If I had to attach any moment in my life were I think I made a difference on a regular basis to human achievement, it would be those days when I was facilitating a Franklin Covey Time Management workshop. I could count on several people leaving the room committed to changing their way of working to not only improve their personal and workplace life, but those around them.
Although time management training emphasizes the benefits of personal productivity because of planning and prioritizing, it only works for people who actually want to be more productive. Hang on that last sentence with me a moment longer. They actually want to be more productive and thus they are eager to learn ways to be more productive. Many that attended those workshops were there to learn a few tips and tricks, but the idea of getting more done in less time so they had time to work on more things was just not motivating to them.
As I write this blog today, I am waiting for someone who wanted to meet locally to talk about a challenge they are dealing with and thought I could help them. I blocked the time on my calendar and the waiting part of this is simply find out where they want to meet. The time was blocked two days ago, and she would get back to me with a location. Early this morning I reached out to find out the location, and with 90 minutes to go I have yet to hear from her. Not only is this person not managing their time well, they are affecting my time and productivity today.
When you don’t finish a task on time, return a phone call, or answer an email or text, you are clogging up the production line. We are all part of a community that interacts with other people and their schedule. When our productivity is off, so is that of the people depending on us to do our job.
I remember in those workshops that we talked through a common excuse people use for not getting things done, and that was “I didn’t have time.” I used to suggest that the next time someone wanted to meet for lunch, that instead of lying that they didn’t have time they tell the truth. You see we all have the same amount of time allotted to us each day, it is all about our choices for how we use it. So, be honest, and say, “I’m sorry I can’t go to lunch with you because I have something else I would rather do with my time.”
Well, as honest as this is, depending on who you are talking to it may also be career or relationship limiting. So although you may never actually say these words, you need to remember that everyone has the same amount of time each day. When you are respectful of other people’s time, it opens the door for them to be respectful of your time too.