Time: a measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists.
Management: to exercise executive, administrative, and supervisory direction of something.
Can you really “manage” time? Can you really oversee it and direct it? Can you stretch it or condense it? Can YOU change time in any way?
What people mean when they say time management is better termed ACTION management. We can manage a portfolio and grow it, manage our personal finances and alter them (hopefully for the better), or manage a sports team to win a championship, but no matter how hard we try, we cannot “manage” time and alter it or change it in any way. Each person only has 24 hours a day to get things done. Those who seem to get more done simply better manage their own actions.
Good “action” managers work on one thing at a time, bringing it to completion because completed projects rarely come back to haunt you. Poor managers think they can multi-task, missing the opportunity to focus on anything. Their concentration is diffused and powerless.
You can only have one top priority at a time.
Good “action” managers have the self discipline to slow down when things seem to get crazy because rushing around usually results in poor performance. Poor managers actually speed up and they get less completed. Properly completed.
Good “action’ managers have a passion for building relationships with their teams by how they prioritize their activities and don’t let frivolous interruptions invade their processes. Poor managers don’t build great teams because they’re constantly allowing interruptions to dictate their daily actions. You can’t get a word in edge-wise because the the email is tempting, phone is ringing, the text messages are buzzing, and Blackberry is dinging.
Good “action” managers set priorities that help them and their teams achieve mutually beneficial goals. Poor managers allow whatever is happening at the moment to become top priority. Almost anything can grab their attention.
Become an “action” manager rather than just a time manager. Work on one thing at a time, slow things down, build solid and trusting relationships, and set strong priorities.
Looking back, some of the worst decisions I ever made were made in a hurry.
How about you?