Time management is self-management!
A few weeks ago, as I was giving a Time Management class for the Canadian Management Centre. I had the chance to meet another nice group of managers from different organizations. All these leaders were very determined, for various reasons, to improve the way they manage their time. Some were unable to manage their workload; others needed quality time at work and at home; others simply wanted to be more effective and improve the quality of their work.
Despite their different objectives, these managers all agreed on one thing: that they needed to change something in their way of thinking and setting their priorities.
As I am sure you have noticed already, it is not easy to manage our time these days with the amount of information and work we are facing while everything changes at the speed of light. One thing, however, can be reassuring and remain constant, and it’s the way we approach time.
Given that everyone has the same number of hours in a day, it is not a question of trying to do more, but rather of modifying our paradigm a little and replace the term “time management” by “self-management”. But what does that mean? It means, implementing new strategies.
Here are 3 strategies that will give you more satisfaction and inner peace and get different results… on a day-to-day basis.
- Consider time as a resource. A bit like your money in the bank, time is a resource that is limited and decreases as you use it. As you do for your money, step back to determine where you want to invest your time. Are you investing your money in your own RRSP or that of a colleague, neighbor or friend? The choice is yours! The way you use your time depends entirely or largely on you.
- Set clear goals. If your goals are clear, it will be easier to prioritize your tasks and activities. This way, you can more easily redirect someone who uses a lot of your time and energy, delegate activities that others can do as well as you, or even eliminate activities that take you away from your goals.
- Learn to say yes to YOUR projects more often. Instead of operating in “emergency” mode most of the time, plan your activities according to your objectives and projects. This will make it easier to say no when necessary. Here is a tip: learn to « say no with options » or « say yes with conditions ». For instance, you could say “I would really like to help, and I am too busy today. Would tomorrow be fine?” or “I could help you if it can wait until tomorrow.”
We have more power than we want to admit. The secret is to have very clear objectives, become masters in priority setting, and dare to assert ourselves more often.
Have a great week!
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