Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ways to become a do it now person

Whoever has enough time? So much to do; so little time in which to do it. Finite resources; infinite needs. People to see, places to go, things to do. No time to say hello, good-bye. I’m late for a very important meeting. Sound familiar? That’s life and work. Everyone has more to do than they can get to. The higher up you go in the organisation, the more you have to do and the less time you have to do it. Nobody can do it all. You have to set priorities and manage your time to survive and prosper. Here are ten ways to become a do it now person:



Set goals. Nothing manages time better than a goal, a plan and a measure. Set goals for yourself. These goals are essential for setting priorities. If you do not have goals, you can’t set time priorities. Using the goals, separate what you need to do into important/urgent (necessity), important/not urgent (effectiveness), not important/urgent (deception) and not important/not urgent (waste and excess).

Lay out tasks and work on a time line. Most successful time managers begin with a good plan for time. What do I need to accomplish? What are the goals? What’s critical and what’s trivial? What’s the time line? Many people are seen as lacking time management skills because they don’t write down the sequence or parts of the work and leave something out. Ask others to comment on your proposed sequence of actions.

Manage your time effectively. Plan your time and manage against it. Be time sensitive. Value time. Figure out what you are worth per hour and minute by taking your gross salary plus overhead and benefits. Attach a monetary value on your time. Then ask, is this worth, say, £100 of my time? Review your calendar over the past 90 days to figure out what your three largest time wasters are and reduce them by grouping activities and using efficient communications like e-mail and voice mail for routine matters. Make a list of points to be covered in phone calls; set deadlines for yourself; use your best time of day for the toughest tasks.

Create more time for yourself. Taking time to plan and set priorities actually frees up more time later than just diving into things, hoping that you can get it done on time. Most people out of time claim they didn’t have time to plan their time. In the Stephen Covey Seven Habits of Highly Successful People sense, it’s sharpening your saw.

Give away as much time-consuming work as you can. This can be done by a little planning and by delegating things you don’t have to do yourself. Try to give as much as possible to others. The win-win is that people enjoy being delegated to and empowered. You win; they win.

Find someone in your network that is better at time management than you are. Watch what they do and compare against what you typically do. Try to increase doing the things they do and don’t do. Ask for feedback from people who have commented on your poor time management. What did they find difficult?

Be careful not to be guided by just what you like and what you don’t like to do. That way of using your time will probably not be successful in the long term. Use data, intuition and even feelings to apportion your time, but not feelings alone.

Be sensitive to the time of others. Generally, the higher up you go or the higher up the person you are interacting with is, the less time you and they have. Be time efficient with others. Use as little of their time as possible. Get to it and get done with it. Give them an opportunity to open new avenues for discussion or to continue, but if they don’t, say your good-byes and leave.

Others will always ask you to do more than you can do. An important time saver is the ability to constructively say no. One technique people use is to ask the requester which of the other things they have asked you to do would they like to cancel or delay in order to do the most recent request. That way you say both yes and no and let the requester choose.

Another common time waster is inadequate disengagement skills. Some poor time managers can’t shut down transactions. Either they continue to talk beyond what would be necessary, or more commonly, they can’t get the other party to quit talking. When it’s time to move on, just say, “I have to get on to the next thing I have to do; we can pick this up some other time.”