Time is the great equalizer. There are only 24 hours in each day that leaders can use for productivity — whether it is work, family, physical well-being or all the other things that devour time. How much more productive would you be if you could better control your time?
Everyone at all levels of an organization has available exactly the same number of hours in a given day to live life and be productive – 24, no more, no less — so time is the great equalizer. At the end of each day do you choose how you are going to allocate your time for the next day? Or do you let the day unravel out of control and think about how full your calendar is and how impossible it will be to get everything done?
How valuable is tomorrow?
Do you value the use of your time tomorrow by determining how productive you will be, how many meetings you will have, how many deals you will close, how much time you will spend with your spouse, children or friends, whether you’ve gone to the gym or have completed all of the things on your “to do” list? To put things in perspective, perhaps you might consider evaluating your next 24 hours through the prism of its value against the fact that you are going to exchange a day of your life for whatever you do in that 24 hour period. Is the way you spend your day tomorrow worthy of that exchange?
Three Steps to Getting In Control of Time
Make lists. Take control of your schedule instead of letting your schedule control you. Create a daily “will do” list which should contain the five most important things you either need to or wish to accomplish tomorrow. Allow for a certain amount of unscheduled time to accommodate the needs of others or take care of something that pops up at the last minute. Do not waver from your list and always do the most important thing on your list first.
Just say “no.” Learn to say “no” to the urgent demands of others. Use your unscheduled time each day to handle such demands. If you do not adhere closely to this step you will wind up at the mercy of the “urgent” and taking care of everyone else’s list but your own. And the things on your list will be pushed off to another day causing stress and decreasing productivity. To reinforce your “just say no” policy, place a “do not disturb” sign on your desk or close the door with a note saying come back at a specific time, which will coincide with your unscheduled time.
Regenerate and guard your personal time. Take time at the end of the day to regenerate and switch gears. Allocate ten minutes to release all of the tensions of the day and decompress. Read a chapter or a few paragraphs from an uplifting or motivational author to regenerate. Meditate or listen to music that puts you into a relaxed state. This will help you flow more smoothly into your personal life after work. If you are giving 80 percent of your time and energy as a leader at work then you must guard the 20 percent that is left for your personal life and make the most of it.
By following these steps you will conquer time, get in control of your schedule and reduce stress — which will make you more productive, a better, more responsive leader and provide you more enjoyable personal time at the day’s end.
© Pat Heydlauff, all rights reserved 2014
Pat Heydlauff speaks from experience. She creates environments that engage and focus your workforce. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Engage, Unleash the Power of Focus and published books, Feng Shui, So Easy a Child Can Do It and Selling Your Home with a Competitive Edge, and can be reached at 561-408-2708 or www.engagetolead.com.Share