Last week, you met the first sister, “Procrastination” The big sister of the three and the cause of many a delay on the path to achieving our goals. If you missed the post, you can read it here. Procrastination’s two sisters each bring their own challenges into our lives. Today, let’s meet Procrastination’s first sister – Poor Time Management.
Let’s face it though, Time Management is really a misnomer.
It’s not actually TIME we’re managing. After all, everyone has the same 24 hours in a day From rising stars to superstars, from middle age moms to middle managers, we all have the same amount of time in a day. 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds. Each of us either makes the most of the time we have or else we “fritter away” our time, never accomplishing the things that we claim are most important to us.
It’s actually SELF-MANAGEMENT that we must master.
Otherwise, the second sister will stop us from ever achieving our goals and dreams. In this post, I’ll share three very helpful Time Management/Self-Management Techniques that you can easily use to accomplish your most important tasks and goals, as well as the everyday priorities that can rob us of our precious time if we don’t take charge.
Jim Rohn, famous business philosopher, once shared this:
“Don’t Start Your Day Until You Have It Finished.”
For our first Time Management Technique, make an outline of your upcoming day, the night before. Plan out the important things either on paper or on your electronic calendar. You don’t need to block out ever detail. Be sure to include priorities from all areas of your life, including but not limited to your job/business, fitness and wellness, spirituality, finances and relationships. It’s like building a house. You wouldn’t dream of breaking ground or pouring the foundation, much less framing in the house until your architect finished the design and building plans. You’ll find many things along the way to fit into your plan after you set times for your most important priorities and planning your day will free up your mind when you have your priorities on paper because you won’t worry about forgetting something.
One you’ve gotten into practice of planning your day the night before, add in planning your week, your month and eventually your year. Fill in the important things as you go. You don’t need to have every minute planned. The more complete your outline and planning though, the more smoothly your day will run.
Here’s a sweet video message, entitled “The Pickle Jar” that you’ll enjoy as you think of how to prioritize your days and life.
The Second Time Management Technique is the W.I.N PRINCIPLE
W.I.N. stands for “What’s Important Next”.
Using this technique, each morning as you look at your day and your obligations, priorities and tasks, ask yourself, “What’s Important Next”. What ONE THING, if you were to do it, would move you most quickly toward your goal. Another way to look at it is to ask yourself, What One Thing, if I could do only One thing today, would be the most important thing for me to do. Then, do that ONE thing, and only that, until it is done. Don’t move onto your second most important priority until your first priority is accomplished. This takes some practice as we are often tempted by the bad habit of distraction*, but stay strong! The reward of focus will be a great feeling of accomplishment as we move through our most important priorities.
This technique has helped me focus on important tasks many times by giving me a physical reminder of focusing on a specific task for a specific period of time. Using this Time and Self-Management method, you’ll choose a task and set a timer for a specific amount of time. During that time-frame, you’ll only work on that one task or project.
You can use your cellphone timer, a kitchen timer or any timer that you can set that will sound an audible alert when the time is up. I use this method for tasks that I might procrastinate on, such as making a series of calls or cleaning up my desk and filing. I might procrastinate, imagining that the task will take more time that I have. When I set the timer for 15-25 minute increments though, I find that I move quickly through the task because I am aware that I have a limited time in which to accomplish my goal. For those of us who tend to leave things until the last minute, this is a great technique to help you get through your priorities more quickly.
Never forget, good time management is really good self management. You didn’t get into the habits of procrastination and poor time management overnight and it’ll take some time to establish your new GOOD Time Management habits. Be patient and don’t be overwhelmed by setbacks. Refocus and get back on track with your self management as soon as possible.
And in closing, remember:
Don’t procrastinate because in 2 days, tomorrow will be yesterday” – anonymous
Watch your email for our final post in this series – Procrastination and Her Sisters, where we’ll meet the third sister, DISORGANIZATION, and learn to put her into her place too!
Thanks for joining us today. Leave a comment or post on our Facebook page and let us know which method you’ll try and how it works for you!
Note – * “Distraction” is Procrastination’s first cousin. We’ll meet her in an upcoming training!