There are two kinds of people in the professional world. The first kind tries to improve their grasp over time management and efficiency skills and attain a consistency when dealing with work tasks. The second kind tries to use any means possible to just get the job done at any cost. To an untrained person or someone with not a great deal of experience and exposure, the latter might seem like a very result oriented way of looking at things and hence seem like a better option. David Guest, a business coach in Melbourne, tries to help us see the bigger picture. He stresses extra importance to time management knowing how much it helps businesses grow in the long run as opposed to just pleasing a few clients momentarily.
Some sound comparative analogies between time management and getting things done to illustrate the differences and impact of each philosophy.
- Simple Definition – Time management is a skill. It is attained through discipline in the professional arena and by mastering the efficiency required to handle assignments and projects on a daily basis. ‘Getting Things done’, as enticing as it sounds, simply means going from point A to point B by the shortest possible method. This following example will make the comparison clearer. To go from floor A to floor B carrying a heavy box, your time management savvy would have you consider taking the elevator or the stairs depending on how far the floors are from each other, how heavy the box is and how busy each option (the stairs or lift) is at this particular moment in time. On the other hand using a ‘Getting Things Done’ way of thinking about things you may be inclined to throw the box from one floor to the other irrespective of personal safety and risk to others to get the box where it needs to be quickly. Obviously it will be quicker but there is a chance you could harm yourself, others or the contents of the box by going the most direct path. The advantage of Time Management over ‘Getting Things Done’, is that you’re assessing the risk involved in any task before undertaking it, therefore preventing unnecessary waste or costs that may result from things going wrong.
- Quality Assurance – In every kind of business, strict quality procedures need to be maintained for every task that is assigned and completed. Time management encourages people to be efficient by following guidelines and using common sense to get the assignment completed on time. Over a period of time, a person with improving or excellent time management skills is bound to be noticed, not only for getting their work done on time but for also doing it the way it was meant to be done. Following a philosophy of Getting Things Done can often lead to a lack of quality compliance. For example, a customer support agent working in the call center might blitz all other operators by being able to handle five calls in ten minutes, but if they’re not following the script or forgetting important details while rushing through those calls then the quality of their work is unacceptable, and sooner or later, some one will pay for it… Either you, your bank account or your business reputation.
As a business coach, I get hear about and witness many business owners, entrepreneurs and executives who get them selves caught up with Getting Stuff Done. As a strategy it works for a time, however in the long run it does far more damage than good. If you’ve ever felt despondent about your business, overwhelmed or just in need of a holiday, then chances are good that you’re in the ‘Getting Stuff Done’ mode of working. With a few time management pointers, like those shared in the 14 Day Action Challenge you can turn your life around and get more time off.
If you’ve got people in your team who are ‘Getting Things Done’ then it’s time for some leadership and internal training to get your whole business benefiting from real time management.