Time Management Problems? They're Not What You Think

by Howard Litwak

As a Certified Business Coach, Howard specializes in helping Business Owners, Executives, and Managers Improve their ability to set and achieve goals, develop success oriented thinking and habits and refines their skills. He believes that success in business is driven by individuals and teams who have the right combination of these things. Howard has clients that span across 30 different industries. When you meet him, you'll immediately see why he has been so successful across so many business sectors. He mixes big picture thinking, with practical, results oriented actions, and an ability to challenge peoples thinking in a positive way so that they can take different actions. And he is pretty fun to be around. Howard's approach pays rich dividends for clients who put a premium on professional competence, continuous improvement, being the best that they can for themselves and their customers, and will do what it takes to break out of the "status quo."

I can't even count how many executives, managers, professional sellers, and entrepreneurs over the years have told me they have time management problems. Time management problems are not even time management problems. They are GOALS CLARIFICATION problems. When you are clear on your goals, you know how you should be spending your time. Period.

If you, dear reader, self-identify with time management problems, you probably don't have goals. How close am I?

Forget about "Oh, I have goals in my head." If they aren't written down, you don't really have goals. Period. You're just pretending you do.

If you think you have time management problems, here is what you need to do:

  1. Decide on what your goals are. Business goals. Personal goals. Short term. Long term. Write them down. This will be one of the most important things you ever do in your life, by the way.
  2. Prioritize your goals by thinking through and deciding on what's most important to you right now.
  3. Apply "first actionable step" and "next actionable step" thinking to each goal until you can answer the question "If I do all these things, will I achieve my goal? This will become your plan.
  4. Always be working on action steps related to one of the goals which are a top priority. If you are taking goal oriented action, you are productive. Don't worry if you only accomplish 2 things or 3 or even 1 thing during the day. If it's the most important thing, that's all that matters. Achievement of your goals is all that matters. Or should be all that matters.

If only it was this easy.

In my years of working with executives, managers, and professional sellers I've found that self-identified time management problems are usually impacted by a person's competencies in long term planning, project and goal focus, and concrete organizing. Low scores in these areas impact goal setting,

What it takes is understanding these things before you can do anything about it. Fortunately these things can be measured. Contact your favorite Paradigm Associate for details regarding a profile which measures these things. See what the problem really is. The goal is, or should be, to be completely clear on what you're not good at so you can eliminate those things or get needed support, and to find out your strengths so you can look to leverage them.