“TIME isn’t the MAIN thing. It is the ONLY thing.” ~ Miles Davis
I wonder if this has also happened to you. The moment you tell yourself:
“I have the entire day to get those things done”, “There are still 6 weeks left to meet the deadline” if you lead a team you might have thought “They will be able to deliver those tasks by X”. But then all of the sudden you go “How did the time run by so fast?! I am not even half way trough it! What am I going to do now?!” SOS
I hear you. The next thing that would come to your mind is “I need to manage my time better next time…”. No you do not! There is no such thing as “time management”. Think about it. Managing something means controlling it, being able to change it. Nobody can change time! What we can do is manage the choices that we make with the 24 hours that we are given. It is those choices that we make what will help us be successful meeting our deadlines…or not…Those choices are our PRIORITIES.
What systems do you currently have in place to establish PRIORITIES? Are you the kind of person who fills the calendar with appointments and things-to-do one week prior or are you the one who live-by-the-moment?
John Maxwell in his book Developing the Leader within You states that good leaders always think ahead and prioritize their responsabilites. It’s been said that:
-Practical people know how to get what they want.
-Philosophers know what they ought to want.
-Leaders know how to get what they ought to want.
The key here is to be able to first set a time to prioritize the actions that are most important to us according to a specific criteria. That requires to think WHAT those actions are and establish the order of priority.
It is important to understand that not everything is a priority. Otherwise we will be in trouble because small demands will require attention and the attention needs to be in the things that are really important. The goal is to determine how important and urgent the task at hand is. Let me share with you the Eisenhower Method that will bring you clarity to categorize each task and act accordingly:
According to this, you will first take care of the important and urgent tasks whereas you would set deadlines to complete the important and not urgent within your day. Then you can tackle what is not important or urgent and if there are ways you can delegate them, you would do so. Finally the not important and not urgent actions….can you eliminate them?
Following this principle can help to become more productive. If there are still doubts when completing a task you can ask yourself this question: “Do I actually need to be doing this?” “Does this help me accomplish my goal?”.
Check things off your to-do list according to your priorities. Be flexible and adjustable at the beginning. Know that, on busy days you may need to compromise. However, it is always best to be proactive than to be reactive. The more you plan ahead the better off you will be. Specially if you are leading a team.
Next Step: Organize next week’s task according to the Eisenhower Method. Let me know how it goes! Do you need some help setting those up? Let’s have a conversation! Feel free to comment below.
The difference between Time Management and Priorities: