MANAGING TIME AND CIRCUMSTANCES

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“Is what I’m doing right

                      

this minute, leading me 

                                                

 to where I want to go?”

 

I kept this sign above my desk for many years. It helped keep me focused. It prompted staff and visitors to think twice about how we were using time. It’s hard to justify much water cooler chit-chat while appointments, online research and paperwork pace around your workspace awaiting your return.

Running a business is a balancing act to begin with. The mercilessly ticking clock demands even more. Business owners and managers are only as effective as their ability to manage and productively use time.

Mail carriers sort, doctors triage, retailers catalog, military personnel classify, librarians alphabetize, and the rest of us stumble through –organizing, arranging and categorizing– as a preamble to prioritizing.

The process of taking what you have and organizing it, combining appropriate interests along the way, then ultimately determining the rank order of importance is a lifeline to action! It sets leaders up to attack the first most important task first, and the second most important task second, and so forth. All good, logical, rational thinking here.

Unfortunately, unless you’re an accountant, life is not logical and rational. Stuff inevitably happens that pushes all the logic out the tenth floor window. If you’re not prepared for such uproars, you’ll get dragged out with it. And ten floors is not enough time to open your chute, but enough free-fall to play smash-face.

If your past solution approach has traditionally been to start listening to your LED watch and –as if it was a doomed rabbit– giving it violent hound dog shakes with a startled look on your face, you may want to consider some alternative that involves a booster shot of proactive planning.

Motivational guru Brian Tracy tells us that for “every minute spent in planning saves ten minutes in execution.”

Planning is only a waste of time if you choose for it to be and fail to follow the path you cut out, or fail to adjust it to best fit the circumstances.

One major key to planning and time management success is to always have a contingency arrangement thought out. Why? Because you can almost bet there will be interruptions, and often unexpected emergencies. Just as fire drills have often been credited with saving lives, contingency plans often save businesses.

  In other words, stay tuned in to what’s happening in real time, but always be prepared to be sidetracked. Thoreau once talked about being “forever on the alert.” Not bad advice all these many years later.

# # #

931.854.0474    Hal@BusinessWorks.US 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals!

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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