Category Archives: Time management
Over the last few weeks I have had my usually busy life curtailed by an injury.
I have had to have my leg elevated and take medication that has left me with a foggy brain.
The world has continued to turn, the social structure of the community has held together and all without me. This is a good thing, other people have had to step up and take control for some things and I have just had to step down from others.
This process has helped me re-evaluate certain priorities in my life and consider how much time I spend on projects. Yes I have watched a lot of TV in this time, but thankfully the London Olympics has been on and I have been inspired by the single focus and dedication of the athletes. These athletes have sacrificed much to attempt to achieve personal bests and Olympic glory.
If I am to achieve success in community development or for particular causes I need to prioritize involvement’s. This will mean I will have to relinquish some commitments. This does not mean I am not concerned with the causes I let go, it means that I am deciding to focus on areas that I can make the biggest difference.
I have always been a busy person, but my body is not keeping up with my mind. Perhaps my badly sprained ankle with torn ligaments and chipped bone has been a blessing and a warning. It has forced me to rest and to slow down. It has made me realise that I am no superman, I cannot be strong all the time and I need to focus more.
Sometimes it is right and proper to re-evaluate life and it priorities. To step down requires a determination to overcome ego and self-importance, to concentrate on what is important not what is urgent.
Sometimes the squeaky wheel needs to remain squeaky, sometimes things need to be done by other people.
By holding on tightly to leadership or other roles you actually hinder the cause you are trying to help and from others that need to take over and lead it to the next level.
So what next? Time to workout where to focus, to develop skills and talents that I can pass onto others.
I am moving up not moving out; I am focusing not getting busier; I am getting values and priorities in order not just being driven by “good” causes.
When was the last time you re-evaluated your priorities? Why not take a few moments and make sure you are on the right road and make some changes if you need to.
As I start this new day I take a few moments just to think, contemplate, meditate, pray and take time to allow my thoughts to settle.
It is my cave (or quiet) time, where nothing matters apart from stillness of the heart and mind. I can sit and watch the world go by without participating in its busy-ness. Sometimes I think about the work I must do, but, the most important thing I do is to just sit and in quiet contemplation just allow myself to listen.
Contemplation, meditation and prayer, to me, are much more about spending time listening than about the process or method or in the case of prayer, speaking or asking for things. When we sit and listen we discover many things about ourselves. Some are good some are not so good, but it is always for us to be encouraged about something or challenged to work on other things or even just to be a peace for a short time in our busy world.
Whether you are a Christian, as I am, or have another faith or even no faith at all, let me encourage you to practice the art of just “being”, sitting for a few moments everyday in quietness just to listen. You will be amazed at what you will discover.
Sometimes just to relax, you need to take a few moments out to just “be”. In this process of “be”ing you can take stock of your situation, breath deeply and refocus your attention.
As a musician I will often just pick up my guitar and play a few chords.
Please take a minute and enjoy this musical Interlude.
Music and Video
©Paul S Allen 2010
Tips for leaders on how to survive leadership
Remember leaders are human, they are not perfect and they make mistakes.
Leadership has sometimes been described as a lonely place; this should not be. As a leader you need to establish key relationships and friendships outside of your organisation. These people should be able to give clear and objective views about you and support you in your leadership.
Leaders need to be accountable to others.
Establish great governance structures around you.
Learn to delegate, equip those you delegate to and empower them to be able to make decisions on their own.
Let those people you have delegated tasks to do the tasks without your input or micro managing.
Learn to serve, a great leader is a great servant and people will follow a strong example.
Leaders are, by nature, involved in the lives of people. Learn to manage people well.
Learn to manage your time well. If you say you will be there at a certain time be there at that time, just as you expect others to do.
Have a clearly defined and written job description for your role as a leader and stick to it. It should include what all your levels of delegated authority are.
Know when it is your responsibility to make decisions and when it is not your responsibility to make them.
The health of the leader is the responsibility of the leader alone. (Physical/mental/emotional/spiritual.)
Have a healthy respect for the role of leadership; do not be afraid of questions that appear to challenge your decisions/values/beliefs.
Investigate all opposing arguments to your own opinions to find the truth, and then be prepared to face the truth and act on it.
Leaders are not invincible
Honesty and humility are the greatest character traits a leader should possess.
All organizations have people in them therefore all organizations are political. Learn to deal with politics.
Have people you can safely offload to. Deal with personal issues quickly and appropriately with the right people.
Take time to learn, develop your skills.
Recreation time is essential to refocus and strengthen yourself.
There is freedom when you recognise that all leaders are just fallible humans.
The key to being a great leader or fulfilling any other role is to learn how to “be” before you start to “do”.
Paul S Allen