Archive for the ‘Time Management’ Category

When Catch-Up Time Becomes Ketch-Up Time

Weekends for many have become catch-up time for all those weekly things you didn’t have time to finish stuff.  Sound familiar?

catch-upYet how many times does this catch-up time becomes truly red much like ketchup.  The emotions overtake logic.  Hands go up in frustration and sometimes in despair. At the end of Sunday night you are exhausted and wondering where did the time go?

Imagine for a moment what would happen if twice each day, you would look at your calendar, your schedule for less than 30 minutes. Review in the morning in 5-10 minutes what needs to be accomplished that day.  Make sure you have entered all of your commitments including travel times.

Then before you leave your office, you take another 10-20 minutes to not only look to the next day, but to reflect upon what happened in the last 8-10 hours.

What went well today?’

What could have gone better?

Did you accomplish those “Must Do” tasks where you gave your word?

Did you achieve any short or long terms goals based upon your goals in progress summary?

How many people did you support or help?

How many people did you fail to support or help?

Were your behaviors respectful and reflected a high degree of emotionally intelligent leadership?

What can you do better tomorrow?

Who must you reach out tomorrow that you may have slighted today?

Possibly you may be thinking, I don’t have time for all of these questions?  Yet upon further reflection you probably sometime in the past had the answers to these questions, momentarily because your day went well or went poorly. Possibly these thoughts were repetitive because of internal emotional angst for not getting something done?

By consistently demonstrating this behavior of investing time to avoid “catch up time,” you may avoid ketchup time.

P.S. A word to the wise, time management is an oxymoron. No one can manage a constant. What you can do, is better manage yourself.  This self-management is what is call self-leadership.

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Time Management Is Our Greatest Oxymoron and Lie We Tell Ourselves

Have you ever attended a time management training event or read a book on time management?  You do realize of course this concept of managing time is an oxymoron and probably the greatest oxymoron we humans have.



Just to be clear, an oxymoron is a figure of speech in which contradictory terms appear in conjunction. Since time is a constant meaning there will always be 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute, no amount of human behavior can change those facts.

We cannot manage time.

What we can do is better manage ourselves.

Time Management Is Self Management!

Believe it or not, there are five specific and measureable talents that can support us in overcoming what is limiting ourselves from better self-management.

Concrete Organization: The ability to understand the immediate, concrete needs of a situation and to establish an effective plan of action for meeting those needs.

Consistency and Reliability: The internal need to be conscientious in one’s personal or professional efforts

Project Scheduling: To understand the proper allocation of resources for the purpose of getting things done within a defined time frame.

Attention to Detail: The ability to see and pay attention to details.

Realistic Personal Goal Setting: To set goals for one’s self that can be achieved using available resources and operating within a projected time frame.

When we take a 30,000 ft view and see these talents all working together, it is much easier to understand how to specifically improve the self management of ourselves.

After working with executive coaching, sales coaching and leadership development clients now close to 20 years, I can personally attest to the impact of realistic personal goal setting as the talent that has the greatest and most immediate impact on self-management.  When people are intentional about setting personal goals, this behavior has a direct correlation on other talents such as consistency, attention to detail, personal accountability and results orientation.

If you want to better manage time, then take a time management course. However if you truly want to improve your results, then look to improving your self management through these 5 talents because time management is the greatest oxymoron and lie we have as human beings.

Special offer until 2/28/2017, have these 5 talents assessed along with 73 other talents plus the DISC and Values Index and a 30 minute executive telephone coaching session.

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The Power of 3 For Better Time Management

Did you know we experience more change in one year than our grandparents experienced in their entire lifetimes? With information doubling every year, businesses downsizing personnel and change almost being a warp speed phenomenon, no wonder time management is a growing concern for business leadership.



A recent search on Google for time management retrieved nearly 1/2 billion hits with time management training accounting for almost one half of those hits. This suggests that time management is important to many and especially for those in business leadership roles.   On my website one of the most frequently download PDFs is this curriculum on Time-Management-Leadership.

The Power of 3 Rule is a great way to improve the effectiveness (doing the right thing) of your daily business leadership time usage. However, there is some preliminary work that must be taken before you can implement this rule.

First, return to your strategic plan and determine what needs to be done for the current quarter. Then look at your current tasks and identify only 3 important activities for the forthcoming or current week that are quality focused and aligned to that plan. Some of these activities may include making phone calls, sending out direct mail pieces, organizing your office, filing paperwork, spending time with family or friends or exercising at the fitness center.

After you have selected just 3 things to focus on during the week, write them down and carry the list with you at all times. For you will now have to say “No” to a lot of other people and potential activities that will interfere with your selected Power of 3. As this rule has a one-week time frame, you will be able to say “Yes” after the week is over to some of those things that you said “No” to earlier. Because of this limited time focus as well as limited activities, you will realize immediate results.

Take action right now and identify just 3 activities that you will focus on for the rest of the week and let me know of the results.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leadership in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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What Wasted Time Actually Reveals

Smart devices keep us connected and reveal a lot of wasted time according to Adobe. Would you believe checking email (both work and personal) is consuming 6.3 hours per day?  As an entrepreneur and small business owner for the last 18 years, I can say my time is probably around 60 to 90 minutes per day.



This email marketing and time management research also suggested that 30% of those surveyed check their email in the morning while still in bed. Some may believe this is due to the fear of missing out, my sense it may be revealing something far more serious.

When we are so preoccupied with checking email or being on the smart phone all the time, we just may not have any clarity as to what needs to be done next. We are mired in the endless activity that really does not move us forward. Yet we feel emotionally satisfied that we are doing something constructive.

This endless checking of email shows we have not properly scheduled our time.  However by checking email we do not think of it as wasted time and it justifies not doing what really needs to be done.

Checking email becomes our excuse not to work.

Email marketing agencies are probably in a dither over this time management research. With email not going away, this opens more opportunities.  For mid-size to small businesses, this spells productivity to economic disaster especially if the business factors in texting which does not appear to be part of this research study by Adobe.

Email has become part of our lives especially for mid-size to small business owners and entrepreneurs.  For me, I check email first thing in the morning at my desk (10 minutes) and several times through out the day for another five minutes each.  I have folders on my desktop and quickly file 90% of all email immediately.  Since my clients and sales leads have or can easily find my phone number, if something is really important they can call me.

If I am working on a project, I close my email.  I then open it at scheduled breaks to ensure my focus is where it needs to be.

Now some may suggest checking email is part of their multi-tasking as when watching TV or worse yet driving.  The human brain is not designed to multi-task and to engage in multi-tasking behaviors reduces overall effectiveness of all engaged activities.

Time was gone is never recovered.

Time is an investment.

Each of use have to decide how to invest our time wisely to avoid wasted time. How we do that is a personal decision and one that requires personal responsibility and accountability.

My question is if you are addicted to checking your email, then why so?  Is it because of the fear of not being connected or the fear of not wanting to do what you must do?

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.



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Being on Time Reinforces the First Sales Buying Rule

Being on time is truly not difficult.  Sure there are those exceptions of traffic accidents, emergencies to weather conditions. The failure to be on time only reinforces the first sales buying rule:



People buy from people they know and trust.

When I am asked to speak locally or to meet with a client, a center of influence,  a qualified sales lead or even a family member or friend, I am usually 5 to 10 minutes early.  I plug into my schedule an extra 10 to even 60 minutes for traveling to ensure I am on time. Also my schedule has all my writing commitments and again I allow an extra 24 hours to ensure the articles are submitted on time.

One of my professional colleagues, Rick Gosser, shared this article about 9 Habits of People Who Are on Time. He, too, is frustrated by people who fail to honor their commitment to being on time.

Rick and I share the same belief when it comes to doctor appointments.  If the doctor cannot see the patient within 20 minutes, then it is time for the patient to make another appointment.  Yes doctors are busy, but no more so than any small business owner or sales professional.

To earn any sale begins with the first sales buying rule.  Being on time reinforces trust and lets others begin to know you and specifically what is important to you.

Recently I attended a luncheon that allowed 30 minutes for registration and business to business networking.  The luncheon began at the top of the hour and several people came 15 to 20 minutes after the luncheon began.

Lateness appears to be a habit for some small business owners and salespeople. Watch local business to business networking events and the same people are consistently late.  This habit does not build trust, but rather the opposite.

Being on time is rather simple as the article shared.  I would add that being on time reflects your character, your positive core values and how you truly view other people.  If you are always late, then you truly do not care about others because you are only caring about yourself.

Yes if you wish to increase sales then embrace the behaviors embedded within the first sales buying rule. Being on time is truly a behavior that only you can change provided you really do care about your business and other people.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

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Why Not Consider Time as an Investment instead of a Cost?

How much time will that cost me?

time-as-an-investmentHave you ever heard or even thought that question?

Time once gone is gone, never to return again

Yes, it is a cost when you have not realized what you wanted to achieve.

Yes, it is a cost when you do not know what you want to achieve.

Yes, it is a cost when you have a mentality of scarcity instead of abundance.

Marcel Proust wrote “”The true voyage of discovery is not seeking new landscapes, but seeing with new eyes.”

When you consider time as an investment, the same landscape of 1,400 minutes or 86,400 seconds look differently.

Time management is an oxymoron because no one can manage a constant.

Time management is really self management or self leadership.

You have 100% control of how you manage yourself within each 24 hours.

The can’t do because I do not have time now because yes I can do because I will make time.

You now have a mentality of abundance instead of scarcity.

You can lay in bed to grab a few extra winks or get up and get an early start.

Most people admit to wasting 12 minutes a day just at work.

The time and productivity research suggests over an hour of time is wasted daily at work.

Twelve minutes equal one hour a week or 52 hours a year.

Imagine just for a moment what you could do when you consider time as an investment instead of a cost?

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.


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Got No Time, Most Common Trip Up for Small Business Success


Got no time to market!

Got no time to meet!

Got no time to…..

How many times have I heard that from small business owners to even my own clients and colleagues?

Time management problems for small business owners to sales people seem to be plentiful. Maybe therein lies the problem because no one can manage a constant. What this means is there will always be:

  • 60 seconds to a minute
  • 60 minutes to an hour
  • 24 hours to a day

Time management is really about self management and how will small business owners to sales professional demonstrate this one word:


For if you cannot lead yourself, you cannot lead anyone else.

To lose the “got no time” belief and yes this is a belief because 100% of every person I have ever talked with has admitted to wasting 12 minutes each day begins with looking within you as the individual.

Do you have a written vision statement where you see yourself in 3 to 5 years?

Have you invested the time to write supporting goals, action items, objectives that will propel you close to that vision?

What behaviors will you consistently demonstrate as you move closer to that vision?

Have you reflected upon your purpose and passion?

What gets you going to get out of bed, to do what you need to do to get to where you want to be?

The “Got No Time” is an excuse, a justification, a reflection that you cannot manage yourself because you are engaged in the role of Captain Wing It where you spray your actions all over the place and them pray something sticks.

To get rid of the “Got No Time” excuses begins right now.

Schedule 12 minutes each day to reflect, to gain clarity about where you are going, how are you going to get there.

Stop blaming the ticking of the clock because time management is 100% about self leadership, your ability to lead yourself.

Time is only a way to measure your efforts, a scorecard so to speak.

Leave the complaining, belly aching, justifying excuses in the past, right now.

Remember if you do not have the time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over? For once time is gone, it can never be recovered.

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Business Myth of Time Management Prevails


The business myth of time management still prevails because it is much easier to provide some “time management tips,” some surface solutions than to really address the real problem of self management.

No one can manage a constant. 

Time management is an oxymoron.

Time is a constant as there will always be 60 seconds in a minute; 60 minutes in an hour; 24 hours in the day; 7 days in the week; and 365 days in a year.

Yet workshop after workshop in order to secure the quick fix, maintain this business myth and not too mention make oodles of money, the short term thinking solution focuses on the symptom of the problem and not the problem.  For if the focus was truly on the problem of better self management, these business training, self improvement training to sales training workshops would not be able to fly in and fly out in just one day.

With my practice, I provide a diagnostic tool (performance evaluation) to determine 78 key attributes that have been sorted into specific roles or categories including time management.  There are 5 key attributes or talents within this category of time management and include:

  • Attention to Detail – ability to see and to pay attention to details
  • Concrete Organization – understanding the immediate, concrete needs of a situation, establish an effective plan of action
  • Consistency and Reliability – being conscientious in personal and professional efforts as well as consistent and reliable in life roles
  • Project Scheduling – understanding the proper allocation of resources for the purpose of getting tasks (goals) completed within a defined time frame
  • Realistic Personal Goal Setting- setting goals that can be achieved using available resources and operating within a projected time frame.

Effective time management is a direct result of goal setting and achievement. For without goals, who cares if you are here or there?

Notice there is nothing about a “better time management” skill because one does not exist. Time management has and will always be a self management skill based upon specific attributes, talents or capacities.

If you want to get a handle on how to better operate within a given and constant time frame, then look to solutions that address self management or self leadership.  Invest a little more dollars and time to secure sustainable results otherwise next year at this time if not sooner, you will once again be seeking another time management solution and continuing this very expensive  business myth.

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