We all talk about how busy we are. That’s a personal choice, by the way, a topic to explore another time.
Has this ever happened to you? You make a phone call to someone. They pick up and the first thing out of their mouth is, “I am in a meeting and can’t talk right now.”
Great. Then why in the heck did you pick up? I wonder if I am supposed to apologize because I called them and they are busy. I instantly stammer out something like, “Oh, um….sorry. It’s not hugely important but call me when you can.” Hate that.
Just like that phone call, the message we give ourselves and others is that we are busy and just don’t have enough time to do x, y or z. But what is the actual truth? What are we really saying?
We all operate and live under that same amount of time on any given day. We make choices about what our priorities are and how we can implement them within the daily tick-tock of the clock. How is it then that so many of us feel that others seem to accomplish so much more than we do because “We just don’t have enough time.” And if time were an object, we would gladly purchase more of it.
In every workshop or training I have given on sales, customer service, or team engagement, invariably the participants complain about time management issues. They lament that they just can’t find the time to make the calls, answer the emails, or read information because there isn’t enough of it in the day. The implication is that, if they had more time, they would accomplish the task. But if they’re truly being honest, they know that a lack of time isn’t the real issue. Right?
What is the issue then? I recently read a different perspective, to think of time management in terms of energy, that the issue isn’t about time but energy. Whether you’re a CEO, manager of a team, or an entrepreneur, you know the importance of multitasking and balancing roles in order to be successful. I would add that another important aspect to mastering those roles is re-framing our beliefs about time management. The overall goal should be to have a healthy balance of energy which happens when we create consistency in our actions and behaviors.
The first step in managing your time better is to get your big WHYS into focus. What are you spending your time doing and does it support your WHYS? Understand that if you live long enough, you sure as heck are not going to be saying, “I wish I had worked long hours on that project back in 2019.” Well, you might, but, you’re also going to wish you had spent more time being present in the moment with friends and family. You’re going to wish you had had some balance in your life.
Next, it is essential to grasp that Consistency is the Key to Time Management. We must know our WHYS and then step by step-by-step create a plan to get there. Goal setting helps us move in the right direction, and time/energy management keep us on point, but only with consistency.
Consider your daily and weekly activities. How you work your week is a good indicator of how your year will turn out. Actionable steps daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually will witness the Tortoise crossing the finish line, not the Hare.
Consistently block your time on a daily/weekly basis congruent with your short-term and long-term goals. This generally means those tasks that require data input or systematic actions are the ones that regulate your progress to the finish line. If you don’t do them, you don’t move off the “start” line...just saying.