135,890 results for Books : “time management”
Really? Over 135K books on this subject yet many folks still complain that they have too little time to get things done. I was one of those who would always be interested to read the next book on this subject and even wrote articles on how to be more productive. I have come to realize that I had been looking at this issue the wrong way. Managing time is impossible because time does not change. It keeps rolling on. You can only manage something that will listen to you and time does not.
There are two reasons for this change in my thought process. The first change came when I was looking at books on my shelf and I found my dog-eared copy of Steven Covey’s, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I refer back to this great book every once in a while and this time I opened to the section on Dr. Covey’s priority matrix.
Many of you who are familiar with Dr. Covey’s work should be familiar with the matrix. This matrix breaks tasks down into four sections based on urgency and importance. Productive people usually focus on two sections: important/urgent and important/not urgent. The late Dr. covey would have us focus on the latter, not the former because this allows us to work on projects that are valuable but not rushed due to time. Yet many of us, myself included can fall prey to allowing ourselves to focus on urgent issues. Focusing on this quadrant makes us feel important because we position ourselves as the hero who will drop what we are doing in order to help others. As a leader, this may not be the best tactic.
One good friend said, “You need to stop working in the business at times so you can work on the business”. Very true words indeed.
New Take on Time Management
The second change of thought came from a new book I am reading called, Procrastinate on Purpose, by Rory Vaden. I heard Mr. Vaden speak on a episode of the Marketing Over Coffee podcast and was struck by one thing he said. “We do not manage time, we allocate our time to what we feel is important.”
Wow. It reminded me immediately of Dr. Covey. We choose what we want to allocate our time to. If we choose to be a “hero”, running to the aid of any urgent issue, then how will we ever move your business or ourselves forward? Mr. Vaden speaks about how “multipliers” or highly successful people focus their time on the things that have long-term gains for them. It propels them forward at a higher rate than just focusing on what is in front of them.
I am half of the way through the book but I had to share my thoughts because I am transitioning many short term tasks to my team so I can focus on long term strategies for my business. I am also using some of these new strategy points when I consult with others because I see it happening to them as well.
I am now looking at my time the same way as I do out marketing budgets. Who gets what and what has biggest impact? If your time were a budget, where would you allocate resources for the best return?
I think this is a better way to approach this subject.