Among the most common coaching topics is the question, “How do I manage my time better?”
The job of a coach in this instance is to help the client create their own unique framework in order to answer that question.
There are books in the Reading List that cover this topic from a variety of perspectives. Helpful apps and planners are ubiquitous. And don't rule out hiring an executive assistant.
Books, planners and apps can be useful tools, but better time management is the product of a larger framework that the client designs around their priorities, values, and goals.
Priorities can and do change, as do our underlying values and goals. Thus, frameworks must also adapt and evolve in order to remain oriented toward our goals. Great leaders and great "time managers" are constantly evaluating and refining their frameworks. It is not a one-stop process.
Here’s a quick exercise that might help create some awareness around how you're using your time currently.
List and then review all of the tasks for your next week, and then reflect on the following questions:
1. What is the purpose of each task and why is it on YOUR list?
2. As you look over all of those tasks, which ones stand out? Why?
3. How do you feel about each task? Why?
4. How are each of those tasks contributing toward your personal and professional goals?
Leadership is the ability to efficiently allocate resources to produce a desired outcome.
To be better with your time, work on being a better leader. Treat time as you would any other scarce resource and begin by breaking it into week-long blocks. Ask yourself, and if applicable your team, some of the following questions in the context of your goals:
How and where is your time this week best allocated? Why?
What can be accomplished in this week to make progress toward your goals?
What obstacles can you anticipate and what preparations and resources are needed in order to keep your timeline on track / realistic?
From this, a simple, flexible framework for better resource management / time management / leadership might look something like this:
Set or reset priorities.
Clarify my goals - "What" , "Why" , and "Why Now".
Determine "How" and "When"
Breakdown my "What" and "Why" to create a strategy. Set a realistic timeline.
Get rid of waste.
If it isn’t contributing or can be delegated get it off my plate.
Get to work.
About the Author:
Matt Beckmann is the Founder & Managing Director of Ascent Consultants. In addition to experience as a former Chief of Staff to the Missouri Auditor and as a Corporate Vice President and General Counsel, he has advanced training and certifications in law, business, coaching, athletics, and leadership. His blog content, inspired by his deep passion for unlocking his reader's best potential, consistently equips business owners and individuals with the knowledge and resources to overcome obstacles that may be hindering growth.
Ascent Consultants provides business and strategy consulting, executive and leadership coaching, and leadership assessments. By converting client growth goals into an actionable "game plan," we lead companies and individuals unlock their full potential.