Have you maximised the last four weeks by the choices you have made?

The choices we make each day influences the direction our lives follow. Over the past four weeks, we have all made several choices; after all, our world has changed and with change comes choices. We are in the eighth week of COVID-19, and I am interested to know how the last four weeks have been for you?

The choices we make.

Have you been able to maximise your time by the choices you have made? You might have learned a new skill, become fitter by using the whole hour-per-day for some form of fitness, or caught up on all the outstanding tasks both in your private and business life. I think it is good to take the time and reflect on the past four weeks, as it will help you maximise the next four.

With any major event in our lives, and COVID-19 is certainly one of those, change is happening around us. It is how we adjust, the choices we make and, our ability to make the most of our time that makes the difference. Whether our business has been affected, we have been put on furlough or found our workload has been doubled, COVID -19 has affected us all in some way.

Dealing with a major change

The Kübler-Ross transition curve is a great example of the journey we are all currently on and the different experiences we will be dealing with in our own way. As parents, managers, or leaders we are all experiencing many concerns about what the future landscape may look like, and the choices we have to make. As we go through our own personal transition at the same time, so will our family and teams.

One of the differences we must be aware of, as individuals, we will all travel at a different pace, and the length of time we are spending at each stage will differ, along with where we are on the curve itself. As we all adjust at different rates and intensities, good leaders will make the right choices and find the time to support their teams during this transition.

Effective Time Management.

As we look back over the past four weeks, what have you achieved in both work and private life? Have you been able to use the time effectively? Are you pleased with what you have achieved?

Occasionally, when we have plenty of time, we can waste it. Some of us are at our most productive when we are busy. The choices we make that affect our own time management during a major event as we are experiencing, can make such a difference – we will not get this time back.

Time Management Tools

There are a number of different time management techniques and tools out there that can assist us all, like the Eisenhower Matrix, or the To-Do List – delegation, which is certainly in my top three. This is just a variation on the standard To-Do List, with the added element of looking to delegate the tasks to your team, supporting those individuals to deliver, while increasing their own knowledge, and skill as you accomplish your list. However, my favourite is a little simpler.

The Must Do, Like To Do and Should Do Matrix, it is another variation on the standard to-do list, we group the tasks under the headings, if we are not careful, we then naturally spend too much time on the like to do’s, instead of completing the should do’s directly after the must do’s.  In most examples the like to do’s are not as effective in reaching our goals as the should do’s, and if we do not use our time in the most effective way, we may not fully accomplish what we have the potential to do.

Remember not many of us fail to do the must-dos. These happen and on time, our next choice will really make a big difference to our lives. We can choose to work smarter and complete the should do’s next, they may not be the easiest or most enjoyable tasks on the list, but they are the ones that have the potential to make the biggest difference.

The choices we make.

One of the challenges we have when making the right choice on which tasks to complete and in what order, can be our hunger for a quick win, we may fall into the trap of looking down our list and choosing a task that is quick to accomplish and easier, more enjoyable to do, the decision is instant, we choose to start it straight away, we go for the quick fix.

If you want to change the effectiveness of your time, change the order you complete your tasks, choose to follow the Must-Dos with the Should Dos every time. It will not be long before you also find the time for the Like To-Dos.

Working hard and working cleaver is completely different with two different outcomes, it is a choice we must make each day if we really want to maximise the next 4 weeks.  

All the very best and stay safe. 

Paul Canning

Paul.canning@gmdpeople.com

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