As I author things for the Direct Sales Institute, I often come across topics that scream out to me to be blogged! This is one such topic. Steven Covey says that Time Management is a misnomer, that time can not be managed. He says that time is a resource to be spent! I think he is exactly right. I feel like we as women particularly struggle with this topic. So todays blog is dedicated to setting us free!
I think the problem is that we women wear so many hats and try and be so many things to so many people. What we most often forget or neglect is the “self” hat! In addition to biting off more than any human being could possibly chew, we also give the same weight to laundry as we do exercise or working our business. When everything has the same “value” it is hard to know where to begin. So here are my tips on being more effective with our time!
Step 1, the first place to begin is by taking off our Wonder Woman cape! We can’t get it all done! No mere mortal could. Okay.. So step 1 is admitting we are human… DONE!
Step 2, we have to learn to DELEGATE! This is huge for some of us because no one can do it like we can, right? And because some of us are just a teeny-weeny bit on the perfectionist control-freak side, it is very difficult to let go. It is hard for us to bear the thought of those beds not having perfect hospital corners or the towels for the linen closet not being decoratively rolled! But we have to let go of the minutia so that we can expend our energies on the truly important… The life changing “stuff”.
We accomplish this by asking ourselves THREE questions.
#1 What is no one else capable of doing? Now notice that I didn’t say “What is no one else capable of doing… my way or … to my specifications”. The question is “What will NOT get done unless I do it?” (remember, we have taken off our Wonder Woman Cape). Answers to those questions might be: exercise, recharge my batteries, strengthen my relationships, make booking phone calls, make customer calls, pray, make recruiting calls…. These are your “big rocks”.
#2 What things are important to my goals but could be done almost as well by someone else? Make my product deliveries, write my newsletter or manage my client files. For these things, start looking for the right help. If you have a DS team then you have a wealth of strong talented women who are ready to help you. Contact your local High School’s Deca program. Teenagers get school credit for working a job! The program will provide you with an endless supply of smart Seniors who can: make deliveries, input client files and package product.
#3 What are the unimportant things that someone else can do? Here is the tricky part, defining unimportant! Unimportant means that the activity does not move you in the direction of your dreams. This is the “sand” of life. Answers to this question might be: clean my house, put stickers on my product or bake cookies for the bake sale. These activities are the ones you delegate. You have to be willing to accept the help and deal with “less than perfect” results. Children can fold laundry and husbands can grocery shop! So step 2 is Letting go… DONE!
Step 3 is valuing our tasks. So look at your answers to question 1 above. These are your most important tasks and no one else is physically capable of doing them. Now we are going to assign them a value. A “1” supports your goal and should be handled FIRST. A 2 is important to you personally like exercise or prayer. A “3” is the daily stuff of life like organizing for your garage sale and should be tackled LAST on the list.
Answers to question 2 should be tackled next as time permits and we haven’t found someone else to do them. Last on our list are the answers to question 3.
As Steven Covey says, always begin with the end in mind and work accordingly. Your days build weeks, weeks build months, months build years and the years build your life. What you do TODAY determines how you live your life….
Happy Good Friday!