stay on the high results train. It is too easy to get distracted by the urgent, easy and loud.
- Is there a better way to do what I’m doing right now?
Here we are looking at effectiveness rather than efficiency. And, here is where old habits can rob you of valuable time. Test your assumptions regarding the way you do things. Are there best practices you are currently missing due to a lack of research or questioning?
- Are there Improvement needed in my communication?
Continuous improvement is not a business process exclusive! You are a continuous development and improvement project for life. The moment you quit learning is the moment (choice) you begin to devalue yourself. Change and knowledge is moving at light-speed these days – how fast are you changing?
- Can someone else be doing this task or activity?
While this is very important for managers and executives, it does include regular folks too. Do YOU really have to do certain things or could they be done by others. A prime example is when you are home – do you really have to mow the yard? Do you have to go to the bank to deposit a check This is one I recently learned – no, I don’t have to go to the bank to make a deposit. I can do it over the internet using my smart phone! This allows me to save a huge amount of time for more important things.
- Is this the right time to be doing this activity?
Here is another opportunity to learn about your rituals or habits. Yes, we all have rituals and habits – awareness of them is the key difference. When we are aware we can make better choices. Examples include when you read the newspaper? Get a cup of coffee? Or spend time on the web reading about your favorite sports team – the correct answer is not in prime time during the day.
- Is my thinking time being maximized or optimized?
Taking time to think, plan and create is more valuable than most people realize. In fact, it is the quality of our thoughts and ability to think that separates us from both animals and robots! The ability to think AND make excellent choices based upon this preparation skill make you more valuable to yourself and others. Spend a minimum of 5% of your day in deep thought about specific issues or opportunities. In fact, high performers have a strong tendency to use mediation during the day – both for focus and to relax the brain for making quality choices. If you have not done this simple activity, schedule it into your day for a couple of weeks and track the difference it makes in your thoughts, attitude and clarity of focus.
There you have the seven most critical questions to ask yourself to make the right choices and improve your personal time management. Be honest, be direct and learn from your choices. Go back through your answers and ask one additional simple question…
Can I Improve upon This Choice?
Then using the answer to this question, create an action plan and get started now. No more procrastination or poor choices. As the old cliche stated – “Do It Now!”
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Tags: author Voss Graham, choices for results, effectiveness of time, efficiency of time, habits and rituals upon performance, how to improve time management practices, Personal time management, thinking for a change, Time Management