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Do you have time?

Reflecting on the week I have just had, one thing stands out for me and it comes from various conversations I have had with people that I have met on my training courses, at networking events, chatting on line and so on.  The thing is that….most of us feel we don’t have enough time!

Whether that is time in the day, days in the week, even weeks in the year!  Many of us wish we had more to play (or work) with!

“I don’t have time to do that”

“If only I had more time”

“I’d love to but, I don’t have the time”

“I wish I had more time to do that, but I’m snowed under”

 

These are the kinds of things people have been saying to me over the last week.

The crucial point to bear in mind is that time is finite!  There is no more of it available than we currently have!  So….we need to find ways to manage ourselves within the time we have in order to be able to do the things we would like to/need to/wish we could get around to doing.

Time management is a commonly requested topic for training programmes and for 1:1 coaching sessions.  90% of managers I work with say time management is an issue for them.

How well do you manage your time?

Do you sometimes wish you had more time?

What are you putting off with the reason of not having enough time?

and here is the really important question….

What would you do if you DID HAVE more time?

 

You see, we are really good at expanding what we do to fill the time we have.  So, just having more time would not necessarily solve our time management problems!  We may just be doing more but still achieving less!

There is no magic formula for managing your time.  Yes, there are lots of self-help books and lots of people who can help you make more out of the time you have.  Such as:

– Plan every day in advance

– Apply the 80/20 rule to everything

– Focus on key result areas

– Prepare thoroughly before you begin

– Leverage your special talents

– Do the most difficult task first

– Slice and dice the task

– Single handle every task*

But the most important factors are going to be your mindset, your attitude to managing your time and your commitment and drive to make better use of your time.  Without these things, the tips and techniques above will be like new year resolutions….started with the best intentions and forgotten about 3 weeks later!

Take a few minutes to reflect on how well you manage your time.  Before you clock off for the weekend, think about how you would like to use your time next week.

  • What are the top 3 things you need to achieve next week?
  • How important is it to you that you achieve them?
  • What is likely to get in the way of you achieving them?
  • What can you do today, or first thing on Monday, to minimise the chance of that interruption or distraction?
  • How will you make sure you stay on track, throughout the week, to ensure you achieve your 3 goals?

Bear in mind that YOU may be your biggest barrier to making the best use of your time, by allowing other people or other tasks to steal your time.  Be strong!  If those 3 things are really important to you, then allocate sufficient time to them and identify what other things might need to go “on the back burner” until they are completed.

Write your 3 goals on a piece of paper or a post it note and stick it some where prominent where you will see it every day.  At the end of each day, ask yourself how much closer you are to achieving it and plan what you will do the next day to take another step towards it.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on!

Also, if you have good time management tips, please share them below!

*these tips come from Brian Tracy’s book “Eat that Frog”, but far the best time management book I have come across.

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