Practical steps to effective use of time !
In our introductory article: Effective Time Mastery for Global Leaders, we looked at why time is important and went ahead to unpack three ways you can improve your time management prowess. If you haven’t read the article, Click here.
Now let us continue our discussion by looking at the other remaining steps
Prepare for Interruptions
Interruptions are natural in all human interactions. Interruptions can be opportunities to think differently, change course or can be huge time wasters and tend to distract you from doing what is important. It is good to anticipate them and make a plan to accept them with grace then determine what course of action to do with the interruption.
A time master learns to manage interruptions by accepting the uncontrollable ones and adjusting for the time spent with other interruptions. At Strong Advice we give practical tips to managing interruptions. One of the keys is to put some flexible time in your schedule so that you can deal with issues without disrupting your whole plan for the day.
For example, if you have a morning coffee break, maybe a good plan could be to deal with morning surprises after your break and before you return to your focused activities for the day.
Procrastination and Delegation of Roles
Procrastination is about putting things off that must be done. Often a task is put off until later because it is perceived as a difficult or unpleasant task or you need to make a very hard decision. To tackle this, think of smaller steps you can take to make progress. As a leader you may also delegate some of the tasks. You don’t need to handle everything on your own. It’s all about teamwork, sharing and enabling others to work with a sense of importance in contributing.
Delegation is all about teamwork, sharing and enabling others to work with a sense of importance in contributing.!
Analyze your time
If you want to make changes in your time priorities, it will be helpful to be aware of your current habits. A very important key to analyzing your habits is to keep a time log. You can be aware of where you spend time and are then able to make improvements. For a full week, document what you work on and how much time you spend on each task. Link that work to your goals and consider what could be done to maximize time on important goals. This tracking of your activities will help you to be more aware of your use of time and likely increase your desire to change.
Plan your time
This step encourages you to decide what you want to do and for how long. How much time are you going to spend with friends and family? How much time to sleep? Do you have a gym workout plan? How much volunteer time to the community are you willing to commit? What is required for spiritual growth?
We fail to plan because we prefer action over planning.
While action is good, sometimes we end up doing irrelevant things. Your time is valuable. First, write all the activities in a week, both large and small in which you participate. Then take a few moments to list your goals for the week and priority items. According to your two lists you can schedule what you really want to do rather than “going with the flow”. Planning tools like a “To Do” list and “Wheel of Life” are helpful ways to plan for the next week. Making this a routine will lead to time mastery!
Schedule your plan
Decide when to do those activities you have planned to do. Research has shown that executives who have schedules and actually follow it through usually get their desired end. Be committed to scheduling. While you schedule, try to be flexible with your time, have a quiet time in your schedule and get an early start on your schedule.
Remember, the whole essence of Time Mastery is not about what time you have or do not have. It is about what you do with the limited time you have that determines your level of productivity. If “Lawrence of Arabia” was still roaming the Arabian Desert he might give this strong advice: Dream your dreams, then plan your actions to follow them through to become a global leader!
By Mike Strong Founder of Strong Advice