Time Management….a Misnomer??

January 18, 2016 by  

This is question that you may want to ask yourself if you find time management and organizational skills a challenge.

Here are a few definitions to consider:

1. Time management is the development of processes and tools that increase a person’s time-efficiency.
2. Time management is the ability to manage and control time. The use of planners, calendars, and the like are effective tools in managing time. Implementing a routine is a method of scheduling actions, which enforce a regiment to fit with a person’s flow of work and production activities.
3. Time Management teaches a number of techniques that aim to increase the effectiveness of a person in getting the things done that need to be done. Time management is somewhat of a misnomer as time passes without regard to what we do; the only thing we can manage is ourselves. Hence time management is mostly about self- management.

If you are going to be successful at this you must employ some structures that make sense and allow you to organize your daily routine in a prioritized, somewhat flexible manner that allows you to accomplish those tasks that will move you faster toward your goals while make both efficient and productive use of your time.
People who manage their time poorly create unnecessary stress for themselves and others, get less done, and hurt their chances for success. Therefore, those who manage time effectively, work smarter and are more valuable to their organization.

So where should you begin?
The first step you may want to take is to begin by making a commitment to start this process. Next you will need to analyze your schedule and determine what you need to retain, what you can eliminate, and possibly what you can delegate. Now you can set some weekly, monthly and yearly goals.
Your next step is to compose a prioritized list of tasks with appropriate, attainable time lines for them.
At this point you may want to explore the factors that prevent you from getting organized or following through on the items on your list in a timely fashion. In other words, what sort of time wasters turn you into a procrastinator or leaves you in crisis situations. One those are identified you will have a better chance for eliminating them and being able to fulfill your urgent and important tasks which will move you more quickly and easily toward accomplishing your goals.
If you begin spending 80% of your time on the critical issues and only 20% of your time on the other issues, you will find that your effectiveness increases dramatically!

Here is how to do that:
- Start making those important tasks more urgent by setting deadlines for them, and scheduling them into your day.
 -Deal with those important tasks even if they are not yet urgent.
- When dealing with an “urgent” request, take time to consider your response.
 -Well thought out solutions are usually better than impulsive reactions.

Don’t let others “steal” time, learn to say “no” when you must, and do not feel guilty about it. Do it now! Use small blocks of time constructively. Keep your desk clear. Use one calendar and sync your electronic devices to it to avoid conflicts and keep you abreast of your appointments and deadlines. Don’t get bogged down, take breaks or seek assistance as necessary. Try to control the time wasters that you can.

Remember: Time is of the essence so be sure to make the most of yours!
If you do that you will not feel like this: God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things, right now I am so far behind I feel like I can never die!!!
If you commit to managing yourself more effectively you will be less stressed, more productive, efficient, creative and happy and, you will be much more likely to achieve whatever you set out to do!

Are You an Effective Communicator?

January 5, 2016 by  

Many of us feel we are good communicators because we have had years of practice….been doing it since we were born! However, the truth is that most of us are not very good at it and as a result we experience much conflict, confusion, resentment, disappointment, complaining, even anger.  So how can we avoid those outcomes and enjoy more win/win outcomes, more of what we want along with higher productivity, efficiency and creativity?

Here are some great tips that will help to improve your communication skills.

  1. Practice Active Listening, the most important communication skill. The more you listen, get clarification that the message you sent was the one received and that the person not only heard what you said, but also processed the content as you wished and arrived at the expected outcome for that exchange, the happier both of you will be! This attentive, focused listening will result in less miscommunication and therefore better relationships in all aspects of your life. Try it not only at work but also at home.
  2. Try to understand with whom you are speaking…..are they a controlling type of person who has little patience for the anecdotal version of anything because they are very organized, competent and decisive. Are they a supportive sort of person who requires clear, specific directions, encouragement, support and reassurances that they are doing things as expected. Are they an analytical type of person who needs more time to gather sufficient data in order to make a decision or design an appropriate system or process as requested. Finally, are they a promoter type person who relishes attention, has loads of ideas but has trouble organizing themselves to actually get things done. No matter who they are, if you can determine their personality type you can then adapt your communication style to suit their perception of situations which will make your message easier for them to receive and interpret as you wish.
  3. It is important for all of us to become accountable for our actions and deeds as well as when dealing with others. There is no point in walking around with a stomach ache if you feel someone has offended or disrespected you in some way, they are not a mind reader, so you must let them know how you feel, but do it in an honest and respectful manner. If that does not work, next try to come up with a strategy to overcome this issue so that you no longer are feeling badly. Finally if that does not work either, you may have to leave the situation in order to save yourself.
  4. If we are going to deal with situations we often need to be assertive. There is a fine line between being aggressive and assertive….be sure to state your opinion in an honest and respectful manner and be prepared to have to do this more than once in order to get what you desire. In the end, you may not get exactly what you want, as we cannot make people do things they do not wish to do, however you will feel better for having spoken up and tried to “fix” the situation.
  5. We must realize that men and women do not communicate in the same way, therefore, again, we must adjust our communication style to suit whichever gender we are conversing with. Women are fond of the anecdotal version of the day or issue, men usually are not, they prefer the key points and will ask for more detail if they want it. Women often talk about feelings and generally are concerned more about process and inclusion, rather than the direct outcome. Men are more focused on the outcome and results. That does not mean that women do not like results, they do, but may reach them in less direct manner.
  6. Dealing with difficult people is bound to occur at some point so realizing that often they are behaving as they do as a result of some previous experience, it is not truly “about you”. The behavior is their way of maintain control, deflecting blame from themselves or avoiding making decisions. In order to deal effectively we need to try strategies that do not take away their power or make them more defensive. In the end, we may not win, but we can try leverage their strengths to both their and our advantage but listening well and being assertive as necessary.

If you can employ some of the tips offered above I expect you will enjoy more win/win outcomes, less miscommunication and ultimately more creativity, productivity and happiness. When we are happy we also enhance our immune systems, so as an extra bonus you will also be healthier!