Getting Ready to Get Ready
For some the best way to get a project done is to dive in and just start. Sometimes that may be the best policy. But typically, before one charges into any time management strategy it is essential to step back and to review the situation. Then after review, a series of deliberate steps should be taken. We will discuss that in more detail, but first we need to step back and deal with a totally different topic first.
That topic is about you. Realize your situation is different than that of most other people. You are self employed. You have primary responsibility for all aspects of your business as well as your personal responsibility to your family and society as a whole. Not only that, you have a personal responsibility to yourself, your body, mind and spirit.
You already know that all those roles are placing significant stress on your life. Unless you are very unusual, you are probably dropping a few balls here and there. Some people talk about multi-tasking meaning they may have two or three projects going for a period of time. When you talk about multi-tasking, you mean managing a myriad of projects on an ongoing basis.
Another thing about you that I suspect is true, is that you have tried other time management programs in the past. Perhaps you still do. Perhaps you did for a while and then fell off the wagon. I know I have and still do. I am a sinner in that regard, and while such mishaps have hurt my progress, I cannot beat myself up about them. You shouldn’t either.
For some people a strict and orderly process and approach to life comes natural. They can readily fall into a routine and maintain that routine for decades on end. Some such people seek out situations that permit them to maintain such a personal order to their lives. By and large they are not entrepreneurs. For anyone who is in a business serving customers knows that customers and opportunities as well as disasters will occur when they choose and not according to a schedule.
Those of us in contact with the world need to devise systems that are flexible. A day planner with hours marked from 8 AM to 5 PM isn’t going to suffice for most of us. So when we devise our own best fit time management system, we need to insure it has some flexibility built into it. Or it will quickly fail.
And the one item we need to be most flexible with is ourselves. Before we start, let me advise you that you will fail in terms of finding a perfect time management process. Accept that. Plan for it. You will fail because of external situations. You will fail because of your own personal weaknesses. You will fail because you picked a rigid planner or system and it didn’t fully account for your peculiar circumstances.
It took me over 100 attempts before I finally was able to quit cigarettes. But through persistence I was ultimately able to succeed. Hopefully you won’t require a 100 attempts to make progress on your time management skills. But even if it takes multiple efforts, and repeated failings, just keep on keeping on. Time management skills are learned incrementally. By doing. Your sole responsibility is to keep trying.
What works for one person may not work for you. As I mentioned in my last post, if you are a lone eagle, you just won’t need the chapters on delegation unless “I” wants to delegate “me” to help “my” get their work done.
That said, we will still talk about delegation down the road.
The purpose of this post is the let you know that you have a responsibility to try. To persist. Not to adapt in an instance a whole new way of doing things. Further, you need to realize that a lot of time management books and programs that may be excellent for others may have little value for you in your situation.
Unfortunately, just like everything else in your life, it’s going to be up to you to design your own system to meet your own needs. I will do my best to illuminate the considerations you need to take into account.
In my next post we will get into some nitty gritty. Till then.