Hans F. Hansen

Time management

I hope you enjoyed last week’s post about the really powerful question; I know it is something I wish I had known about a long time ago…

This week, I wanted to follow on from the really powerful question in a similar vein, one of the things I said last week, is “time is the one thing in my experience managers don’t have plenty of” and the idea of the really powerful question is to save time, so are there any ways we can save time?

I wrestled with the title of this post for a while because I am sure there are a million articles on time management and another million books on the same subject. However, if we all have exactly the same number of hours, minutes and seconds in the day (24, 1,440 or 86,400), how is it that some people achieve so much and others, well, not as much?

I guess if we try to boil it down to the very essence, it is a question of priorities. We are all in charge of ourselves and our choices and reactions in any given moment and therefore we have some level of control over what we choose to prioritise, or focus on. Clearly priorities can change and that will always require a level of flexibility, adaptability, clarity, resilience and good communication, but whilst our priorities might need to be flexible our Values should not be and perhaps can guide our priorities.

Now, before you send me an email with the list of things you have to achieve in one day and an explanation of why that is so difficult to achieve – I get it – we are busy, we are all busy. I am sitting here on a Sunday afternoon trying to get a headstart on the week, but by definition I am choosing to do that.

So one of the other Skills for Care modules we deliver is part of the “CPD series” and one of the modules included is called “Understanding Self Management” and part of that module is a slide called “time stealers”. The activity is a ten point checklist of the mistakes people make in time management; think of it as a quick way of seeing if there is anything we can change to have an immediate impact (even if it is only one)

Top Ten Mistakes in Time Management
Not having a to do list
Not setting goals
Not prioritising
Not managing distractions
Procrastination
Taking too much on (think back to last week)
Thriving on being busy
Believing you can multi-task (23 minute research)
Not taking breaks
Ineffective scheduling

So, I am not planning to go through each one of these individually in this post, although if you want to, just get in touch and book on to the CPD module mentioned above. But if you looked at the list and recognise yourself or connected with any of the items in the list – think back to my post “awareness is the first step”. I suspect you already know you are really busy, but do you know that there is something you can do about it?

Maybe another really powerful question could be “am I busy doing the right thing?” or “which of my tasks could I effectively delegate, in order to give myself some more time?”

Next week, then, I want to look at the impact of effective delegation and the impact on resilience and wellbeing…