The Federal Credit Union March-April 2014 - (Page 42)
Getting a Grip on Time
By Dan Rockwell
ometimes managing time feels
like bull riding. You just hang
on. At the end of the day, you
brush off the dust and wonder
what the heck happened. Time is managing you; you aren't managing it.
Let's get first things first. Time management begins with priorities. A person with priorities does what matters.
But a person without priorities does
what is urgent. Creating more time
won't help if you don't have priorities. You'll end up just as overbooked,
overworked and overwhelmed as you
Settle! Perfectionists get less done.
Some tasks don't need to be done
perfectly, they just need to be done.
The enemy of progress is perfection.
For example, don't write and rewrite
an email until it's worded perfectly
- unless it's one of those policy,
procedure or all-department emails.
Make prioritized checklists. Quickly
organize and prioritize to-do lists by
dividing a piece of paper into four
quadrants. Write everything that
must be done today in the upper left
quadrant (Priority No. 1). In the upper
right quadrant write items that should
be done today (Priority No. 2). In
the lower left write items that should
be done soon (Priority No. 3). In the
lower right quadrant write low-priority
items (Priority No. 4). The next time
you add an item to your list, place it
in the appropriate quadrant. Kapow!
You're creating a prioritized list.
Once you've clarified priorities, everything you need to know about getting a
grip on time is captured by three words:
Eliminate: Stop unnecessary or lowpriority tasks.
Delegate: Give tasks to others.
Accelerate: Become more efficient.
10 Ways to Get a Grip on Time:
Time management is about you first.
Why aren't you willing to set boundaries or delegate projects?
Use O.H.I.O.: Only Handle It Once.
How many times have you picked up
a piece of paper or opened an email
only to set it aside. Open it, then
deal with it or delete it.
Create short time blocks. Do all
meetings require an hour? Here's
a tip that helps me focus. Set a
15-minute timer on your desktop,
and completely focus on one task
during that time.
Use the "just start" rule. Set aside 15
minutes a day to work on a longterm goal. Just start it. You may end
up working longer, but 15 minutes
represents progress. "Nothing is
particularly hard if you divide it into
small jobs." (Henry Ford)
simple solution to solving a problem
or accomplishing a task is often the
most time-efficient. Don't complicate things unnecessarily." I'll
say it more directly: "Any fool can
make something complex. It takes
real skill to simplify." Occasionally,
talking too much creates complexity.
Sometimes it's best just to begin and
adjust course as you go.
Find a rhythm. Personally, I'm more
productive if I have a few points of
predictability during the week. Perhaps it's lunch with a coach or turning
off email for an hour every afternoon.
Call this "energizing sameness."
10. Become accountable. Find a trusted
colleague and work on time management together. Make time management a priority. Ask each other, once
a day or once a week, "What are you
doing to manage your time?" Better
yet, ask, "What have you learned
about managing time?"
Someone or something is managing
your time. Only you can grab time by
Do dirty deeds first. Procrastinating drains your energy and
distracts your mind. Have you
noticed the things you've been putting off don't take as long as you
expected? Getting something done
creates energy to get more done.
Minimize complexity. My friend
Joan Koerber-Walker says, "The
Dan Rockwell began writing the Leadership Freak blog in 2010. Today, it is read
in virtually every country on the globe
and was recognized as the most socially
shared leadership blog of 2012, with more
than 200,000 subscribers. Rockwell is also
co-author of The Character-Based Leader.
Rockwell is a keynote speaker at NAFCU's
47th Annual Conference and Solutions
Expo July 22-26, 2014, at The Venetian,
Las Vegas. To register, visit www.nafcuannual.org/registration.
THE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MARCH-APRIL 2014
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Federal Credit Union March-April 2014
Voices & Opinions
From the Chair
100 Ways to Grow
Getting to Know...
Inside NAFCU Services
From the President's Desk
The Federal Credit Union March-April 2014