Self-management 101

To become a great leader, it starts with you. Find out key techniques to managing yourself more effectively

Jane Guest
Self-management 101 provides some important points on getting the best out of yourself. Danny Gray explains how it's done.
Viewing time: 10 minutes; 13 seconds
Reading time: 3 minutes; 10 seconds

Self-management 101 

Congratulations on watching the training session – Self-management 101
Danny explains why you cannot manage time but can manage yourself. What does this statement mean?
Follow these five guidelines that will make an impact on your day.

Step one: Sharpen your saw - preparation is key
Abraham Lincoln was famed for the following quote:
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The meaning is simple but powerful, and it requires taking the time to preview your day and, in the end, review what you have accomplished. Planning ahead saves time in the long run.

Step two: Prioritisation - what's urgent and essential, and what are time-wasters?
The great Stephen Covey developed a tool allowing you to determine your priorities. For those unfamiliar with the system, here is a quick overview.
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Quadrant one – urgent and important
The activities in quadrant one can be differentiated into items that could not have been foreseen and those that could. The latter can be avoided by developing plans and paying close attention to their execution. It should only contain activities and responsibilities that require your immediate attention. Space is reserved for emergencies and critical deadlines. Should a significant crisis arise, you will have to postpone other tasks.

Quadrant two – not urgent but important
The items found in quadrant two do not have a high urgency but can play an essential role in the future. This quadrant is reserved for strategic planning related to health, education, exercise and career. Investing time in these areas might not be urgent at the present day, but in the long term, it will be of the highest importance. Please pay close attention that you have scheduled enough time for quadrant two activities to avoid them becoming quadrant one items.

Quadrant three – urgent but not important
The third quadrant summarises items that appear to have a high urgency but are not critical. Some of these activities might be entirely ego-driven, without contributing any value and can stand between you and your goals. If possible, try to delegate these items or consider rescheduling them.

Quadrant four – not urgent and not important
The fourth and last quadrant contains all those activities that do not contribute any value at all - obvious time-wasters. All the events contained therein are nothing more than distractions; avoid them as much as you can. It would be best to try eliminating all the items on this list, no matter how entertaining. Do you need to binge-watch your favourite TV series? Is that the most productive use of your time? Be discerning - your goals are more important!

Step three: Say no!
How often do you agree to something and later regret it? Learning the art of saying no will free up more time to focus on what's important. Try it today; it is liberating!

Step four: delegate
Do you think it will be quicker if you do it yourself? It's time to delegate. This frees up your time and allows others to develop their skills. You might be surprised by how people step up when given added responsibilities.

Step five: Remove distractions
Microsoft researched distractions and discovered that each message received on your phone or email alert appearing on your computer could waste up to 10 minutes each. Six messages can potentially waste one hour of your precious day. Is there a better use of your time?

take action; achieve more
  • Invest time in quality preparation to set yourself up for success and become a master of self-management
  • Become a prioritisation master, don't let the things that matter less take over the things that matter the most
  • Remove the distractions in your world and focus, focus, focus
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