Reading a John C. Maxwell article in the September 2017 edition of Success about time management, entitled “4 Tips to Set Yourself Up for a Better Tomorrow Today” got me thinking. On a hunch, I went back and reviewed several other articles, publications and the ActionCOACH TimeRICH seminar on the subject of time management and was able to confirm my conclusion that
Time Management is really Self Management!
This is not exactly a new idea, I’ve said this during numerous presentations. So why highlight it now in this blog? It seems to me that many of us brush off the importance of time-self management. Taking an “I am what I am” attitude rather than seeking to improve our use of our time. Thus, I am going to reiterate a few of our top self-time management tips:
- Set personally motivating goals – if your goals are truly important to you, you must strive to connect every activity to them. In the article, Maxwell encourages creating a Priority Inventory, another way of looking at the connection of your goals to your activities.
- Don’t finish today until you plan tomorrow – Maxwell explains two concepts in his article; be deliberate in your use of time, and hone your decision-making skills. Once you increase your awareness of your goals and their relationship to your activities, you will become more deliberate in your investment of time. The decision as to what to address and what not to address will become easier, enhancing your self management. Remember, every time you say “YES” to something, you are saying “NO” to many other activities.
- Create a Default Diary – a schedule of how you intend to invest your time on “normal” days. Your Default Diary (Ideal Week or Default Calendar, we use these terms interchangeably at ActionCOACH) accomplishes many things; it sets your time expectations, and communicates them. You will feel uneasy when your activities conflict with your internal clock once it has been set via your Default Diary. Many of my clients use their Default Calendar as a communication tool with their teams, using the tool to create “deep thinking” time slots.
- Delegate – Effective delegation is the key to successful time and self management. None of us are expert or skilled in all aspects necessary for the success of our businesses or lives. We are faced with the choice to do it all, abdicate or delegate numerous times every day. Should I change the oil in my car myself? Should I abdicate the oil change by simply dropping off the car at my local service station? Or, should I effectively delegate the oil change by carefully selecting the service station or dealer, asking them about the oil and filter they are going to use, and all the other details related to the oil change? I used this example to exemplify the fact that we can all delegate to our extended team even if we have no direct employees. When delegating, John Maxwell makes the point the we should not mistake activity for advancement. This applies to those we delegate to, as well as ourselves.
John C. Maxwell included the following quote in the article:
“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Improve them, and they will become the brightest gems.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Remember, you cannot replenish your time, once a moment is gone, it is gone. As Steadman Graham said at one of our ActionCOACH conferences,
“Time is the great equalizer. We all have 24 hours in a day.”
His message continued to say that the very wealthy use their time more effectively. How are you investing your precious time? My colleagues and I at ActionCOACH are uniquely qualified to assist you toward effective delegation and successful self and time management.