Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Realigning My Time and Objectives

I am struggling this week with (yet another) reorganization of how I use my time and how I schedule my goals at work.

One outcome of this reading I've doing on personal development and business (all thanks to Otis!) is that I am coming to see O So Clearly how I continue to fall short of the mark. Simply put - and every book you read on personal development or management will tell you this -you are a lot less effective and time savvy than you think.

As part of this exercise, I have restarted the practice at work of logging my time in increments. I've divided what I do into 10-12 broad categories and track it in 5 minute intervals. The results have been astounding - both in what takes my time up (3 broad areas have absorbed 75% of my time in the last two weeks) and how I spend my time (who knew that I liked to talk to people so much?).

The other thing this exercise has revealed is how truly abominable I am - and in fact, most everybody is - at sticking to objectives and goals while working in a dynamic environment. Things range from the "fire-fighting" mentality of dealing with the problem at hand to the "laser" mentality of focusing on one item to the exclusion of all other items that need attention. In both cases what has gone missing is the ability to accomplish a multitude of tasks over a variety of fronts for a long period of time - in other words, I have some ability to plan a strategy but apparently no ability to execute it.

The other interesting thing about this exercise is that I find that this is exactly reflected in my own personal life. My ability to manage my time and manage towards goals is no different at home than it is at the office - in other words, the perceived flaws are consistent throughout my life.

So here's the question: now that I have started to get a handle on how I spend my time, how do I align what I do with the level of importance that items should merit?

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