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Time Managements Big Three - Planning, Prioritisation and Delegation

Time managements BIG Three - Planning, prioritisation and delegation

Planning, prioritisation and delegation

Time management is the best kept secret of the rich!

How is it that some people earn 100 times more than others?

  • Is it because one is 100 times more intelligent than the other? No
  • Is it because one is 100 times more hard working? No
  • Is it because one is 100 times better educated? No

It is because the one is using his (her) time more efficiently.

The one has learned how to master time managements Big Three disciplines
What are the big three time management disciplines?

1. Planning ahead
2. Prioritisation
3. Delegation

Most people don't
1. Most people don't plan ahead sufficiently
2. Most people don't prioritise their tasks correctly
3. Most people don't delegate effectively

As a result, they achieve only a tiny fraction of what they are capable of.

Let us look at each of the big three, in turn.

1. Planning ahead

Planning ahead is the art of projecting your mind forwards, in time, and asking two questions:

1. In six days (6 weeks, 6 months, 6 years) how do I want things to be?
2. And therefore, for that to happen, what are the six things I must do today?

Planning ahead makes the biggest difference between those who win, and those who don't.

1. The best generals plan their military campaigns
2. The best politicians plan their election campaigns
3. The best sales people plan their sales campaigns

Yet many people fail to plan ahead.

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Why do so many people fail to plan ahead?

On our time management courses, I ask the non-planning delegates "Why do you not plan ahead?"

I hear three common answers:

1. I have never really thought to
2. There is no point planning because circumstances keep changing and they ruin my plans
3. I haven't got time to plan

What is our response to the three objections?

1. If you have never thought about it, then start thinking about it
2. If circumstances keep changing, then modify your plan. Don't throw away your plan and leave your fate in the hands of others.
3. You do have time for planning. Everyone can find half an hour a day.

The reason you seem to have no time to plan ahead is because you are not planning ahead.

So, copy these words down and memorise them

1. In six days (weeks, months, years) how do I want things to be?
2. For that to happen, what six things must I do, today?

2. Prioritisation

Prioritisation is the art of putting things into the correct order.

You prioritise work by continually asking another two questions:

1. Is the current task the best use of my time; yes or no?
2. If no, then what is the best use of my time, right now?

Your goal in life is "always to be occupied in the best use of your time".

Never squander your time.

Time is your most precious resource.

  • You can recover lost money
  • You can recover lost health
  • You can even recover lost love
  • But you can never recover lost time

The moment you wake up in the morning, recognise that the clock is ticking, and now it is time for you to start adding value to yourself and others.

Here is the meaning of life in two words:


Add value to yourself and others:
1. You are not paid for your time
2. You are not paid for your knowledge
3. You are not paid for your effort

You are paid in proportion to the perceived value that you can add to the lives of those people who are willing to pay for your product or service.

Which is why Britney Spears earns more than a brain surgeon

Why does Britney Spears earn more than a brain surgeon?

Because each day, Britney Spears' music, dance and image operates on the minds of millions of people; as opposed to the brain surgeon who can operate on the mind of only one person each day.

So Britney earns more because she adds more value per day to "the marketplace"
So, ask yourself

What is the most VALUABLE use of my time, right now?

If you could only do one of the things on your list of six items then which would it be?
Number that one, number 1

If you could only do one of the remaining five items on your list, then which would it be?
Number that item, number 2

And so on............

Do your best to stay on track and do the most valuable things today that will bring you to your desired destination six months from now.

3. Delegation

You have to delegate because you are trying to do only the six most important things and not get hung up on things that are not on that list of six.
But those other tasks still exist.

They still have to be done, don't they?
Well, here is a thought; some of them don't need to be done!
Some of the things you do, don't need to be done!
Start looking for things that you do that, occupy your time, and don't need to be done.

Here is the list

  • Excessive gossip
  • Office politics
  • Listening to the news again
  • Watching TV
  • Reading magazines

Of the remainder; the other things that do need to be done; Ask yourself this question:

To whom can I delegate these tasks?


Delegate the shopping to Tesco's home delivery service: don't waste time shopping when, for £5 Mr Sainsbury or Mr. Asda will deliver it to your fridge door.
For £8 an hour, delegate the cleaning to a cleaner; whist you get on with planning your sales campaign.
For £10 an hour, delegate your gardening to a gardener, whist you concentrate on your website redesign.
Give the job to the guy who is the best person to do the job
Give the job to the girl who could use the experience
Give the job to the person who needs a job
Give the job to the person who does not have much in his tray right now
Give the job to the person who would enjoy doing it

  • Don't get bogged down performing the lower value, short range tasks
  • Try to keep your mind on the higher value, longer range tasks

Make this your new mantra

"As much as is possible I will delegate as many lower value tasks, as I can"

Here is another mantra for you to memorise

"I will free myself from the act of being too busy in order that I can be more productive"

Use your added hours to figure out how you could further improve your planning prioritisation and delegation skills

For more information about time management training visit the Corporate Coach Group website

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About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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