This phrase is one of the most frequent things I hear from my clients at some
point in the coaching process.
The clients who utter this phrase are usually apologizing for an incomplete
stretch (homework assigned by the coach), an unsent prep form (usually sent each
week before every coaching session) or a really important task that directly
relates to their burning desire, which is why they hired me in the first place.
More often than not, time is not the challenge, it’s a priority
Managers and leaders need to become aware of the discrepancy between what
they say they want and the amount of time they’re actually spending in pursuit
- What is your priority? Here’s my first request of you: take a step back to
a thousand feet and look down at yourself and remind yourself of what you
really, really, really want (as Dr. Dyer puts it).
- Now remind yourself again of what will happen if things don’t change in one
- If you’re already sweating, remind yourself of what your life will be like
in one year if you actually can get what you really want.
- I’m glad we’re now on the same page again.
What’s eating up all your time?
Wouldn’t you love to know the answer to that question? Aha but I’ll wager
that you already do. Let’s put it down on paper.
Write down a big goal you want to have accomplished in one year’s time.
- Draw 2 vertical rectangular shapes on a page side by side. One represents your Ideal day. In other words, the way you think your day should go in order to enable you to reach your goal. The other represents your Current Average day.
- Chunk off each rectangle into blocks of major tasks that you do as part of your day. Don’t forget to put “me time” in there. The only things you should leave off of these rectangles is eating and sleeping because, well, I’m assuming you HAVE to make time for those and do anyway.
- Now think about the time you require to complete each of these tasks. Assign both the number of hours required to complete each chunk and its percentage of your day.. Do this for both your Ideal day and your Current Average day. You can
take the average of the past week to come up with Current Average day percentages.
- Here’s an example of one of my clients who did this exercise:
Big Goal: Grow company to $1 million sales
Job: Small company owner
|Change your Chunks
Write down 3 things you could immediately do (I mean starting tomorrow!) to
change the discrepancy in the percentages between the two rectangles.Examples:
- Hire extra help to complete one of the chunks
- Delegate tasks to existing resources
- Learn a new skill that will help you become more efficient or proficient at
one of the chunks
I’m not saying you’ll have your Ideal
day tomorrow, but you need to make sure that within one month, you have to be on
the track to your big goal by actually spending the appropriate amounts of time
on each task.
Tools to keep you honest
A monthly Calendar:
Get one where there’s enough space to write detailed daily appointments and
activities for at least a month in advance.
You must remember to actively schedule and include the following:
- Actual planning time for the week where you readjust your schedule if
- A buffer for unavoidables and emergencies. The amount of time you allow for
this needs to be based on the average number of emergency hours you spent each
day last month.
- Plan in all the chunk pieces (Leadership, Admin, HR etc.) you named in your
Ideal day schedule.
Use a different colour pen/pencil for changes on your schedule to track
where the scheduling and forecasting of your time was off so you can schedule
more accurately the following week.
Your coach and yourself:
Be honest with yourself and with your coach. You know if you feel like
you’re still running against the wind and never getting anything done despite
all your efforts. Insanity is defined as continuing to do the same things but
expecting different results. If you’re not really changing the way you do
things, you will not reach your goal.
It was never about my schedule anyway…On most occasions, I’m amazed to find that failing to complete a
task has nothing to do with time limitations; it’s actually a scapegoat for a
plethora of wonderful things such as:
- Lack of confidence to handle the task required
- Comfort in sticking with the familiar
- Lack of skill to perform task
- Inability to pinpoint or admit lack of skill
- Be honest enough to admit that your time management isn’t to blame. Now
let’s find out the other side to this story, here’s my next request: Think about
what exactly is stopping you.
- Then write down 3 facts you know to be true that nullify your
belief or fear:
- Eg. If what’s truly stopping you is thinking “If I call and leave a
voicemail, they won’t call me back”, then write down things like:
- “People I’ve left messages to before have called me back in the past”
- “How will they know who called if I don’t leave a message?”
- “There are many other ways I can reach them other than voicemail, I’m going
to try one of them.”
- The next step is to write down 3 things you’re going to do to
overcome the barrieryou’ve identified:
- Eg. I’m going to do it
- I’m going to send an email first, then call
- I’m going to drop by to see them with a brochure of my services and here’s a bonus:
- I’m going to attend that teleclass about “taking the fear out of cold calling”
Hopefully this will get you on your way to what I call the “say-do
continuum”. You will now be a person of your word where you truly say what
you’ll do and do what you say you’ll do
With kindness as always,