According to a study published by “Cadres Online” in August 2012, 90% of French executives report working in the emergency. If we compare this study with that which results from the work of Mintzberg (the daily manager) and Eisenhower’s painting (distinction between urgent and important tasks), we realize that executives spend 80% of their time Of work to the performance of urgent tasks
It can be deduced that 90% of French executives are obliged to subjugate 80% of their working time to carry out urgent activities. The degree of freedom of this immense population of “officials” is considerably restricted. Indeed, in these circumstances, we can say that these cadres are no longer in a position of choice since, let us remember, an urgent task is a task that must be carried out immediately. This situation leaves no alternative.
Thus, for those who still doubt it, a good personal discipline in time management, brings more freedom than it destroys. By reducing pressure from the urgent, this discipline allows virtuous executives to exercise their art: to give themselves the time necessary to choose the most relevant alternatives for the resolution of the problems submitted to them. The broader the scope of the possibilities, the more the framework resembles a decision-maker. The situation of the 90% of French executives above, brings them closer to a performer’s posture.
Our previous articles have taught us that a number of urgent tasks were in fact planned. This is called “false emergencies”, generally caused by a failing organization (eg an important task that has been deferred too often, too short-term planning, etc.). In reality, about 15% of the working time is devoted to really urgent activities that are called “unexpected”.
But how to reduce the pressure of the urgent?
We suggest using the TIME + © method . This structured approach has made it possible for many experienced and novice executives to take over the reins of their professional destiny. It proceeds in 6 orderly steps – Sort / Eliminate / Mute / Plan / Structuring / Celebrating – described below.
A good time management can not succeed without a clear and precise awareness of your priority objectives (see chapter 7 of the book “manager of elite” to identify them). This lucidity allows you to sort between important activities and those that are not. Let us recall that this criterion of importance is deliberately subjective. Only you can tell the difference between what is important and what is not important. If you observe many differences with your company’s priorities, then you are probably not in the position (or company) that suits you. Think about it quickly before you are forced into it. It is often because he is afraid of the irreversibility of the decision, that a framework is misled in procrastination. By dint of delaying or avoiding the decision, Comes a moment when the corresponding action becomes urgent. Whether he admitted it or not, one must admit that every adept of procrastination decides in the end to submit to pressure from the urgent. Let us not forget that by not offering any other alternative in terms of its execution time, an urgent activity involves the fallacious advantage of releasing its author from the responsibility for the decision.
If the task is not important why should it be executed? It is legitimate to ask this question in any case. (Example: Why should I attend this meeting?). If the answer is not obvious, then we recommend not to do this activity. Attention does not mean that it should be differed but it is well and truly NEVER to realize it. To be even more explicit, let’s say that it is a task to be put in the trash! This kind of decision is particularly difficult for any inexperienced or fragile or even overwhelmed by fear. The action of eliminating plunges you into a confrontation with existential constraints of freedom-guilt, loneliness, imperfection, finitude … whose management requires a certain level of personal maturity.
If the task is not important but it is urgent, and if you decide it should be executed, then the choice is offered to you to transfer it.
Remember that it is the fact of allowing yourself the opportunity to choose from a wide range of alternatives to solving a problem that makes you responsible managers.
Muter means to delegate, subcontract, entrust someone else, ask for help. It is not necessary to be a manager to mutate a task. Asking for help is within everyone’s reach, regardless of his or her rank in the hierarchy. But do not forget that if you decide to transfer all or only part of a task, you are still responsible for its proper execution. It is unnecessary to insist on the need for any professional worthy of the name to keep its own agenda and to plan all its activities (and not just meetings).
When the sorted job is important, you can:
What should be planned?
In addition to the meetings, it is important not to forget the commuting times, the preparation times, but also the control activities (see above), as well as all the important tasks resulting from your Initial sorting.
The planning exercise presents you with 4 pitfalls:
Therefore, in order to take these pitfalls into account and to warn us of the painful permanent emergency situation complained of by managers, we recommend that no more than 4.5 hours be planned for each 7-hour workday.
Structuring is adding a dose of strategy to optimize your added value in the realization of your function.
Any executive should also be a time engineer. Structuring your agenda means smoothing your load, arbitrating certain activities, sequencing them differently, deciding to change others, perhaps even eliminating parts of them, and so on. This structuring activity usually takes place from your Smartphone or any other synchronized mobile calendar, in all situations where you have to wait (waiting rooms, train halls or airports, waiting at an appointment) or During voluntary scrutiny.
+ ( Celebrate)
If you respect this discipline, after a few weeks you will no longer be part of these 90% of executives who complain of the pressure of urgency. You will be in a situation to be able to decide, anticipate and manage serenely your time as well as the added value that you want to produce. Since it applies to only 10% of the managerial population, this exceptional situation deserves to be celebrated. The little “plus” that graces the TIME + logo invites you to take the time to rejoice in your new life and may give you the desire to make new followers.
Time, like all other resources, is a limited resource and must therefore be used with intelligence. We hope that the one that is condensed in the TIME + approach will be useful to you.