Since the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) has declared February to be National Time Management Month, and in honor that, I’ve decided to vary from my usual theme of effective delegation. So here are a few strategies and tips that will help you better manage your time, and ultimately, yourself. As it has often been said, time is our most precious resource. At an ActionCOACH conference a few years ago, Stedman Graham summed it up saying that time is the great equalizer, no matter who you are you have twenty-four hours in a day, no more, no less. For the most part, billionaires use their twenty-four more effectively than the rest of us.
The following tips, strategies and tactics are from the ActionCOACH TimeRICH seminar:
1. When you have a choice, use the following two factors to decide to invest your time on an activity or task:
a. Is this “thing” worth more than your minimum dollar threshold (whatever you decide that number to be)? If you haven’t yet developed your “worth” invest some effort to calculate an hourly dollar value of your time as soon as possible. This is very important because every time you say YES to an activity or project, you are effectively saying NO to many others.
b. Does this “thing” contribute toward accomplishing one or more of your goals? You must strive to relate EVERYTHING you invest your time in to your goals.
2. Build an extended team, not only employees, that you can delegate (not abdicate) items to. That’s how the billionaires get leverage, you can too. If they are knowledgeable about the “thing” you are delegating, your extended team may include your CPA, attorneys, family, mentors, etc. Do not delegate to unqualified people. Also, remember in a corporate environment, if you are careful, you can delegate upward.
3. One of the best habits I adopted after I completed ActionCOACH induction training is – Never finish today, until you plan tomorrow. Before I leave my office, I list out my must achieves for the next day.
4. Be Militant about those who undervalue your time by interrupting. You can:
a. Get lost – work remotely
b. Not answer the phone – call screening works
c. Regulate email – you can set the polling interval in most email apps
d. Be busy and be obvious about it
e. Set the timer on the bomb (my favorite), “I have a call in five minutes”
5. Block your time – create a default diary (ideal calendar, default calendar) communicate it and stick to it.
These five tips are just the tip (no pun intended) of the iceberg. My colleagues at ActionCOACH and I have a wealth of effective time management strategies at our fingertips. If you are find that there are not enough hours in the day, or you are totally overwhelmed by the “things” on your plate, WE CAN HELP! Just contact me or any of my ActionCOACH colleagues.
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