As we celebrate Independence Day here in the U.S., it is a good time to reflect on our past and where we are going. As part of this reflection, I would like to ask a profound question. If as an individual, you find it difficult to manage your time, how do you expect to manage the time of others? Or, better stated, How do you expect to manage a project and/or program, where you are responsible for managing the time of other key organizational resources, (your organization’s resources as well as resources of other organizations) if you cannot manage your own time?
The answer is, if you do not manage your time well, chances are you are not managing other program or, project resources to the best of your ability. You need to commit to change your behavior so you can improve your effectiveness (and efficiency) on all of your initiatives.
Personal Tales of Poor Time Management
Many, many years ago, when I was in undergraduate school, I did not prioritize my time very well and as a result, I pulled many all-nighters preparing papers, on typewriters, (yes, we are talking Old School) and preparing for exams. If I knew then, what I know now, I don’t think I would have pulled any all-nighters.
What turned me around was a peer of mine (work associate). He told me about a company by the name of Franklin Quest, now Franklin Covey. They had training on how to prioritize what is important (your goals) and how to manage your time so that your goals could be realized. I took the course, and purchased some of their products, and my ability to manage my time, and projects, was significantly improved. It was pretty amazing. Please note, I am not paid by Franklin Covey and I am not endorsing their products, curriculum or, services. I am just sharing, that in my case, I realized some benefit from the Franklin Covey approach.
There are other companies that have different approaches, products and tools that can also help you manage your time. So, do your research and determine what works best for you.
What Worked for Me
As long as I am sharing, the key for me was to focus on what needs to get done (short and long term), prioritize and making sure the high priority items are scheduled on your calendar (and other’s calendar where you have dependencies). This sounds a lot like common sense. It is also fundamental to managing a project or program. But, in my past, during the heat of battle, sometime you just forget the basic blocking and tackling needed to be as effective, and efficient, as you can.
So, as you do your reflection, on this Independence Day, think about what behaviors you are going to do differently – today – tomorrow – and the next day, to help you manage your time more effectively. If you would like to discuss how Hendon Group, Inc. may be able to assist your organization, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Ira M. Hendon, PMP®
President and CEO
Hendon Group, Inc.
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