Time For Your Passions?
Time is your most important commodity. There, I have said it. You cannot afford to waste any time because it is not refundable. You cannot mortgage it or borrow it from someone else. You are given the same amount every day and, at the end of the day, it has gone.
Everyone has the same amount, it is what you do with it that is the important part. I am not suggesting that you currently waste time deliberately; it’s just that, as a business owner, you can easily become involved in the details and gradually create unhealthy processes, procedures and politics. These all absorb your time unproductively.
Ask yourself, ‘What main activity, in a normal working day, do I waste time on?’
There are many ways to deal with this knowledge. You could attend a time management course from the hundreds in the training market place. Some of the courses teach you how to manage your time, as well as supplying a time system to help you stay on track. Although these systems work really well for a number of people, they can cause grief and guilt for others. Only you can decide if one of these systems will work for you. You may choose to hire a business coach or management consultant to offer you help with your time control issues and to show you how to prioritise your work schedule. Time management is just another term for self management because, when you manage your time, you manage yourself.
The to-do list system is a favourite of many business owners and is very effective if used correctly, but it can become a stress accelerant if used incorrectly. The common mistake when using this system is to write a long list of things that need to be done during that day and then attempting to complete each task in the written sequence. The error is then compounded by adding new tasks to the end of the list, regardless of their importance or urgency. At the end of the day there are usually uncompleted tasks on the list. Think of the compounding negative impact and sense of failure when you reach every evening in the knowledge that you have not completed your to-do list!
In 1959, psychologist Frederick Herzberg published his book, The Motivation to Work. It included his Motivation-Hygiene Theory (the two factor theory) research. The second factor of this research, into ‘human satisfiers or motivation’, discovered that people are more motivated, and remain so for a longer period, when they feel a sense of achievement.
How can you ever feel a sense of achievement if, at the end of every day, you still have uncompleted tasks on your list? You not only feel the daily build up of stress caused by guilt about them, you also remove any sense of achievement you could feel about the tasks that you did do. In other words, by incorrect use of a to-do list, you destroy your long-term motivation and slowly but surely you lose heart and passion for your job or company.
The effective way of using a to-do list and maintaining motivation is by using a strategy based around priorities and goals.
The key to all good time management is to develop a clear set of goals or outcomes which you are passionate about attaining. Without goals you will struggle with time management. Ask yourself, ‘At the end of the day do I feel a sense of achievement or a feeling of overwhelm?’
You get to choose by the actions you decide to take. Make better decisions and take better actions.
Extract taken from The Business Coaching Handbook by Curly Martin.