I’ve often been asked to provide time management training for managers or their teams. And you know the first thing I say when this comes up is that you can’t manage time.
You Manage Choices, Not Time
The motto I have to replace the idea of time management is that “You Manage Choices, Not Time”. And as part of that I’ve developed a three stage model to help people make better choices around how they manage their time.
The first stage is called Focus, and that’s really about making sure that you’re focused on what many people call your big rocks or your major priorities, and making sure that you’ve actually thought through what is it that you need to be doing so that you are focused on those major activities.
The next stage is Filter. And if you like, think of it as a funnel where you’ve got a lot of activities that come into your area of work, and you need to filter those out so at the bottom, you’re really focusing on the key things that matter, based on your plan, not based on what other people might be giving you.
And the third stage is Finesse. And this comes down to, in many cases, the interpersonal skills or the communication skills to help you manage the people that you come into contact with that may be asking you to do extra tasks, or that you might need to report to, or people in your team where you need to manage those interactions which if they’re left unchecked, they can take you off track and you wind up being too busy and not really achieving what you want to achieve. So the three stages, Focus, Filter and Finesse can really help you make better choices when it comes to deciding how to spend your time.
For more information on the various concepts behind each of Focus, Filter and Finesse, or to investigate in-house training for your team please get in touch.