Some time management experts tell us that we have to get control of our inbox or in-tray if we are to manage our time. I would beg to differ. After all, if you only “control” what other people shove your way, are you really in control?
Here are twelve things you can explore to get a better handle on how you spend your time:
- Attitudes: What is your attitude towards time? Do you see it as a non-renewable resource?
- Goals: Do you have an overarching goal that guides you? Do you have sub-goals that feed the overarching goal?
- Priorities: Have you prioritized your sub-goals and actions?
- Analysing: Have you taking clear stock of how you spend your time? Do you know your habits and time wasters?
- Planning: Do you fail to plan and as a consequence plan to fail?
- Scheduling: Do you schedule chunks of time to work on your priorities?
- Interruptions: Do you let others interrupt you a lot?
- Meetings: Do you ever attend, or worse still call meetings without an objective or agenda?
- Written communications: Are you a slave to your email?
- Delegation: Do you ever fall into the trap of not delegating because it would take too much time to train the other person?
- Procrastination: Do you put off doing certain important things in favor of doing things you enjoy or are good at?
- Team Time: How much time do you spend supporting your team, as opposed to dragging them into unproductive interactions?
All of these are manageable. But you need to find the time and energy to do so. Start where you feel you need to start, then work from there.