Time Mangement, The Ultimate “oxymoron!”.
Complimentary English lesson of the day! What is an oxymoron?
oxymoron- as defined at dictionary.com. Noun : conjoining contradictory terms (as in “deafening silence”)
Can silence be deafening??? Can time be managed???
I can’t think of a program that I have ever done that didn’t include the oxymoron “time management” as a common problem identified by the participants attending. Since most of my work is with sales people or sales managers I thought I might take a moment and address the issue of time management as it relates specifically to those functions. There are many strategies we can use to get control of the time we have, here are a couple of ideas that might help you.
First, let’s define the problem and identify that “time management” is really a symptom of the inability to manage and set priorities. No one yet (to my knowledge, call me if you know the secret!) has found a way to manage time. We cannot control the hands on the clock or when the sun rises and sets. We can only manage and control what we do with our time. So, the real issue is not managing time but managing what we do with the time we have, making sure that we spend it on the most important priorities.
Second, you must understand and be willing to accept the fact that there will never be a day when you get everything done (except of course the day you die!). Until you are willing to accept that reality that you will be constantly frustrated by your inability to get everything done. More important, however, is that thinking you can get everything done will cause you to make promises of delivery (goods, services, favors or other deliverables) that are unrealistic. Let’s make sure we are thinking correctly about the problem or we’re doomed to repeat it.
If you understand that you can’t get everything done, then you must decide what needs to get done and what can be put off (for later, or forever!). Everyday you need to make a list of what needs to get done and then take a minute and prioritize your list. For many sales people a good way to prioritize is getting into the habit of identifying and doing things that have the “highest likelihood of making you money or losing you money”. These tasks are often referred to as “money tasks”, and are often the most stressful tasks on the list (see post “clean out your locker”, 9/24). Particularly, if you are a commissioned based sales person, this will have a great impact on your earning potential and keep you focused on the right tasks. I’m confident that using the “money call” rule will make you more money, try it!
In the following months we’ll add some other priority management techniques that will help you get better control of your time. For now, set your priorities on doing the things that affect your “pocket book” and I’ll bet you’ll feel better about how you use your time!