I cannot get it all done!

We have all heard it: “I NEED more time!”, or “I cannot get it ALL done!”. And many of us have said it, too.

Here are some relatively short perspectives on those statements: perhaps you may find a nugget or two that will be useful. 

  1. The real issue is most often NOT TIME! After all, we all have the same amount (except for those of you who sleep too much! And as I understand the universe God gave us, there will not be created any more time for any of us.
  2. I have discovered that the more likely real culprit is TASKS (that we feel need doing AND need doing by us).
  3. So change your viewpoint from Time Management to Task Management. What does that look like?
  4. Begin by making a list of the TASKS that you need to do. Prioritize them with two parameters: a. Important versus Urgent; b. Long/hard versus Easy/short.
  5. Next, chunk your time(s) for a day or a week into significant chunks (where you can tell people to NOT interrupt you).
  6. Then begin!
  7. Do ONLY the Important because that is your job as a leader: delegate the urgent to others.
  8. Do the Long/Hard ones FIRST, and until they are done. (If you leave them til late afternoon you will rationalize why to leave them until tomorrow!).
  9. Then do the Easy/Short ones.
  10. While some of you will find this useful others will find it frustrating because some tasks will not get done.
  11. Here is the exercise to help that situation:
    1. First, list those tasks that ONLY YOU can do, or you can do so much better than anyone else. These become priorities.
    2. Next list those tasks that you feel you ought to do: if they fit your time chunks, schedule them in. If not, see c below.
    3. All other tasks NEED to be dealt with by deciding that they really no longer need to be done; or, they can be delegated to others.
    4. Lastly, be certain that you really understand how you spend your time. See 11.
  12. One of the least known and understood aspects of time/task management is that we have incorrect or incomplete knowledge of how we currently spend our time. So figure out a mechanism to track for two weeks how you spend your time (in 15 minute blocks). Use a recording tool/application, ask your assistant to track it, etc.
  13. In most cases you will be surprised that how you thought you spent your time – and on what you thought your were doing – is grossly incorrect.
  14. So now re-visit the exercise of how to chunk your time, and then fit in the TASKS (that only you can do or are responsible for!)..