Analyze your time – Your key to productivity

February 18, 2011

Pocket watch, savonette-type.

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by ProductiveMuslimView Comments

Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 in Tips

An old friend of mine once said to me, “There’s a myth that’s going around these days, the myth says: If you can manage your time, you can do anything!”. Four years from hearing this advice, I don’t believe it’s a myth anymore.

We all hear about time management and it’s importance, and people shout at us from time to time that we should time manage properly, but rarely do we hear a concise methodology of how to time manage!

In order to understand how to time manage, you firstly need to understand what time management is about. Time management is not about managing your time, because technically, you cannot manage something you have no control over! (Can you stop, start time?!) – Time management is simply managing yourself in a way that makes use of the time sphere we’re in. So how exactly do we that?

Peter Drucker, author of the famous book “The Effective Executive” (Highly recommended reading)), recommends three steps to managing your time, and he actually calls the chapter that deals with this: “Know thy time”:

  1. Analyze your time.
  2. Cut back unproductive demands.
  3. Aim to complete tasks in large chunks of time.

So let’s get into more details of how to follow the above three steps (adding the usual ProductiveMuslim Islamic twist to it ;)).

Analyze your time:

Record your time over a course of at least a week. I’ll be honest here, it’ll take a strong stomach to realise how much time we waste in a course of a week. But being truthful to oneself is the first step to remedy. There are 2 ways to record your time:

  1. Keep a diary with you recording what you do each hour
  2. Ask your friend/flat-mate/spouse to analyze your time, (as we tend to be nice to ourselves when we record our own time, and end up ‘cheating’)

Cut back unproductive demands:

man with briefcase, watch and mobile phone

Ultimate Multitasking

Hopefully, after recording our time, a sad realization would dawn upon us, and that is, there’s a lot we can cut down from. e.g. do we really need to spend that hour in the cafe in the morning, or is it just better to make some coffee at home and read e-mails at the same time? Do we really need to spend 2 hour everyday just flicking through TV channels or internet sites or can we cut down from that time? (Note: please please don’t cut back from time for Allah! Some people in order to ‘save’ time, will not go to the mosque to pray for example, that’s not an unproductive demand to cut down on, that’s an essential demand which we better keep, so please don’t touch the religious stuff, we’re already guilty of not giving enough time to them, let’s not use this excuse to make it worse!

Aim to complete tasks in large chunks of time:

Isn’t it annoying when you are working on something so hard and you got really into it (sometimes called being in ‘The Zone’) to be interrupted by a phone call or an e-mail alert or text?! This third tip basically says that you should try to block time off in large chunks of time, (some people suggest that 90 minutes is the maximum they can concentrate at one time, but that’s 90 minutes of uninterrupted time). This technique will help you achieve much more by doing less, simply because you’re more focused at one task at a time. Doing one task in one hour, will end up taking you 4 hours if you are interrupted every 10-15 minutes. To help you block your time, refer to our Daily Taskinator.

 

For more great articles please see http://www.productivemuslim.com/

 


10 Things Authentic Leaders Do

October 22, 2008

 

Sharma Leadership International
Authentic leadership is all about being the person you know in your heart you have always been destined to be. Authentic leadership does not come from your title or from the size of your paycheck.

What would your life look like if you had absolutely no fear? What kinds of things would you do if you lived from a frame of reference that your thoughts literally could form your world? How brightly would your light shine if you stepped out of the limitations that are keeping you small and stretched yourself well past your comfort zone into the place that you know, deep within, you are meant to be? Authentic leadership is all about being the person you know in your heart you have always been destined to be. Authentic leadership does not come from your title or from the size of your paycheck. Instead, this form of leadership comes from your being and the person that you are.

Here are 10 things that authentic leaders do on a regular basis:

They speak their truth. In business today, we frequently ‘swallow our truth’. We say things to please others and to look good in front of The Crowd. Authentic leaders are different. They consistently talk truth. They would never betray themselves by using words that are not aligned with who they are. This does not give anyone a license to say things that are hurtful to people. Speaking truth is simply about being clear, being honest and being authentic.

They lead from the heart. Business is about people. Leadership is about people. The best leaders wear their hearts on their sleeves and are not afraid to show their vulnerability. They genuinely care about other people and spend their days developing the people around them. They are like the sun: the sun gives away all it has to the plants and the trees. But in return, the plants and the trees always grow toward the sun. Read the rest of this entry »


The Heart of Leadership

October 22, 2008

 

Reflections on the Rituals of Wise Leaders


Leadership is not about the prestige of your title but the quality of your character. Real leadership is not about position, it’s

 about action. And great leaders spend their days helping those around them manifest their highest human potential while they work towards a vision that adds value to the world at large.

Leadership is not about the prestige of your title but the quality of your character. Real leadership is not about position, it’s about action.  And great leaders spend their days helping those around them manifest their highest human potential while they work towards a vision that adds value to the world at large.  As I wrote in “Leadership Wisdom from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”: “the greatest privilege of leadership is the chance to elevate lives.” 
In the new economy, leadership will be the quality that will separate the winners from the also-rans.  With increasing competition, only those organizations who develop leaders at every level will have the agility and effectiveness to excel in these topsy-turvy times.  The organizations that rely on the outdated “top down” model of leadership will not have the speed and nimbleness to go head-to-head against competing companies where everyone understands their duty to show leadership in the way they work and live.  In my leadership seminars, I show peak performers how to liberate more of their leadership potential so they see quantum improvements in their professional and personal lives.  Here are 4 of the best lessons: 
  1.  Understand that, at the end of the day, leadership is all about relationships.  People will not follow you if they do not trust you.  They will not invest in your products or services unless they truly feel you have their best interests in mind and sincerely care about them.  Showing leadership in your work means that building

 high-trust, high-touch relationships is Job #1.  To cultivate these bonds, peak performing leaders remember that the little things are the big things when it comes to building client loyalty.  They keep their promises, doing what they say they will do when they say they will do it.  They are punctual and respectful.  And they are courteous, always remembering to say “please” and “thank you” at every reasonable opportunity. If you simply fill the needs of your clients, they will remain with you until someone who can do it better comes along.  If you deeply connect with them on a human level, they just might remain with you for life.  As I say in my seminars: “People will not lend you a hand until you first touch their hearts.”  
 2.  Remember that leaders strive for mastery over mediocrity.  The quality of your professional and personal life ultimately comes down to the quality of the choices you make every minute of every hour of every day.  As human beings, our highest personal endowment is the ability to choose our response to a given event.  We can choose to get angry with a difficult client or we can see the circumstance as a gift – as a wonderful opportunity to deepen the relationship by dealing with the complaint in a creative, effective manner so that the client is so delighted he tells the world about you.  You can choose to focus on the increasing competition, regulation and complexity of the marketplace or you can concentrate on the almost limitless possibilities offered by this wired age.  One of the most important choices that effective leaders make is to raise their standards.  They commit themselves from the core of their beings to being true masters at the work they do.  They are hungry to learn from the best.  They spend time daily refining their talents and reading from great books.  They take time weekly to reflect on the way their are conducting their businesses and course correct so the next week builds on the past one. 
   Read the rest of this entry »

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