13 Jan 2020

Crisis? It’s Time for Time Management

Working as a business coach requires you to “eat your own dogfood”. Today, my dogfood helped me salvage a productive day after a personal distraction sucked about 2 hours of my day away. The dog food today: Smart Time Management.

How does the Time Management “dogfood” help fire fighting?

Many of my clients discuss “fighting fires” to describe the interruptions and crises that occur that distract them from the important work that needs to be done. These crises will always pop-up in our work. For  me today, it was trying to resolve a billing issue with a group that is only open  until 4pm daily.

I spent 90 minutes of frustration trying to get a bill resolved. Frustrated would have been a good word to describe be this afternoon. Smart Time Management helped me save my day.

Staying on Track after a Crisis – Time Management

I was ready to walk away from my desk to do something completely unproductive. As I started to push away from my desk, I looked to the left of my computer and saw my priority matrix. Just the view got me back in my red and green box and focused again on the important work in front of me.

Important over Urgent – The Key to Time Management

When we escape a crisis, our natural instinct is to relax. Stress is high, emotions are up, and relationships and projects feel like they are at stake when we are confronted with a crisis. We naturally seek a break.

In Time Management language, that means we focus on the “Not Important” work. This type of work is typically less taxing, less pressure, and less complex. Therefore it is a perfect way to help us feel like we are working. But we are only falling further behind.

Why you need to be in the Important boxes post-crisis

Seeing my matrix reminded me that it was not time to relax. After a crisis it is the most important time for us to buckle down and dig into that Important work the crisis diverted us from. It almost feels daunting to draw up the energy to get back at the Important box.

I have found that I get re-energized by the Important work and my energy is zapped when I allow myself to linger in the Not Important work. You need to get back into the Important box right away even though it feels like you need a break. Getting back in the Important box does the following:

  •  Excites you about work again because you are getting done things that need to get done
  •  Builds your confidence that the crisis is not winning the day. You are in control of your day.
  •  Shortens your window of frustration because you start to feel productive again; quickly.

Working in a Not Important Box after a crisis is the Time Management equivalent of pouting.

How can Time Management stop you from being a fire fighter?

If you find yourself fighting fires and battling crises that keep you from the important work you need to get done, we can help. Help get yourself out of the “Not Important” funk.

Our Smart Time Management program helps you prioritize the important and help you get back on track quickly when the fire smolders and the crisis sirens go off.

Contact us to help you get back on track and salvage a productive day.

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