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.
- 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.
- I have discovered that the more likely real culprit is TASKS (that we feel need doing AND need doing by us).
- So change your viewpoint from Time Management to Task Management. What does that look like?
- 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.
- Next, chunk your time(s) for a day or a week into significant chunks (where you can tell people to NOT interrupt you).
- Then begin!
- Do ONLY the Important because that is your job as a leader: delegate the urgent to others.
- 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!).
- Then do the Easy/Short ones.
- While some of you will find this useful others will find it frustrating because some tasks will not get done.
- Here is the exercise to help that situation:
- First, list those tasks that ONLY YOU can do, or you can do so much better than anyone else. These become priorities.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lastly, be certain that you really understand how you spend your time. See 11.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!)..