Self-Management: So Much Work, So Little Time

Image: Rachel Clark, Certified EMyth Business Coach, in front of audience at Coast Women in Business

by Rachel Clark

November 2018 Presentation at Coast Women in Business

Time Management Essentials

“The bad news is, time flies.
The good news is, you’re the pilot.”
-Michael Altshuler, author

Today’s Learning Objectives

  • Help you create a better work-life balance
  • Help you enjoy your work more
  • Take responsibility for your choices
  • Analyze how you use your time
  • Learn skills for organizing and planning your time better
  • Build skills to better manage yourself and your employees
  • Learn ways to save time this week!

Time Management Is Really Self-Management

Working on yourself and how you relate with time and tasks

Lack of Self-Management Results in:

  • Not getting things done
  • No forward momentum, just spinning your wheels
  • Feeling scattered or unproductive
  • Overwhelmed
  • Depressed
  • Sense of failure

Myth #1: “I don’t have time”

  • You have the same amount as everyone else
  • Assume you actually do have enough time
  • You just need to use it better

Myth #2: “It’s overwhelming”

  • Overwhelm tells you that you need to get organized and prioritized
  • Overwhelm is caused by you, not by your life/work
  • It’s a call for self-management

Myth #3: “I can’t do anything about X”

  • You always have a choice
  • Start with your contribution: how did you make it that way?
  • You can’t own the solution if you don’t own the problem

What’s Your Time Management Score?

Test yourself at

1. Which of these do you consider potential interruptions in your day?

Choose as many as you like (check all that apply).
A. Creating designated time to prioritize tasks
B. Responding to an email right as it arrives
C. Unreliable office equipment
D. Leaving your office door open
E. A talkative vendor
F. Taking a lunch break
G. Taking time to delegate tasks
H. Screening your calls
I. A new employee
J. Taking a break

2. How many times do you feel interrupted during your workday?

Never Occasionally My entire workday is one interruption after another

3. Do you have a “gatekeeper?” In other words, is there someone screening your phone calls and meetings?

No, my phone line and door are always openSort of Yes, I’m not disturbed unless it’s an emergency

4. Do you have designated undisturbed work time?

No I do, but it often gets canceled Yes, every day

5. How frequently do you log your time?

I don’t I use my calendar to track when meetings are I regularly use a time log or other type of tracking system

6. How comfortable are you saying “no” to requests or tasks you might not have time for?

Very uncomfortable; I want to make everyone happyNeutral Very comfortable; I only say “yes” to tasks I know I have time for

7. How often do you redo tasks for your employees to make sure they’re “perfect?”

I don’t When necessary; sometimes an approaching deadline means I have to step in I always redo work for my employees; until the task is done to my standard of perfection, it’s not done

8. How often do you take breaks during the workday?

I don’t have time to take breaks Once a day for lunch Whenever I need space to clear my head

9. Do you respond immediately to incoming requests and emails?

No, they can wait If it seems urgent Yes, I want people to know I’m on top of things

10. How often do you push back deadlines?

Never; a deadline is a deadlineSometimes; you have to be flexibleConstantly; tasks never get done when they’re supposed to

11. To get your score, tell us a little about yourself:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email Address
  • How many employees do you have?
    • 50+
    • 35-49
    • 20-34
    • 10-19
    • 4-9
    • 1-3
    • 0
  • What do you need the most help with?
    • Finding new customers and getting out of neutral
    • Getting my new business on the right track
    • Creating systems and getting out of overwhelm
  • Are you a business coach or consultant?
    • Yes
    • No

Take the EMyth test

Begin with What’s True

  • You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge
  • We track money, not time, because it’s easier
  • Time is actually way more valuable than money

Business Hierarchy of Needs

Scalability and ExcellenceCustomer experience and back-end operations great enough to multiply
Profit/Cash PositiveCompetence and efficiency earn financial rewards
Breakeven RevenuesAverage: consistent, predictable outcomes, but spark is missing
Operational StabilityModerately engaged employees performing acceptable work, crisis rare
Financial StabilitySufficient cash flow/reserves to not be in survival mode
Time ManagementLack of overwhelm, time for strategic work, discipline to do it

What Gets In Your Way?

Image: house on hill, hammer and nails, blueprint with ruler and pencil

The Technician

Does the direct, hands-on work of creating, producing, selling, or delivering the products and services of the business

The Manager

  • Builds a company culture of ownership where people own their results and the process to realize the vision
  • Executes the strategies that drive the vision
  • Monitors and drives the business development cycle: Quantification, Innovation, and Orchestration

The Entrepreneur

  • Continuously relates and communicates the vision
  • Watches and then leverages the conditions in the marketplace
  • Develops strategies that shape the growth and expansion of the business

Where Are You Spending Your Time?

Image: drawing of clock

Time Study

TechnicianManagerEntrepreneurWork Type

Working on It Balance

RolesEntrepreneurial WorkManagerial WorkTechnical Work
Senior Managers20%70%10%
Front-line Employees5%5%90%

Note: This is a conceptual framework to spark your thinking. The actual implementation depends upon many factors including: business model, workforce, industry, etc.

Do a True Time Study

  • Track everything for two weeks
  • Be honest and accurate
  • Make new choices based on data

Self-Management Is the Key

Image: scales with the letter "M" in the middle, the letter "E" on the left, and the letter "T" on the right

What Is Self-Management?

  • Doing what’s important vs. what’s interesting or comfortable
  • Following through: Doing what you say you will
  • Being focused, saying “No” to the right things
  • Modeling responsibility for your people

Strategy: Organization and Planning

  • Make a checklist of what you need to do that day
  • Prioritize
  • Stay focused – single handling
  • Just say “No”
  • Stop letting your email check you
  • Limit your availability by phone or text
  • Don’t overbook
  • Delegate
  • Routinize
  • Set deadlines
  • Divide and conquer big jobs

Strategy: Interruption Blockers

  • Institute a quiet time
  • Set “Do Not Disturb” periods
  • Use “gateKeepers”
  • Consolidate phone and email time
  • Plan phone calls
  • Institute “Closed Door, Open Calendar” policy

Strategy: Stress Reducers

  • Don’t postpone “bitter pills”
  • Maximize “idle” time
  • Eat lunch, but eat light
  • Don’t work at home – take some time for yourself
  • Don’t be a perfectionist

Strategy: Others

  • Use prime time for prime tasks
  • Capture great ideas
  • Think, then act
  • Don’t overcommit
  • Teach time management
  • Audit time management
  • Focus on results, not work

Strategy: Training in Four Steps

  • Tell them
  • Show them
  • Watch them
  • Reflect them

Strategy: Delegation in Four Steps

  • What will you do?
  • By when?
  • Why do it?
  • How will I know it’s done?

Strategy: Use Your Calendar

  • Plan your schedule before the day starts
  • Put high-priority items on your calendar first (such as “business development” time)
  • Create a routine schedule
  • Delegate
  • Leave 25% of your day unscheduled

Strategy: Minimize Interruptions

  • Others will interrupt you instead of thinking themselves: use “Do Not Disturb” signs
  • Train others to work on solutions and ask for your agreement
  • Only take phone calls or see visitors when it works for you
  • You can and do interrupt yourself: the invisible cost of gear-changing

Strategy: Reducing Your Stress

  • Handle important or unpleasant things immediately
  • Make some time for yourself
  • Baby steps is progress – perfectionism is a lot to ask of yourself
  • Be willing to say “No”

Time Management: A Process, Not a Destination

  • There is no such thing as “perfect,” give up trying to be (that’s the Technician)
  • Get overwhelmed, pull yourself out, repeat
  • Fall off the horse, and get back on sooner each time
  • Baby steps is progress — don’t be a perfectionist

Leadership Question: What Do You Need to Continue Doing/Stop Doing/Start Doing?

Image: Question mark

Schedule a Free Session

Image: Text bubble stating, "How do I get started?"

Rachel Clark
Synergy Business Coaching
Santa Rosa, CA, USA

Image: Rachel Clark, Certified EMyth Business Coach

About the Presenter

Rachel Clark has worked as an EMyth Business Coach for 12 years, helping clients transform their business and lives using the tools, methodologies, and principles of the EMyth coaching programs. Using her formal education in marketing and economics, coupled with years of experience in executive recruiting, has empowered her to work with clients who are ready to work on their leadership and business.

About Coast Women in Business

Coast Women in Business supports the business community on the Mendocino coast. We meet monthly to foster entrepreneurship and professional development on the Mendocino Coast and beyond. Membership fees are $50 annually or $10 per drop-in meeting.

Note: We welcome all – all races, all genders, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations.

Your first meeting is always free, and we offer a limited number of need-based memberships—please inquire. We’re sponsored by the Women’s Business Center at the West Business Development Center. We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting!

Please contact us with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

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