Forget Time Management, Focus on Self Management
After my son's parent teacher conference the other week, we sat down to discuss his performance. Overall, he is performing well receiving high marks in most of his subjects. He's a smart kid who grasps concepts easily.
However, if you do a little digging, you find comments like "inconsistent", "distracted", and "could improve his organization."
I asked my son what was the ONE thing he would like to improve this year. His response was typical of my clients -- "I would like to learn how to use my time better."
Lucky for my son and for you, I'm going to save you a lot of painful moments. We all get the same 24 hours in a day. As far as I know, not even the geniuses at Google have figured out how to bend space and time.
So, if you want to learn how to use your time better, you will need to learn how to manage YOU better.
9 Strategies to Help you Ditch the concept of Time Management
1. Be clear on your values.
Get clear on your 3-5 personal and business values. Define what each value means to you. Visualize what it means to embody and uphold these values throughout your life. These values become a metric for HOW you spend your resources, including your time.
2. Be clear on your vision.
Create a 10 year vision for where you are going in your life and your business. What will you have accomplished in that period of time? Who are you with? Where are you living? What impact and contribution will you be making?
Then create a vision for the next year asking yourself the same questions. Read your vision daily or weekly. When making decisions and making commitments make sure they align with this vision.
3. Set goals.
Identify what outcome you want to achieve and by when you want to achieve it. Why is this outcome important to you? How does it fit into your vision? How do you want to feel when you have achieved this goal?
When you are sure you have the right goal, write it down on a piece of paper and post it somewhere you can see it everyday.
Studies show that you’re significantly more likely to achieve your goals when you have them written down and review them on a regular basis.
4. Ask yourself this key question.
A lot of the time when I’m speaking to executives, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, they start to get pulled in so many different directions. When this happens, there’s one critical question to ask...
What am I being paid to do or what is going to generate revenue for my business?
5. Create a list of ten ‘heck yesses’!
What are your 'heck yesses' in life? What really gets you out of bed in the morning? What energizes you? What aligns with your strengths? What’s relevant to your mission? Print them out and look at them every day, because when something starts to creep into your time, it had better be on your ‘heck yes’ list, if it’s not, it’s a ‘heck no’, and it’s got to go!
6. Maximize when you’re in flow.
When you’re doing the stuff that lights you up that you forget time exists and it comes pouring out of you, you're in flow. Become aware of when this time is for you, and how you got there.
Sometimes we can hack our way into flow through a great morning, a brisk walk, or maybe through a quick meditation. Working when in flow is the most productive use of your time. Trying to force things drains you and takes much longer.
When we are tired we make poor decisions and become more easily distracted. Getting adequate sleep or taking a midday nap when feeling unproductive might be just what you need to get you back in the zone.
8. Manage your calendar.
You have to put everything in your calendar. Look at what's not getting done -- is it marked on your calendar? Even if it seems rote, silly and simple, it needs to go on the calendar.
For me, self-care is huge. I have health issues that leave me chronically fatigued and with poor stress adaptation. It's important for me to schedule breaks, time to disconnect and recharge on a daily or weekly basis. It all goals on my calendar or else I will keep working through it. As someone who is hardwired for achievement, my default is to work not rest.
9. Learn the art of a well-crafted no.
Master how you say no and feel comfortable with that no.
Maybe it’s a not right now and in that case you can say: "This sounds exciting to me, I’m really interested in collaborating with you but it doesn’t work with my initiatives right now. Can we push this out and check back?
If it’s something that absolutely doesn’t align and it’s a ‘heck no’, you can say: "It doesn’t align with where I am right now." If you know someone who would be a good fit for them to speak with, make the introduction.
As we become more successful, I find that the people who want our time for things becomes greater, which is when we have to focus on our best no. As parents we get really involved in other things, and it’s really easy to say yes to being class parent or to having a bunch of kids over for a playdate, but if it doesn’t work for your schedule or inhibits you in any way, then you have to make it a ‘heck no’.
Looking for support and accountability to help you lead an extraordinary life and build a brilliant business, join me in my Facebook group: taranewmancoaching.com/facebook.