Get a Grip on Your Schedule when Work is Out of Control

Time pressure is a symptom of technology, ignorance, and arrogance.

The promise of more time and shorter workweeks is a fantasy for the leaders I work with. Technology shrinks time and expands a leader’s workweek.

Time management is self-management.

The ability to manage yourself begins with managing your time. If you can’t manage time, you can’t manage anything.

“Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed.” Peter Drucker

Arrogance:

Over-work and time pressure are forms of arrogance that whisper, “See how important I am.”

Arrogant leaders fear free time.

Being over-worked doesn’t mean you’re important. It means you don’t accept your limitations and you can’t manage time.

Humility:

The practice of humility strengthens your grip on a crazy schedule.

Humility embraces imperfect improvement. Arrogance gets stuck in the search for perfection.

#1. Humility tries simple unspectacular improvements and learns as it goes.

#2. Humility establishes priorities because it acknowledges it can’t do everything. Limitations are motivation and courage to establish priorities.

#3. Humility makes imperfect improvements because perfect solutions are the silly fantasies of arrogance.

Arrogance needs dramatic answers to feel self-important. Humility lowers expectation and accepts imperfect improvements.

#4. Humility accepts incremental improvement.

There are NO perfect solutions to managing your schedule. You can’t solve for every situation, interruption, crisis, or challenge – unless you have complete control of your environment. But humility will help you get a grip on your schedule.

Humble leaders know messy problems are improved with imperfect improvements.

Reality check:

Challenge yourself and others. The benefit of challenge is realizing you can be and do more than you imagined. But more-with-less only works with computers and machines, not people.

Productivity that degrades people into machines is a nightmare imposed by ignorance or arrogance.

How does the practice of humility enable imperfect improvement?

What suggestions for managing time might you offer?

Note: This is Part two of a short series on managing your schedule. See: GETTING A GRIP WHEN WORK IS NUTS PT. 1