Time management issues are symptoms, not the problems
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith July 6, 2013 11:12AM
Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 8, 2013 12:04AM
If I was given a penny for every time I heard “my problem is time management,” I would have been able to retire 5 years ago. Each day at least 75 percent of those who reach out to me express that time management is their biggest challenge or is in their top three challenges.
Just like the inability to increase sales is usually a symptom of a far greater problem so is time management.
When we begin to change how we think about time management by accepting this challenge is about self-management, then we can start peeling away the onion so to speak and begin to determine out the real problem.
What I have learned is the essence of self-management is all about achieving crystal clear clarity. For without clarity we are truly chained to those seconds, minutes and hours hands staring back at us from all our clocks.
To begin to get a handle on your time management problems, consider asking yourself these questions. Rank each question with 1 for never; 2 for rarely; 3 for sometimes; 4 most of the time; and 5 for always without exception.
1 – I consistently demonstrate positive behaviors as articulated within my written values statement.
2 – I employ a tracking system that allows me to monitor all goals in progress.
3 – I use a good process and structure for handling all paperwork both hard and electronic.
4 – I effectively delegate when necessary.
5 – I demonstrate good self-discipline behaviors.
6 – My behaviors are more reactive than proactive.
7 – I use a calendar to keep track of all current and schedule all future actions.
8 – I engage in procrastination behaviors.
9 – When distracted, I am unable to get back on track.
10 – My time piece, smart device or clock is broken so I do not know the time.
By reading these questions except for the last one, the answers are all about your behaviors and how consistent or how inconsistent you fail to demonstrate those behaviors. The only time one has a time management problem is when the clock is broken.
After you take this short assessment, then determine what actions you need to take. Possibly the first one is to admit I do not have a time management problem but as Pogo observed so many years ago “We (I) have met the enemy and he is us (me).”
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