procrastination

TIME—a Strategic Corporate Asset

Thinking  of Time Management, most of us are considering the complex time balancing issues we leaders face with the opportunities/demands from family, church, business, staff,  and many other sources.   Wikipedia--Time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectivenessefficiency or productivity. We can learn about Time Management from Dale Carneige.com, Mind Tools.com, Dartmouth College, and hundreds of other expert sources.

Does the electronic/digital age create too many time indicators for us to follow?

Some researchers indicate that meaningful communications and conversations with associates and loved ones are disemboweled with frequent “productive” glances at the inbox; smart phone clock, thus our ability to think is decimated by the distraction of the ping and the ring. We maintain a state of chaotic mental activity that some call psychic entropy. This is the opposite of the optimal psychological state of flow, where attention is allowed to linger, to sink into an activity without distraction.

Andy Stanley has stated--“Direction, not intention determines your destination.” –If we look at this statement from the time management axis— would say that “Schedule management, not distractions , determines successful completion.

Are you focused on corporate time management at this time?

For most enterprises- this is the season of  annual budget/planning.  Businesses are gathering forecasts, planning for marketing/sales activity, developing the annual budget with some consideration given to multi-year expectations.  As this annual plan is developed—are we as careful considering time as a planning variable and asset as we are when considering financial capital.

Does your  performance reporting and variance analysis deal primarily with financial measures or does it also focus attention on corporate and individual time management issues?

Procrastination and poor time management: is one of the leading reasons small businesses fail--Putting off tasks that you don’t enjoy will sink your business faster than anything else. You can’t afford to waste time on unimportant tasks while critical tasks pile up. All tasks need to be done; if you don’t like to do them (or don’t want to spend your time doing them), hire someone to do them for you. If your time management and prioritizing skills are rusty, hire a small business coach or take a class to help you. - See more at: http://www.passionforbusiness.com/articles/why-businesses-fail.htm#sthash.LSZvoq3L.dpuf

Time management is a booming business—everyone wants to get more done and control time wasters. But for Christian business leaders the need to manage time is even more urgent.  We are Stewards of the Business God has given us.  Poor time management in our business is a waste of God’s resources.  Be sure your annual business plan gives significant focus to TIME as a critical investment asset.  Consider Time KPI’s on your management dashboard.

It has been stated—“No CEO/Owner can let the business run out of Cash”—Likewise, no CEO/Owner should let the business run out of Time”

“Walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

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!)..