Time management is one skill universal to all disciplines of business and life. There is a defined amount of time in a day, 24 hours or 1,440 minutes. We make decisions consciously or unconsciously about how we spend them. Some people are very structured in how they use their day and others less so – instead preferring to go with the flow.
There are many people out there that say that in order to get the most from your day you need to prioritise more effectively. Anyone that’s attended a course on time management will have no doubt learnt about the time management matrix that Steve Covey published in his book ‘The 7 habits of highly effective people’. For those not familiar with the matrix it in essence encourage you to prioritise tasks according to 2 things – Urgency and Important. This image was taken from Covey’s book and shows activities that would typically fall into each quadrant. This is a great matrix and many (including me) have found huge value in it.
Another favourite of mine is Steve Covey’s demonstration of how many things people have in their life and how you should go about ‘putting first things first’ – if you’ve never seen this before check out the video …
Some people however choose to address a challenge of lack of time by working harder, longer hours in order to get more done – some managers I’ve worked for over the years expected you to stay until the job was gone (no matter how late that was).
My challenge to you … What you going to stop/not do?
The observation I make (of myself and others) is that whilst many people are great at working out and focusing on what’s important (whether urgent or not), often people don’t make a conscious decision about what they’re simply not going to do. In my experience failing to make these types of decisions about simply not doing some stuff means they often fester on the to do list – getting transferred from day to day.
So perhaps today, when you consider what’s on your to-do list – you’ll not only consider what’s important and urgent for today, but you’ll also do yourself a favour and just decide that some stuff is just going to come off. I think we could all use a bit of Domestos on the to do list every now and again. What tends to happen is that some people love to get closure at the end of the day – so be kind to yourself and set yourself up for success, not disappointment that you never got to the end of the to-do list. (if you can’t bring yourself to simply delete them, pop them on a separate ‘some day I’ll get around to doing’ list that you keep separate for today’s to do list).
Laura is passionate about helping people realise their potential, and achieve the results they deserve. She believes, if you change your thinking, you can change your results. If you’d like to find out more about Unleash Your Potential, you can check out our NLP courses, management development courses, and Myers Briggs services. Follow us on Twitter or link up with Laura via LinkedIn. You can of course also email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org