ARE YOU A TIME WRECK?
By George Clarke – Leading Business Coach and Franchisee of ActionCOACH SA
Life is more complex than it has ever been with increasing interruptions and demands on our time. As a business coach I see many business owners literally drowning under all the demands. Their life and business is operating in chaos mode, each day is spent fighting “bush fires”. They are highly stressed and running on adrenaline to get them through most days.
If this sounds like you, you had better read on because unless you take steps to address this you are likely to burn-out yourself and your business. It might not be this year or the next but eventually there will be a price to pay. I believe that mastering your time is one of the most important principles to achieving success in your business.
Feeling in control will increase your peace of mind, self-esteem and confidence. As someone who is passionate about the critical importance of time management I would like to share with you five absolute must do’s that re essential for effective time management.
1. Have Realistic Expectations
The simple fact of the matter is that there is never enough time for us in a day to do all the things we would like or need to do. Therefore, you need to have realistic expectations as to what you can achieve and be highly selective with what you choose to take on.
It is much better to implement one or two strategies in your business very well than seven or eight half completed ones. Unrealistic expectations result in business owners taking on too much, resulting in frustration, stress and reduced self-esteem. Focus on what you are best at, this applies to both your business and you.
2. Select an Appropriate Planning Tool
A good planning tool (diary, CRM, PDA etc) needs to manage four classes of information, Appointments, Tasks, Notes and Contacts. I’m a big fan of the two-page per day diary format which has sections for Appointments, Tasks and Notes. You have a one life and therefore you should have one planning tool.
This comes with a caveat and that is, it’s okay to use a combination of other tools as long as one of the tools is your main planning tool and that the others sensibly integrate with it. For example my main planning tool is my diary, however I use CRM software to manage my contacts and coaching appointments and this is synchronised with my PDA so that I have access to this information when I am out of my office.
3. Plan Your Week
The most important half an hour each week is on a Sunday evening planning my future work week. I refer to a list of files and documents, such as meeting minutes, current project files, monthly master task list etc., to help me select all the tasks I would like
to complete during that week. For tasks greater than 15 minutes I estimate how long they should take and prioritize them. This ensures that I don’t take on more tasks than is realistic and also ensures that I work on my highest priorities first.
4. Plan Your Day
Before you start your day, it’s wise to create and prioritize a list of tasks that you want to complete for the day. For this I refer to my weekly plan and transfer items from this list that I want to work on. This only takes about five minutes.
5. Continual Learning
As effective time management is an essential skill for personal success it is critical that you continue to study and learn in this area. I have read many books concerning time management and to this day I continue to pick up new tips and methods to improve my time management. Some of my recommended authors include Steven Covey, Brian Tracy, Jennifer White, Kerry Gleeson and Rebecca & Roger Merrill.
Don’t be one of those people that leads a disorganised and chaotic life. It’s too high a price to pay. Rather enjoy being in control of your life, and the peace of mind, self-confidence and improved self-esteem that comes with it. Start enjoying the benefits today by implementing the five must do’s of effective time management.
For further information contact George Clarke, Business Coach and Franchisee of ActionCOACH on 083 474 2212 or email: email@example.com.