Archive for March, 2011

How many people do you know who are always late?  What’s your perception of them?  Maybe you’ve even made particular judgments about them.  The usual perceptions are that people who are always late think that their time is more valuable than others, and that some like the attention they get when they walk in the room late.  Of course, most chronically late people would argue against those perceptions, and that argument has validity.

There are late folks who are pretty laid back about their tardiness, but it’s still very rare that those people have a blatant disregard for other people’s time.  Their habit of showing up or being late doesn’t tie into valuing other people.

Though it may seem that those who are chronically late like the attention they get when they show up late, research has shown that this isn’t actually so for most.  It has been found that most didn’t like being the one to arrive late.  Not many like that kind of attention.

There are other perceptions that aren’t valid either.  True reasons lie beneath the surface.  I share more about that and starting the process of transformation soon.

Are you always late?  Even just 5 minutes is late.  Being late might not seem like a big deal to those who are always late, but it is in fact a big deal.  Let me tell you why.

When you’re late you impact other people.  Let’s say you’re 20 minutes late to a meeting.  Depending upon the role you play in the group that’s meeting, and whether or not those waiting on you have a good sense of how to handle meetings, the meeting may not start until after you get there.  Once you walk in 20 minutes late, there’s usually the greetings, small talk and other things that take place instead of the meeting agenda.  That 20 minute delay then turns into a 30 minute delay and things at that point are way off track, ending with either the meeting agenda not being completely covered or with those in attendance leaving the meeting late, having a domino affect on their day and those around them.

Not only does chronic tardiness affect others, it’s not all that great for your reputation and it can cost you greatly in the work environment.  It will do everything from annoying peers to losing a job because of tardiness.  It can also impact your self esteem and shows a lack of respect for others.  Do you know people who are always late?   Maybe you think that they like the attention they get when they walk in late, or perhaps that they think their time is more valuable than others, or that they just manage their time poorly.  What’s your perception of them? There’s more to it than meets the eye.  Check out my next post to see what I mean.

If you’re challenged when it comes to managing your time, chances are that there are some mistakes that you’re making on a regular basis that are contributing to the problem.  Of all the non-supportive habits I’ve helped people change, there are 10 that I consider to be the most common.  This audio, Top 10 Time Management Mistakes & How to Avoid Them, will give you what I consider to be the top 10 mistakes people make when it comes to managing their time.  It will also give you practical steps that you can take right now to begin making the shift to effectively managing your time.  Top 10 Time Management Mistakes

Of all the things that you place onto your schedule, are you setting time for you?  Most of us don’t, which is a big mistake.  If you don’t stop to take a moment for you on a regular basis, it makes it hard to take care of the things and the people we’re responsible for.  If you’ve ever been on a plane and listened to the flight attendant, you know that they tell you that if the oxygen masks should be needed, those traveling with small children to place the oxygen mask on themselves first, then take care of the child’s mask.  The same is so when it comes to how you handle things daily.

Look at your calendar. What do you see?  Where is your time going?  Are you spending the majority of your time at work and on personal things, but absolutely no time whatsoever on you?  If so, consider changing that.  Look at your calendar again and see where you have opportunities to fit in some “me” time.  If there’s not room, start making room on a regular basis for you.  Think about what you’d like to do.  It could be something as simple as a block of time to read.  Ladies,  maybe you’d like to treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure.  Gents, that might not be up your alley, but think about the things that are.  Whatever it is that you like to do, make sure you start blocking out time in your schedule to do them.

Take things a step farther and let that special time motivate you daily.  Look at the things on your to-do list right now and decide what you want to do to celebrate accomplishing them.  You can do this with the small things as well as the bigger things on your list.  Let your reward be your daily motivation and increase your productivity at the same time.

There are a few other things that you need to start a solid foundation to run your business.  You can’t successfully run a business if you don’t have a good accounting system in place.  For accurate and easily accessible records and having everything in one place, choose one of the user friendly accounting software packages on the market.  If you don’t know how to set it up, make the investment to have someone to set it up for you.  Set up files for your receipts, client invoices, bills, etc and a process for entering things into your software so that everything gets recorded.  Use the benefits that the software has to offer to the fullest extent.

To keep track of your prospective and existing clients, use a contact management system that will allow you to not only enter an individual’s contact information, but one that will allow you to make note of where you met them and what product or service they might be interested in.  You also want to be able to track the times that you’ve spoken with them or attempted to contact them and have a way to set reminders for future follow up.

Finally, you have to manage yourself in a way that has you on top of everything and getting things done, so, yes, you need a system for that too.  If you don’t currently have a time management tool that is working well for you, it might be time to assess why it’s not working for you and determine what tool would be more appropriate for your time management personality.  Once you have the appropriate tool, set it up, learn how to use every feature it affords you and use it to its fullest capacity.  Additionally, set up other components as a part of your time management system.  For example, you want to incorporate the use of a master task list and a daily task list along with the good time management habits of planning and prioritizing to shore you up.

When you put these things into place and use them regularly, you can be rid of the aforementioned scenarios and have control of every aspect of your business.  Even when you’re wearing multiple hats, with these things in place you will be large and in charge, calling all the shots; able to handle your business.

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