Time Management – Managing Me … for Optimum Results!
Time management is an underrated skill; particularly when applied to managing ourselves. Here is a sobering thought; if you’re lucky enough to live to the age of 80…
- Life has been a 28,000 day experience
- or 4,000 weeks
Thought provoking eh! How we spend our time dictates our personal effectiveness which in term governs what we achieve.
Good time management allows us to achieve more in a shorter period of time, which leads to more free time, which lets us take advantage of learning and growth opportunities. It can also lower stress, helps you focus and expand your capacity. Time management has a rolling effect and can help improve all aspects of your life.
Take a look at the following picture:
There is an interesting concept about the way we think and behave called ‘Above and Below’ the line. It is used often in organisations trying to embed the values into the way people work and can be used to help understand the way you think and how you react to different situations.
Living “above the line” thinking can be difficult to achieve but very rewarding. Above the line is a positive, “I can do” place. Below the line is a negative environment finding excuses for the circumstances.
Planning is the Key; putting you in CONTROL; giving you ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY and OWNERSHIP for your actions.
One really useful tool to help in time management and facilitate control is Covey’s 4 Quadrants
The Covey time management grid is an effective method of organising your priorities. As you can see in the grid below, there are four quadrants organised by urgency and importance.
Time management using the four dimensions above will give you a very quick read on how effective you are:
- You can’t avoid spending time in the DEMAND quadrant. This is where things get done.
- The ZONE is the key area to maximise and yet it is the one quadrant that most people seldom get to. It isn’t perceived by many as being “busy” or “productive”. Yet time spent here will deliver huge dividends.
- The quadrant of ILLUSION is a place to avoid. It can feel strangely satisfying as you move swiftly from one thing to the next. However when you reflect on the outcome there is little to show for the time invested
- Everyone needs to ESCAPE every now and again, but spending much time here is escapism and a road to no-where.
Try keeping a log of your own activity and then map them (honestly) to the grid. You will get an insight into your personal time management and give yourself a tool to improve your personal productivity and effectiveness.
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