A” Monday Morning Business Gem”
by Dennis DuRoff
Ask almost anyone to do just about anything and the most likely response is either…
“I don’t have the time.” Or “I will find the time”.
We don’t give these statements much thought. They are built into our everyday language. When we say them we are usually on auto-pilot.
I’ve been wondering lately if we are paying a price for viewing time in this way? Is it an accurate view of time? Do these statements lead to greater satisfaction and productivity in our work and our lives?
A different way to look at time …
We are given a life full of time in which we already possess every moment of time we are going to have; not one second more or less. There is no shortage and nothing to find. All time is before us, revealed in this moment, in its finite and infinite potential.
Rather than trying to “find more time” (I keep looking under my desk, but it’s not there!), I have found it more productive to ask questions that produce different results with the time I already possess.
What can I do to maximize the time I have?
How can I organize my environment to maximize efficiencies and produce more in less time?
What am I doing that could or should be done by another and is not a good use of my time?
Here are three strategies I utilize in my own life and with clients’ that can open up new possibilities for effective time management.
Don’t tolerate interruptions
Uninterrupted time is essential for planning, strategizing, organizing, thinking and being. I recently read that a one-minute interruption can take 15 minutes to ‘get back to where you were’ in a project.
If you are interrupted four times an hour, you’re likely to accomplish nothing in a day.
Here’s an option…Set aside private, uninterrupted time.
Make public to others when you will be available and when you will not. To start, let co-workers or employees know the specific times during the day when you are not to be interrupted. Close the door, post a do not disturb sign, turn off cell phones, pagers, silence your telephone, create a gate-keeping system.
Learn to be at ease with large blocks of uninterrupted time. In our fast-paced, short attention span world, many of us have become uncomfortable with solitude and quiet. Rediscover the creativity and productivity available when you are alone and undisturbed.
Don’t postpone the painful. Delaying the difficult promotes procrastination.
Completing difficult or unpleasant tasks can motivate and set a ‘can do’ attitude for the rest of the day.
Make a list of the unpleasant tasks you have on your plate and do them first.
Letting them go until ‘later’ is a recipe for slippage.
When confrontive issues are not dealt with, they can weigh on one’s mind, sap energy and affect one’s mood.
Build momentum every day by never postponing the painful.
Don’t be a perfectionist
Never lower your standards! Just be sure one of your standards isn’t perfection.
Get clear about the purpose of the task at hand. What quality is needed to produce the desired result? Work as needed to produce this quality; no more/no less.
Remember, sometimes good enough is, well, good enough.
Finding time is a useless hunt. Instead try these strategies to work more effectively with the time you have.
Do you know a friend or colleague who would find value in today’s business gem? Why not share today’s message.
We hope you enjoyed this article. Dennis DuRoff works closely with the building, remodeling and construction industries, but more often than not you can apply his topics to your business or life, no matter how you fill your days!