There is no one “right” approach to manage time. Each preference offers gifts and each has blind spots. And, believe it or not, neither has anything to do with the quality of skills needed to accomplish a task, such as degrees, IQ, age or success.
Instead of going bonkers over partners, employees, clients and family members who don’t mirror your approach to time management, seek to communicate your preference for what needs to get done and then stay open to the different ways others manage time. You'll more effectively build bridges with people who manage their time differently from you. (See Jupiter and Pluto).*
All you have to do is watch, listen or read about how people maneuver throughout their day. For example, former President Clinton's staff members and the media defined his approach as “Clinton Time.” Translation? Usually late! President Bush responds quickly and is rarely late for press conferences. One style is not better, nor is the outcome. The issue is the assessment you hold about the tendency.
These tips will help you reach out to others.
• State specifically your request for turnaround time and why it’s important to you.
• Notice your frustrations as well as in the actions of people who prefer to manage their time differently.
• Continue to ask if your directions and responses are understood and clear.
• To interact, speak the terminology of both preferences.
• Be aware of the judgment you hold about the opposite preference.
Staying on track
To stay on track continually ask these two questions:
1. What is the best use of my time right now?
2. What one adjustment in my time management skills do I need to change to make the task at hand more…?
These two questions help to keep me on track. I have been meaning to write this article for a few years, but earning a living and writing books took precedence. I just wish someone would have told me that writing a book, getting an agent, launching the public relations, and finding a publicist would take five years! Perhaps I would have started with a vacation. Now, I am too busy and too invested in the project to take the time.
Perhaps, it’s time for me to read the two questions!
The moral of this article: There is no one “right” approach to manage time. Each preference offers gifts and each has blind spots. And, believe it or not, neither has anything to do with the quality of skills needed to accomplish a task, such as degrees, IQ, age or success.
One last note. You may have already guessed that I have a Jupiter preference. A dear friend recently sent me a dozen white roses with a card that read: “Roses! Smell them, damn it!” Whether you’re a Pluto or a Jupiter, do take time for your life. So that I might “walk my talk,” I am now going to give myself a one-minute break from writing this article and go smell the roses!
*By the way, if you suspect that Jupiter and Pluto relate to the Judging and Perceiving preferences applied in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, you’re right.
I would love for you to share your courage comments by posting them below.
Sandra Ford Walston is known as The Courage Expert and Founder of STUCKThinking™. She is an organizational effectiveness consultant, speaker, internationally published author of bestseller COURAGE, trainer and courage coach. www.sandrawalston.com
Sandra Ford Walston, The Courage Expert
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