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No Time for Training?
I Don’t Have Time
In our information overload, always plugged-in world, how often do we hear people say, “I’d love to do that, but I just don’t have the time?” How often do you say it yourself? And yet, is that really what we mean to say?
Everyone on this planet we call Earth has the same amount of “time” available in any given day. Sure, depending upon where you are located relative to the equator, you may have more or less daylight, but in our modernized and mechanized world, we’ve generally agreed upon how we count the hours and minutes in a day – and we all have the same amount. (It wasn’t always that way, but that’s a subject for another audience altogether!)
So, how is it then, that some people have “time” for doing certain things, such as taking a walk, going for a swim, or reading a good book, and other people “just don’t have time” for such activities? I submit to you that it’s really more a matter of priorities than it is a matter of “time” in the absolute sense. Some people “make time” for exercise or reading, while others just can’t seem to work it in. Some people spend hours and hours with their grandchildren, while others are painting or playing a musical instrument. As a consequence they don’t watch as much TV, or don’t spend as much time shopping. It’s a question of priorities.
Let’s Prioritize Then
Prioritization is the hallmark of any time management class. Decide, preferably the day before, or at least early in the morning, what your “A,” “B,” and “C” priorities will be for the day. Make a list. And of course priorities should be based on importance, not merely urgency.
Nothing revolutionary here. If you’ve ever even cracked open a book on time management, you’ve heard this all before. After you prioritize, you need to focus on one task at a time, minimize distractions, and so on. You may have tried all of this before.
Okay, so you prioritize your activities. But you’re still running short on “time.” Now it becomes a matter of not having enough time to do the specific things you may need to or want to do. That’s a much more difficult problem, but not an impossible one. What else, you might ask, can I do to squeeze more “time” out of my day?
Do It Right The First Time
It may seem obvious, but too many of us seem to forget that people who are more highly skilled at a task tend to accomplish it in less time. We’ve all heard the expression, “there’s never enough time to do it right, but there’s always enough time to do it over?” That’s because people tend to jump in, and use the “trial and error” method. Not the best use of time.
For example, if you know how to run that Excel spreadsheet, a simple budgeting task may only take a few minutes. Or let’s say you want to build a roster for members of your club. If you know the program, it should be a snap. If you’re learning the program as you go, it could take hours – plus lead to a sense of frustration and anxiety. This will only make matters worse in the long run, or even result in procrastination (another black hole for time), since you really didn’t like the experience.
How many of us, when we are under the gun, try to figure things out “on the fly.” You rationalize that there isn’t enough “time” to get the training, or you may somehow feel that you “should” already know how to do something. This leads to mistakes, which leads to time wasted. In the end, you would have been much better off spending the time up front to hone your skills.
What’s the bottom line? If you’re struggling with a task or project, and it’s a question of knowledge, skill, or ability – seek out and get the training and/or education that you need. This could mean a computer software class, a supervision class, a communications class, or whatever it is you are stressed over. The task will go more easily and quickly, you’ll be happier with the results, and you’ll finally have time to read that book!
This is a “plug” for just-in-time training. Those nifty online classes that are springing up everywhere, that help you develop the skills you need, when you need them. No need to wait three weeks (or longer) to attend a class on PowerPoint. Just launch the E-learning course on your laptop. It’s one of those things that technology has truly improved.