We all feel technology should be enhancing our management of time, but it actually blurs the boundaries between work and personal lives. Technology can become addictive. Haven’t you found yourself becoming a “slave to the ding or alert” of “you’ve got mail?” No matter how critical of a project you may be involved in–you just have to check it. Most of the incoming “noise” is really not important, but it changed your focus and interrupted productivity. Learn to use the technology to improve productivity to have the extra downtime needed for “quiet time.”
Laura Stack, president of The Productivity Pro, was asked “What should we not be doing?” as a waste of time. Her answer? “The biggest waste of time is always doing what we’ve always done.” If what you are doing makes sense–then ask yourself “why do we do it this way? Would anybody notice if I didn’t do it that way anymore?”
Time is a gift. Wasting your time is wasting your opportunities. Dr. Covey says “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Develop a list. Prioritize. Conquer major tasks in a series of small steps.
Time is a valuable resource. We cannot really control time; we can only self-manage the resource given us. “Don’t be fooled by a calendar. There are only as many days in a year as you use. One man may only get one week out of a year, while another may get a year’s value out of one week.” (Charles Richards) We need to measure success by our accomplishments, not by the amount of time spent.
Managing time is one of the most difficult organizational challenges we all face. It’s easy to declutter, file, rearrange, etc. It’s getting control of your schedule that involves setting rules for others who interfere with your productivity that seems to be a never-ending challenge.
People are busy daily with putting out fires, dealing with distractions, directing day-to-day operations of a business or home. The time should be spent on strategy. Put “thinking time” on your calendar. Prepare for the daily crisis and deal with them proactively.
Plan “strategy retreats” every few months. No e-mail; turn the phone off. Write, think, dream, plan. Intentionally focus on the importance of intense focus!