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... is a quick tip ezine for Managers who believe in "Results Derived from Within"
Written by: Vickie Bevenour
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The RDW Group, Inc. - Results Newsletter - December 2005
Keep Your Sanity this Holiday Season – Throw Away Your “To-Do” List
Yes, it’s true; the best way to keep your sanity during this Holiday season is to throw away your “to-do” list.
Here is an example of how this worked for my Client Peter. He is a typical “type A” hard charging Vice President. Peter had lists for everything. Everyday he had goals of what he needed to accomplish and he requested that his team members have the same goal achievement orientation. There was one problem, when Peter came to work with me, he complained of not getting “enough” done. After several conversations I suggested to Peter that he stop making lists and reduce his daily goal down to one objective. That goal was to make a daily time budget and stick to it. Peter agreed. He called me after the first day and confessed, “Vickie, I have failed miserably, for the first item on my list I had budgeted 30 minutes and it took 90. I was behind on my time budget and work for the rest of the day!”
Peter had not failed miserably; he had actually learned a very valuable lesson. By making a daily time budget, rather than simply a “to-do” list – you can learn several things:
- Are you realistic? Are you trying to schedule 18 hours of work into a 10 hour work day? If so, better time budgeting, not more efficient productivity, is your answer.
- Are you over-committing and under-delivering? A daily time budget can help you understand what you can realistically commit to.
- Are others in charge of your time budget? Do you have an assistant, a shared calendar, or like most, too many meetings that “require” your presence. You can only be in one place at one time; budgeting your time will help you and others realize this.
So, here is your homework exercise:
Even if you discover and make only one change as a result of this exercise, you will deserve big congratulations for taking the first step to living your life by deriving results from within.
- For the next week, estimate the amount of time each item on your “to-do” list will take. Make a daily time budget and try to stick to it.
- At the end of the week analyze what activities stayed within the time budgeted and which ones had a huge variance. Then ask yourself the following questions: How can this variance be fixed? What has to be done to fix it? What steps can you take to make this variance more realistic? Who can I ask to help me stick more closely to my time budget? What is the root cause of the variance? How can that root cause be eliminated?
If you like the tip, let us know but more important, share it with a friend or colleague. As always, YOUR SUCCESS IS MY GREATEST PLEASURE.