I am in my third go-around with martial arts by taking karate. I am taking it with my youngest daughter now. After college, I took Tai Kwan Do. With my oldest, I took karate 10+ years ago then the youngest came along, and time was too tight to continue. This week, I thought I would write about how karate helps me in the business world.
Why do I do karate? First, I do it to bond with my youngest daughter. What a perfect opportunity to have father daughter time together. She wanted to do it, and I wanted to spend more quality time with her. So the number one reason to do it would be her.
There are many other reasons I would do it, but with time constraints of a family, you have to look at stuff that would benefit the kids first.
Isn’t this just like business? We have to set our priorities on what is important. Spending time with my daughter on something that improves her is a great way to utilize my time.
Currently, our plate is full at work on business coming in. I have to prioritize my time there. What is important? How can I carve out valuable time to get a project done? In the case of karate, I have a standing date with my daughter twice a week that is important to our relationship.
When I started this set of blogs for this week, I am finishing up Darren Hardy’s book called The Compound Effect. Making simple changes in our life that compounds and takes our lives, over time, for either the good or the bad.
Before I started the book, I made a simple change in life that I believe will have a drastic improvement with my family. As I told my youngest who is working with me on it, she got me out of my imposed “retirement” from it. It was not a priority when I did it the first 2 times due to family obligations, but I am hoping to finish it this time with her help. Plus, it gives me something to bond with her on.
Our actions show what priorities are in our life. We state what our priorities are, we believe what we state, but our actions must go along with those priorities. If our actions do not follow, we waste our time, and we only have 86,400 seconds to a day.
There is nothing wrong with people having different priorities. Co-workers will often have a different set of priorities than you on projects. While one works on the data storage, another will work on the interface with the data. Combining those priorities makes the project successful.
Other times, a co-worker will state their priority but will not take action. At this point, they are wasting the team’s time. Delivery of the finished product or goal cannot be delivered when priorities differ vastly.
So take time to utilize your 86,400 seconds wisely. Set your priorities. Manage your time. Let your actions follow your priorities.
We have our 86,400 seconds for the day. We have prioritized what to work on, and we start our day.
Now we all know the day may start one way, but it is always sidetracked somewhere by other people’s priorities. I have an ongoing debate with myself if instant messaging, or affectionately known by the term IM, is a tool of good or evil, because it is too easy for people to contact you and sidetrack you to their priority. Most of the time, I do not mind the quick IM’s and able to take a couple of minutes to get a priority done for someone. Love helping people. Every once in a while, I have to explain to the user to send me an e-mail, because I cannot work on it right at this moment and do not want to lose their request by closing the IM window and forgetting about it.
E-mail is my preferred method on keeping communication going and prioritizing items. Have it in writing, so you know what you deliver is exactly what is written. We have so many projects and high workloads that we get things jumbled before we can make the items in the e-mail a priority.
I was on a meeting a number of years ago with a manager and another co-worker from our group. We agreed on what needed to be done. We agreed on the priority. We took steps to deliver. We even described it in an e-mail. The manager then went to his boss who sent it up the chain of command and said the agreed upon solution was not what was discussed, and we were off target. In this case, he felt it was more important to state the solution was not what he agreed too, but he was truly covering his tail due to a problem occurring in the first place and deflecting all the blame upon others.
From my standpoint, what is important is the end product and not deflecting blame or pointing fingers. We have a priority to deliver the best work we can. We determine what is important and focus upon that priority.
Before I even start my Monday’s, I start late Sunday night. I want the first working day of the week to start the same as the other working days of the week. I clean up e-mails, do any support issues that cropped up over the weekend, evaluate weekly reports, and so on. I try not to have any big surprises when I start on Monday.
When I get up and while coffee is brewing, I will listen to daily podcasts delivered in my personal e-mail from John C Maxwell and Darren Hardy. I then read from the Bible based upon a site for “Reading the Bible in a Year (link to this is found on my prayer page http://www.rdconcepts.biz/Prayer.aspx).
Now I have my coffee, had some breakfast, and my daily reading done, I start reviewing what to work on for the day and what meetings I must attend.
For me, the routine is what gets me in the proper mindset to set my priorities for the day. We only have 86,400 seconds. We need to make the most of it.
We are all busy. We are all pulled in different directions. We have so much going on that we do not know what to work on next.
I am married and have three daughters active in various activities. I work for a company as well as my personal endeavors (farm land, EMT, programming, personal development act ivies, etc…..). I am stretched thin.
Time management has become a vastly important thing to me. We all do time management by setting our priorities. There is only a given amount of time in a day.
My wife writes a blog at http://lisadblog.wordpress.com/. One of her first blogs, she needed a way to show the difference in time and had me write an online program to show this (http://www.rdconcepts.biz/DateDifference.aspx). As the difference between yesterday and today shows, we all have the same amount of time which is 86,400 seconds.
How we manage our time and decide what to work on is based upon us.