Don’t you wish you had more time? More time to spend with friends & family? Or simply more time to spend on yourself? Today it is so easy to get burnt out, stressed and unsure how to fix your situation for the better.
Tangible Stationery is all about ‘the best you’ you can be.
‘Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.’ Johann Goethe
Effective management (even of just yourself) is putting first things first. Whilst in business it is leadership that determines what ‘first things’ are, it is management that puts them first, day by day, moment by moment. Management is the discipline of carrying them out. In his essay ‘The Common Denominator of success’ E.M.Gray discusses how his life was spent searching for that one denominator that all successful people share. He found that in fact it was not hard work, good luck, or good human relations, although of course they are helpful. The one thing that seemed to govern was the ability of – putting first things first. ‘The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do’.
So how can this be easily put into practice? Think about your forthcoming day. What is urgent? What is important? I am sure you might say – well the urgent things are the ‘first things’ those are the ones I need to focus on first.
No. Not always. Urgent means NOW. Urgent things act upon us, such as a phone ringing. These urgent things are usually visible – they are press on us and insist of your attention. However, often they are unimportant.
Importance, however, is all about results. If something is important it contributes to your mission, your values, your high priority goals. Important things that are not urgent, require proactivity and more importantly scheduling.
So, take Tangible Stationery’s FORBES notebook and here is your first task:
Identify your roles. Maybe you have never really given thought to the roles you play in life. Start by writing down what comes to mind. For example, you have a role as an individual. You may have roles that involve your family, such as being a husband, a wife, a mother, a father, a son, a daughter, an aunt, a cousin, perhaps a grandparent. Write down some of your roles in work – look at areas that you invest your time and energy. Do you have roles within your community such as church or choir or as a carer.
Set goals. Thinking of these roles, the next step is to identify one or two important results you feel you can achieve within the next 7 days. For example, as a spouse you could book a trip or buy tickets to something you both love.
Schedule. Now look at your week ahead with these ‘important’ goals in mind. Schedule time to achieve them. Use your working life breaks to achieve some of these goals. Perhaps you have set yourself and individual goal to increase your exercise. You may need to therefore allow time 3 – 4 times a week to achieve this goal. Can you use your lunchbreak? Could you get up earlier on those days? With these important goals scheduled in your calendar, look at all the remaining free time. As well as empowering you to put first things first, this weekly organising gives you the freedom and flexibility to handle those unexpected ‘urgent’ events.
Adapt. Of course, all good plans go awry. So being flexible it always key to success. If you achieve your weekly scheduling, daily planning simply becomes a way to adapt and prioritize. Take a few minutes each morning to review your schedule, pick out what is most important. What has come-up since you set your schedule and how important is it?
Of course, as you go through your week, there will always be the popular urge to react to an urgent task, but try to take a moment to think before you react. Don’t overpower the important priorities you have planned. You don’t need to feel guilty if you must change things.