Time Management for People Who Don’t Have Time

Question: “Do you do Time Management?”

Answer: “Time management doesn’t work for me in my job. My job is too reactive to customer needs”

Are you trying to manage your time with a calendar?  Try this instead…

Over the past few weeks I have encountered a few people who have said that “Time Management” doesn’t apply to them for one reason or another. If you feel like your job is one that doesn’t allow you to schedule your time then this post is for you.  Time management or planning does not mean that you must schedule every minute of the day, or that you must be able to predict where you will be every second of the day. It also does not mean that if you miss or adjust an appointment that you have failed in your planning efforts. Time Management really doesn’t even need to involve your calendar in some situations.

Time management can also be considered Priority Management with the proper approach.

If you have a job such as customer support or account management where your priority can be dictated by the ringing phone or the needs of your high priority customer then you might feel like there is no value in planning your day because one call from a high value prospect could disrupt your day.  Consider this, try keeping a prioritized list of activities in a daily task list instead of in your calendar.  This way when you have free time or in between fires you can simply go to the top of your prioritized list and start working on the most important item.  Then, when you get the important interruption, you break and take care of that interruption.  There you have it, you are benefiting from Time Management Planning.

Scheduling Appointments vs. Creating a Prioritized list of To-Dos.  If your job is one that is very reactive you might not be able to schedule specific times for each thing you need to do. Instead, create a prioritized list of activities that need to be done.

“Plans are nothing, planning is everything”  this quote by D. Eisenhower  is often used to underscore the importance of creating the plans over the actual plans themselves.  This  is not to say that follow through is not important, it definitely is.  This says that it is OK to deviate from your set plans in the face of a new set of circumstances.