Every day we have 24 hours to achieve everything we set out to do. But most of the time we lose the fight against the clock for various reasons that upset the entire established program of activities, and implicitly the plan to achieve the proposed objectives. Today we say that we do not have time, tomorrow this excuse will be replaced by another and the cycle can be repeated indefinitely until the consequences of failure to complete the tasks on time, will be directed at us.
The first step in establishing control over time is to identify the causes that prevent this. Either the activities carried out do not have a well-defined place in time because you always postpone certain activities to perform them in “free time”, or you chose an inappropriate time, the task to be performed would be a high degree of complexity, or you are subject very often interruptions from colleagues or you are simply not the right person for that task. At the same time you can be a person who is afraid of failure and that is why you do not find the inner strength to take responsibility or maybe you are a conqueror of chaos and you like to live the feeling obtained by solving things on the last hundred meters. This is the first step that each of us should take to build a solid foundation for the future strategy of streamlining the use of time, namely a face-to-face discussion with ourselves to identify the causes.
Once the causes have been identified, the next stage is the analysis phase in which we must be aware of our relationship with time and answer 3 essential questions, such as:
- What works and what doesn’t?
- What are my time management preferences?
- What are my cycles and energy sources?
Each person is different in their abilities and preferences, which is why each of us must carefully analyze our relationship with time, avoiding reporting to other people.
After clarifying and purifying the causes that prevent us from being efficient in time management, the next step is to develop an attack plan, a strategy that keeps us focused on what we want to achieve. This strategy must have a clearly defined purpose and objectives, based on the values of each one to be a continuous source of motivation.
The goals must reflect what I want and I must be aware of the extent to which I am on track to achieve them and what are the methods at hand to achieve my goals. Any set goal must be well defined in terms of time and space, it can be measured to know if we have reached it and last but not least it must be as close to reality as possible.
The strategy must also include ways to avoid and eliminate all factors that can affect and disrupt good time management, such as “time thieves”.
From the phone ringing continuously, to meetings that are too long and far too disorganized, unclear priorities, the internet, the TV, and the impossibility of saying NO, of refusing to help someone even if you are aware that you will not have the necessary time…
There is no magic formula for obtaining a competitive advantage over time, but only a deep awareness of what we do, how we do it, and why, as well as a better organization, prioritization, and planning of daily activities. It is very important to have a daily routine established, to establish what your priorities are every day, and to assign fixed periods for accomplishing the tasks.
Your time manager must be an agenda, which can be either in traditional or more modern format, in an electronic format, depending on the preferences and work skills of each.