Trying to get a handle on your time management?
I recently had an epiphany about time management, and I am going to share it with you right now:
A time management strategy is not a system. Let me explain. Our business culture loves a strategy. I do, too. But if you are overwhelmed and overwrought by having too much to do, another strategy might not be what you need.
For example, suppose there’s an out-of-shape person who goes to a personal trainer for advice because he wants to lose some weight and become more fit. Let’s say the trainer just finished a special certification on abdominal work, and all she can talk about is abs, abs, abs. The trainer shows the out-of-shape person the abs workout and sends him on his way. Will the person succeed in losing weight and getting fit? Not likely. The abs workout is a strategy—not a system. The guy needs a system. He needs a plan—something that suits his life and schedule and his personal wiring. And so do you.
Here is the thing—if you have so much to do that it is affecting your quality of life, then you need to make some changes. Before you download another app or the latest software, or try the latest strategy your co-worker swears by, STOP and take some time to ponder you. Reflect on where your trouble spots really are before embarking on any more solutions. Acknowledge and accept your personal wiring and don’t commit to a system or strategy that requires you to change who you are. It won’t last. Instead of trying something new, take time to really scrutinize any solution you are considering. Play it out in your head first, and try to predict the issues you may have with it longer term.
Of course, you will need to change some habits in order to have a different outcome. But be gentle with yourself. Take a few days or weeks to really ponder—then clean out your office and your inbox and start to implement your new system. It may not be as sexy as an abs program, but it will work!