We live in a time of information overload and constant distractions. Instead of getting better, it actually seems to get worse. Every time-saving technological device requires learning and attention, so when asked, leaders often state that a shortage of time is the source of huge frustration.
Leaders so often encounter challenges regarding time management. While they may want to be accessible to their team all the time or a lot of the time, there needs to be a structure in place. The most important aspect of good time management is making sure that you are not cheating yourself out of what you really want to do, what makes you feel good about yourself and your life.
Start your time management plan by working out what wastes it. Plan how you will use your working hours, and try to stick to the plan. Break every task into bite-size chunks to be less likely to procrastinate. Plan your time realistically without putting yourself under extreme pressures. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Let me share my “p” plan for time management:
- Preparation – get someone else to help you prepare.
- Procrastination – doing the pleasurable “instant gratification” things first often means that the “real” work is delayed.
- Perfectionism – aim rather at excellence than perfection.
- Punctuality – being late is inexcusable if it occurs regularly. Put your clock forward; set a 15 minute reminder on your phone to allow you to extract yourself out of a long-winded conversation or situation in time for the next meeting or commitment.
- Prioritising means learning to differentiate between urgent and important.
- Perhaps? Make this your instant answer before you commit to something that you are lukewarm about or may not have time for.
- Productivity – better use of time is displayed when you work according to your energy patterns.
- Pro-activity – be pro-active, not re-active. Know that delays are often caused by waiting on other people, so follow up and make things happen.
- Prevent interruptions by closing your door, turning your phone off and putting a sign on your door that says “Inspiration comes to a quiet mind”.
- Play – factor in this invaluable time.
Planned neglect is good for the soul! Practical management with simple steps is useful; choose three that suit you after identifying which aspect of your personal time allocation really needs attention.