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Ernest A. Lewis    .

 Executive Coach     .

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"The reward of a thing well done

is to have done it.”

 

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

Time Management - Just Do It Now

• Learn to manage yourself in time

• Define your priorities, set specific goals and stop procrastinating

• Understanding First Things First

• Critical skills for effective time use

• The Twelve Strategies for effective time use

• Avoid management by crisis

 

PERSONAL TIME MANAGEMENT

 

Time is a unique resource that everyone has an equal amount of:  24 hours in each and every day. More importantly, once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. This means, time management is a misnomer. What we really need to do is manage ourselves as we use our time.

 

Some Basic Concepts

Define Your Priorities

What you determine to be important will naturally be where you spend your time each day. The trouble is, most of us fail to determine what is important in our lives and we spend time where it is easy, not important. The important things take a little bit of thought and effort, which is often why we tend to not do them in the first place.

 

List the top five things that will make your life meaningful. 

1. 

2. 

3. 

4. 

5. 

 

These five priorities are the areas where you can more effectively use your time. Knowing these will help you prioritize tasks on a daily basis. When you have too many tasks, you can select tasks that match your priorities and more easily say “no” to those tasks that don’t fit.

 

Work on those tasks that make a difference. Separate needs from wants. Needs should come first. Wants, busy work, and low priority tasks should come later or not at all.

 

Don’t forget yourself. Include time alone, exercise, spiritual development, etc. as priorities. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else.

 

Set Specific Goals

Goals give you direction and a target to shoot for. Writing down your goals increases the probability you will achieve them. Use SMART goals.

 

SPECIFIC

Goals should be specific.  i.e. “I am going to lose weight,” is a vague and ambiguous target, whereas “I am going to lose 10 lbs this year,” is more definitive which means you will have a better idea of what to do to get there.

MEASURE-ABLE

Set goals where you can measure your performance and track your progress.

ATTAINABLE

Set goals that are achievable. You want goals that cause you to “stretch” and reach higher but you don’t want goals so high that you always see failure.

REALISTIC

Be realistic of what you want to accomplish. Working on ten to twenty goals for improvement each year probably won’t happen but working on one per month or 2-3 per year are more likely to happen. Also, be able to adjust as you go. If you realize a goal was too high or too low, simply adjust the goal accordingly. Often circumstances beyond our control need to be taken into account.

TIMELY

Put your goals and tasks on your schedule. We schedule meetings and doctor’s appointments because we need to do those things.  We should do the same for the goals we want to achieve. Blocking time in your schedule will help you do the things you need to.

 

Stop Procrastinating

Most of us are procrastinators. We just hate to admit it. Stop procrastinating and you will be amazed at what you can achieve. Do things now and you won’t waste time later trying to finish what you started, you won’t get stressed rushing to meet a deadline, and you won’t need to drop everything trying to put out a fire that wouldn’t be there in the first place if you hadn’t procrastinated.

 

Simple Steps to Personal Time Management

 

1. Own your time

Say NO when you need to. Assisting and taking care of others is good unless it causes you to be over committed or keeps you from taking care of your own priorities. Look out for the guilt factor. You need not feel guilty for not taking on other people’s priorities!

2. Prioritize

Take care of the important things and the rest will take care of itself.

3. Plan your day

If you are a slow starter, you may do more routine tasks early and schedule the intense work for later. Determine which times of the day are best for you for particular tasks.

4. Block your time

To be more efficient lump similar tasks together. Answer emails in the morning rather than all day long. Open mail at the end of the day. Block large chunks of time to do one type of task or even tackle one big project all at once. You will be more efficient getting more done in less time and be able to concentrate and focus when you need to.

5. Bite-Sizes

Some tasks are overwhelming. Break them down into smaller chunks. Running a marathon is a monumental task especially if you never ran one before. You may need to start by walking. As your strength and endurance increase, you might try a walking and running combination. You get the picture. Small steps lead to great journeys.

6. Delegate

Let others help. That’s what they are there for. They may not do it as well as you could or even do it the same way you would have but they can still get it done. Define the results you expect and make sure they have sufficient skills and knowledge to complete the task.  If they don’t, you need to train them!

7. Develop systems for the routine things

If you need to do it regularly, set up a system that simplifies the effort. Procedures, check lists, filing systems do help. Also, put like things with like things to save time. I once had a client who didn’t understand why getting dressed in the morning took so long. When questioned, she revealed she kept clothes upstairs in the closet, downstairs in another closet and in the basement. She was spending twenty minutes every morning running up and down the stairs. An inefficient use of time and energy!

8. Reward yourself

Build rewards into your goals and tasks. Life should be fun and enjoyable. Stop and smell the roses. Take a vacation. Call a friend and let them say “Well done!”

 

Testimonials

 

“I have known Ernie for over ten years and have always been impressed by his professionalism, knowledge and experience. He truly cares for his clients and helps them to reach peak performance.”

 

Jan Weakland

Sales and Marketing Capabilities Project Manager, BP

 


 

“E.A. Lewis Consulting was hired to assist in efforts to improve morale in a warehouse environment. Ernie achieved such positive results that we expanded his project to include our sales and management teams. Ernie was also instrumental in our efforts to implement cost saving procedures. I highly recommend E.A. Lewis Consulting.”

 

- George Evanoff

General Manager

 


 

"I have hired Ernie for eight years as a trainer for my Leadership Toledo classes and will continue to do so. He does a terrific job as an individual and team developer. He is bright, active, fun and creative. Ernie is also a wonderful volunteer to many organizations and causes. He is an all around class act! Contact Ernie. You will be glad you did.”

 

- Dave Schlaudecker

Executive Director

Leadership Toledo

 


“Ernie is a master at bringing people to common ground and helping both individuals and companies reach their potential.”

 

- Mary Kern

Director of Information Services

University of Toledo Foundation

 

 

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