Are you running faster and faster, living your professional life from problem to problem? It’s common for business leaders to be “too busy” seemingly all the time.
You manage the large, far-reaching projects with their long-term planning processes that can stretch for years, and deliver on the small scale intermediate problems. You strategize and integrate the right resources for all your projects. You also spend a great deal of time managing, encouraging, and educating your subordinates; and find the time to recognize their efforts when they excel.
You’re left though with no opportunity to enjoy all that you have fostered in other people and all the ideas you have developed while excelling at your job.
Amongst all the excellent leadership you are demonstrating, why not also manage yourself?
The blocks to self-management are many, but there are four key reasons that may have hindered managing yourself. You might find that you are:
- Comfortable – you want to stay with what is familiar
- Unaware of other possibilities – you don’t know what else is possible
- Means – you don’t know that there are other ways to do what you are doing
- Energy – you may be getting energy (and possibly identity!) from being stressed and overworked.
The Path to Better Self-Management
So, let’s put you on the way to better managing yourself. There are three primary considerations:
- Your personal goals
- Your role
- Your time
1. Your personal goals
Clarify your personal goals.
Many of us lose sight of our own goals as we get immersed in the rush of day-to-day life. Do your personal goals complement your business goals? Asking yourself this question will root out any dissonance between these two areas of your life. And remember, you DO have two areas, professional and personal. If they are not in harmony, determine how the business goals can be re-oriented or modified to support what you would like to achieve personally.
2. Your role
What role do you want to have?
Imagine yourself three or four years from now. Think about who you want to be. What role do you want to have in the business? Thinking about what you want in the future can give you great insights into what strategies you may need to put in place now.
3. Your time
Look at how you are actually spending your time.
This is where the rubber meets the road. If you really are true to yourself when you do this exercise you will learn a lot about where the potential lies for making changes. How are you really spending your time?
Break your day down into at least half hour slots and write down exactly what you do in each 30 minutes. Imagine that you are on a diet and your doctor has asked you to keep an honest food journal, to reveal your major calorie intake times of the day. This is what you want for your time journal.
Then ask yourself am I allocating my time well? Should I rejigger when I do what I do to better fit my personal work style and pace? Should I be saying “no” to some standing meetings – many that really don’t require your presence? Should I limit the length of certain meetings? Why are they always 60 minutes? Why not 30 or 45?
A business or even a department within an organization reflects the person running the show. If that person is stressed or poorly organized, then these characteristics will be reflected in the business. Better self-management makes sense both professionally and personally.
There is never a better time than right now for planning to do things differently. Take charge of yourself and your business by choosing a direction that allows you to meet both your personal and business goals, and still retain your sanity!
This is your life. Be conscious of how you are living it.