During the conference call we talked about something that I know concerns all of us and that is time management. I mentioned that I wanted to make sure that if someone teaches that in one of our sessions that I could attend that session. Beverly mentioned that she has come to understand that there is a “new norm” as it relates to managing time and the diverse assignments that we have come across our desk everyday. It is a new level of prioritizing and execution.
The challenge that we face today is that as we strive to work in excellence, not only are we pulled in several different directions, but so are our leaders and congregations, our families, as well as ourselves. In order to prioritize and function properly, planning becomes even more crucial. And one important element that many of us are confronted by is the need to delegate responsibilities to others, whether they are other staff members or dependable volunteers.
There are several sources that can assist us in time management online and in reference books. From Amazon. com, I found three books that peaked my interest:
One that caught my attention was Time Management in An Instant: 60 Ways to Make the Most of Your Day, edited by Jodi Brandon. A few of the first 10 chapters: Assess Your Time Management Skills, Understand Your Relationship with Time, Get Out of Time Denial (oops, how’d she know?), Design Goals in All Areas of Your Life, and Make Your Goals Specific.
Julie Morgenstern offers a look at the whys and wherefores of your challenge with time in the book entitled, Time Management from the Inside Out, Second Edition: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule, and Your Life. The book is divided into five sections that can be studied independently and then joined together to work through the fight to cope with your struggle to reign in your time. Part I, Laying the Foundation, Morgenstern asks “What’s Holding You Back?” In Part 3, Analyze – Tuning in to Who You Are. And in Part 4, Strategies, she deals with “Time Mapping: Creating Your Ideal Balance.”
And finally, David Allen, in Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, in Part 1, challenges us to see “A New Practice for A New Reality.” How many times have we heard the definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result? (From Amazon.com: “Allen's premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential.”)
Have you completely read and tried the strategies from all of the books, CD’s and DVD’s that you have bought or borrowed regarding time management? You may not need to buy any new books perhaps you should go back and read the ones that you already possess. Did you try Blanchard’s suggestions from the One Minute Manager that you bought a few years ago?
Whichever strategy that you utilize, we are encouraged to employ the various devices that are at our disposal for keeping track of calendars and projects. The new technology of “syncing” everything so that all of the tools are able to remind us of what we need to do is helpful in making sure that we can put our finger on what we should be doing or where we should be headed. And those of us that still defy all of the technology, and rely on one manual method or the other are reminded by the savvier among us that there is hope.
And of course, we know that the internet is a source of vast sites that present articles and testimonials that will attest to the transformation of the authors from time-wasters to time managers.
Time management is not enhanced by frustration and despair. In order to continue to execute the tasks of the day, take momentary breaks during the day to review completed assignments, walk away from your desk and distract yourself for a few minutes, drink water (important to get in the allotted amount needed for daily hydration), do that new two-minute exercise that you learned that reinvigorates you, or just take a few deep-cleansing breaths to get the oxygen flowing again.
Continue to manage your time as you have heard in all of the seminars and or have read in the books that line your shelf, and don’t let time manage you.