One of the many things we hear on our management courses is the whining that ‘I’m not a good time manager’. This mindset always creates problems for managers and does not allow us to tap into the potential to create a high performance culture within ourselves, department and organisation.
The truth is that anyone can be a great time manager, if we choose to go from potential to performance.
So, how do we do this? Here is a simple process we can follow that will allow us to see performance building quickly and effectively:
Determine exactly where our time is going at the moment. Too many managers confuse busy with effective. If we continually work on the urgent, we won’t have time for the important. Make time to identify where your time goes every day, as this awareness will help you see what is really happening
Determine what your values are – what do you view as important and what do you want to accomplish? You simply cannot do everything that’s expected of you, so you have to apply the four levels of productivity: With a task, either decide to Do it now, Delegate it, Delay it or Dump it. There really isn’t much else you can do with it.
Set time priorities that will move you toward living out your values. Now’s the time to plan and prioritise. If you are continually taken away from your plan, become aware of how this is happening. Are you saying ‘yes’ too often? Is the important at the mercy of the urgent? Are you shunning importnat stuff because urgency is getting a grip on you? You simply can’t afford to let your values slip by because of poor prioritisation.
Develop a system of scheduling that works best for you; don’t be led by a time management guru. There are many ideas out there on how to manage your time. Find a system that works for you, personally. Don’t try to fit in with things that cause more work for you. A system should help you, not add pressure and take more time than it’s worth.
Stick to your schedule. If you find yourself changing things continuously, the environment might be too blame. See if you are working efficiently and effectively.
These simple steps, if you apply them, will take you from having the potential to be a good time manager to true time management performance. Will you be able to make it work and get the results? Only time will tell!