A smart person once said. “We all get the same 24 hours!”
As a coach, I ask, “What do you do with yours!” Unfortunately, clients reveal they waste a good portion of it. There are many reasons:
Fear is the main culprit. So much emphasis in American culture is put on the “right answer!”
* Don’t know what to do and afraid to ask
* Don’t want to be ridiculed or criticised (the underpinning of procrastination)
* Victimization—Fear of failure so why bother and become paralyzed to take action or make a decision. The non- decision becomes the decision.
* Lack of tools, resources, and confidence.
* Too many distractions from media, technology, and pressure from others.
* Inability to focus on the task at hand. Multi-tasking robs people of focus.
Historically, it was invented in the early 20th century—time and motion studies. Given the name was an attempt to quantify the work people were doing and measure the effectiveness of the effort. In my opinion, this is a faulty premise.
Time management is really about priorities.
We cannot continually speed up processes. There is a breakpoint where quality and performance are sacrificed. Here is where metrics are invaluable. It is imperative to measure the desired outcome and not get stuck in the “weeds” of minutiae. Measuring the wrong elements becomes a waste of time. Unfortunately, metrics are used to confirm bias or management beliefs.
The Japanese manufacturers created their own systems like Kaizen. These are rooted in Japanese values and culture, where honor is a high priority. This is completely different than the American approach.
William Ouchi showcased Japanese methods in his “Theory Z”book. Later, Richard J. Schonberger wrote “Japanese Manufacturing Techniques: Nine Hidden Lessons in Simplicity”.*
Today, we have Lean Management, Six Sigma, Kanban Agility, SCRUM, and Baldrige Quality Principles to name a few. These all attempt to capture and describe sequences of processes to improve worker performance and management’s ability to assess quality and effectiveness.
Tips for you:
- Understand who’s idea this is anyway! It may be unrealistic and you are a pawn in a fixed race that you can’t win. Get clarification of timeline whenever possible. See the Letter of Authority to save you embarrassment.
- Select two items you MUST complete the next day. Write them down.
- Add two CAN DO items once the others are complete.
- Check off the items visually.
Send me your techniques so I can share them with subscribers. Thank you. mc