Time management is an illusion, a mere mirage… I can already hear many of you saying, “But, what about all the time management books, classes, etc. that I’ve heard about and invested time in?” Entertain the idea that time management is the superficial symptom of the real issue – Priority Setting (or lack thereof).
There are many areas in life where an even playing field does not exist, put simply, where we all count on different quality and quantity of resources. You name it: Money, Knowledge, Connections (Networks), etc. TIME is the only constant, every person on the face of the earth has the same exact amount, 24 hours, no more, no less. We don’t manage time, we can’t, it passes through our life just like it does for everyone else. The real issue lies in our ability to set priorities and focus the time we have on these priorities. Time is beautiful gift, we get to choose what we do WITH IT, not manage it.
Often times, clients will ask for help with “time management.” When I ask them to tell me more about the challenges they’re having I hear things like, “I’ll check email or social media and get sucked in” or “I have too many things to do and I can never seem to catch up.” The point here is that no matter what the “challenge” is, it all speaks to an underdeveloped habit of setting priorities in our day. The “to do” list NEVER goes away, if anything, it seems to get longer the more we achieve and the more our business grows.
What can you do about it? Tackle it from both the Inner Game and Outer Game angles.
Shift your thoughts and belief systems from, “I have to do everything to win” TO “If I do x,y and z today, I’ve won, even if I don’t accomplish the entire list.” Try it. It feels so good when you tackle the most challenging items or those items that we KNOW will create the biggest impact.
Get to the root of the issue. We can try to “manage time” or we can be honest with ourselves and own up to the real issue. Sometimes it’s difficult to see it for ourselves, this is one major reason for working with a great coach who can see things objectively and ask the right questions to shed light on the root of the issue. A short example, most entrepreneurs have ACHIEVER as one of their top 5 talent themes. This talent theme can show up as a weakness when don’t create the right amount of focus towards activities that help our goals, often times leading to constant overcommitment.
Delegate part of your “to do” list. What are you not good at that you keep telling yourself you’re going to get better at? How’s that working for you? Consider that there are people who are GREAT at those things you dislike or aren’t your forte; not only are they good at it, they LOVE doing it. Don’t rob someone of that pleasure…
Delete it from the “to do” list. How long have you dragged specific items on that list and never seem to get around to it? It’s a sign that it’s just that not important to you. If it were, you would have found a way to make it happen.
I look forward to hearing what you experiment with and how it results for you. Remember, we all have Strengths and ROCK STAR teams!