Snow, Ice and Time Management

Time management is never far from my mind, even this morning as I was walking in to my local village, with the pavements covered in snow and ice, whilst it looked very picturesque, it certainly made walking a touch interesting.

When walking in these conditions, it occurred to me that whilst we may want to go fast and reach our destination on time, sometimes we have to slow down in order to make progress and avoid mishaps. How many times do we rush to try to achieve everything within a specified timescale only to discover that we have slipped up, or made mistakes? We then usually have to find the time to do it all again.

Slipping, Sliding and Falling

Unfortunately most peoples time management is akin to walking on snow and ice all the time, they slip and slide their way through the day, without giving any thought to what they are doing or why they are doing it. And when things go wrong they have a number of ready made responses as to why it happened. Think of a pretext and there is a good chance that someone is using it right at this minute as a reason for not having enough time. Among the most popular are:

  • An unexpected problem came up
  • There is too much other work to do
  • The telephone is always ringing and I can’t concentrate
  • People won’t wait for an answer, I have to respond to emails straight away
  • There wasn’t enough information, money or people to start/finish a project on time

Of course, these things happen to all of us sometimes, and we are forced to change our plans, but there also comes a time when they stop being reasons for a lack of time, and become excuses for poor time management.

Fit the Crampons

Essentially time management can be viewed as taking action:

  • For the right reason (because it is linked to a goal or objective).
  • At the right time (by prioritising).
  • In the right way (by being organised).

The next time you see someone who appears to be doing a great deal at once, look closely, and you will discover that they have allocated their time in proportion to their goals. You will also discover that although there outputs may be extensive over the course of a day, at anyone moment they are dealing with just one thing at a time and giving it their full attention. When they have completed this task as efficiently as possible they move on without delay to the next task or project.

That is time management in action. It starts with answering the following questions:

  • What is the best thing for me to be doing at this moment in time?
  • What is the best way to do it?
  • What should I be doing next?
  • How can I move most effectively from this task to the next?

So is it time to fit the crampons and stop slipping and sliding all over the place? If so you could make a start by downloading my top 20 Time Management tips booklet

Till next Time

The Time Doctor – Mike Gardner

Mike Gardner aka ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management and productivity specialists. As well as being regularly featured in both online and off-line media outlets around the world, he is the author of the best selling time management book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You. He regularly speaks on topics that are congruent with his mission of helping small business owners, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to be incredibly productive, whilst still balancing their business and family commitments in a way that enables them to feel fulfilled and guilt-free. He is an avid Aston Villa fan, a Dad to Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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6 thoughts on “Snow, Ice and Time Management

  1. I posted this to LinkedIn. Very good advice- I am not the most organized person – and we, here in upstate New York, know a lot about walking on ice and snow!

  2. I relly like this post, clear, good advice and a really good analogy. I am prone to rush if I feel overwhelmed but I know I am more productive if I do things more mindfully and stay focussed.