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Time Management: How to get the most out of your day!
How many times do you feel like you have accomplished absolutely nothing after a grueling day at work? Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have free time and you don't? Do some people seem to get more accomplished with less effort?
I was recently talking with a colleague about the number of requirements that she needed to get done every day and her frustration over not getting to do everything on her schedule every day. Her biggest complaint was not enough time in the day to do the things that she wanted to accomplish. I asked to look at her calendar. The job that she had was one that I had a few years earlier – so I had a feel for the demands of the job and what was “important” when I had the job. What I discovered was that she had become a slave to her calendar and further questioning also revealed that she was also a slave to her e-mail (she receives over 200 e-mails a day, usually on her Blackberry). These are not uncommon problems for leaders and managers at all levels. How much time do you spend every day tied to your computer or Blackberry, reading and responding to e-mails? And how many of these could be handled by one of your subordinates? Are you delegating responsibility to your employees? Some of the e-mails and appointments that my colleague was receiving reminded me of Onkley’s article in the Harvard Business Review, “Who has the Monkey,” or the book, The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey. The premise of the article and the book is that if you let them, others will put their monkey on your back and weigh you down. A large number of the meetings on my colleague’s calendar could have and should have been pushed down to her subordinates to run and/or attend. A larger number of the e-mails fell into this same category. She was allowing her subordinates and co-workers to put their monkeys on her back. Who is in control of your professional life? Is it your calendar, full of meetings that end with no other decision except to have another meeting? Is it a set of meetings that the attendees are not prepared for? Do the people at the meetings talk at length because they like the sound of their own voice? Do you spend a large portion of your day reading and responding to frivolous e-mails? If you answered yes or maybe to any of these questions, keep reading. The one area that we all are given equal amounts of a resource is time. Each of us has twenty-four hours deposited in our bank accounts every day. This account is truly a revolving account. So why do some folks appear to have extra time on their hands and others never seem to be able to find enough time?