I am leading a monthly series of Leadership Trainings spanning over a year. One of the modules is Time and Stress Management, and it’s a topic that I have been presenting and trying to learn more about myself for the past 31 years since I started Concordia Consulting.
To prepare for the program, I began my usual process of reading what’s current, watching a few YouTube videos, querying my colleagues on an HR listserv, and then poring over previous presentations of my own. I have no shortage of materials, and as you can see from the spread, it’s not a neat and tidy exercise as I like to fan things out all around me as I review the materials on the floor.
Reading through some of my more dated course books, I found that there were a lot of references to phone interruptions which I found humorous since the only phone interruptions I regularly receive are robo calls. There were also numerous references to facsimile machines which were invented in 1964 and became common in the 1980s. Of course with the widespread use of email, faxes are rarely used today. I filled my recycling bin and was happy to toss some musty paper out!
What I realized during this exercise is that while forms of communication have changed considerably through the years, the basic tenets of time management have not changed at all. I like to start my course by saying “Time Management Is a Fallacy,” and point out that you actually cannot manage time since we all have the same 24 hours each day. What you can manage is yourself and how you focus your time: what projects you take on, what tasks you say “no” to, and what your job, organization, and manager require.
One of the best methods for organizing your time is by accurately analyzing how you spend your time and then making sure it’s appropriate. The time management exercise shown that I used 31 years ago is just as relevant today. I hope you will take the time to click on its image or here to complete the exercise and share the results with me.