Asking people to manage time is like asking a fish to manage the water it swims in. It’s not possible. What we really mean by time-management is self-management. In other words how we manage ourselves within the time we have.
The first step is to know where you want to go and what you want to achieve. Without that vision clearly in your mind it will be hard to make the right decisions about what to work or focus on next.
How you manage yourself within the time you have can be divided into four sectors:
Sector 1 – ESSENTIAL and NOT TIME-CRITICAL.
Working on things in this sector will get you the results you desire; but, they can be put off until another day because the deadline is either self-imposed or so far in the future that there is no sense of urgency. This is true for business and personal actions.
Making time for business development; coaching staff, or planning the future can be put off in the short term; but if neglected for a long time there will be a detrimental impact.
We should be spending the majority of our time in this sector as it has the potential to give us the results we want.
Sector 2 – ESSENTIAL and TIME-CRITICAL
These are deadline or crisis driven items. The potential exists for detrimental consequences if we don’t complete these tasks. Unfortunately this is where a lot of people spend the majority of their time. This sector deals with today’s tasks and does not really create the desired future.
Sector 3 – NOT ESSENTIAL and TIME-CRITICAL
Demanding items, these things are not time critical. This area would include attending meetings that take too long or don’t add value. The classic example is answering emails or phone calls at a time when focusing on essential items might have delivered greater results. This is a sector that should be managed very carefully as it can take up a lot of time and be relatively unproductive.
Sector 4 – NOT ESSENTIAL and NOT TIME- CRITICAL
Very little time should be spent in this sector. These are the time wasters in your life that you do not need to do. They might be essential for someone else if you delegate effectively.
When you manage yourself effectively within the time you have you will be amazed at the results you achieve.