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This past holiday season I noticed that our Christmas cactus wasn't always blooms at Christmas time. I realized that it was not getting enough sun so I moved it to a sunny window and blooms started to appear just last week, four weeks late. And that got me thinking...

Do you know people who are always late? Regardless of the event, I have friends that are always 30 minutes late. Everyone has just as many hours in the day as everybody else does, so why are some on time and others not?

Psychologists would say those who are fashionably late want to be in control or want to make an entrance so they can be the center of attention. I used to see it as being inconsiderate or wanting to show off. I think if those people wanted to be on time they could, but for whatever reason, they aren't. But for me, when I'm running late it's a time management issue.

Following my Dad's stint as a United States Marine, he chose a career in sales. He was always on time and his motto was," If you can't be on time, be five minutes early." He planned his time and worked his plan. He knew what he had time to get done and what he didn't have time to do. He knew when to leave and when to arrive. He watched the clock and was always on time. He was the kind of guy who would have an early breakfast meeting and could wake up without setting the alarm. How did he do that?

Time management is learned. You can't buy it, you aren't born with it, and nobody else can give it to you as a gift. You have to work on it. If it's a priority to you you'll make it happen.

Here's what Time Management is to me...knowing the difference between when you have time to do something and when you don't ...that is time management. Time management is the key ingredient for busy people who seem to get more done and become more successful. Ironically it's the busy people who have more leisure time for themselves. What? I don't understand how when you are busy, busy, busy, that you can more time for yourself. It's Time Management.

During the course of the business day when someone wants to stop you and chat, busy people will say," I've got to go now or I'll be late, sorry, catch up with you later." What they are saying is, "I've got to respect my time and the commitments I've made. I need to do this now, because I'm busy and won't be able to do it later if I stop and chat with you."

My friend Rick Graham always said if you want something done, give it to those who are busy and not to those that have all the time in the world. Now I'm really confused. Why would I give a busy person something more to do? Doesn't seem to make sense, but it does. Busy people are organized because they keep things in priority. Ever wonder why busy people are always on time?

# 1 Plan Ahead.
Busy people have a plan. They write it down on a Day-Timer or calendar. They have a schedule and they have personal things scheduled months in advance and meetings planned days and weeks in advance. They make sure there's room for impromptu meetings, hallway chats, paperwork, research and whatever they need to do because it's on the schedule. The kid's soccer games, dates with their spouse; it's all written down on the schedule and planned.

# 2 Prioritize
They respect their plan and prioritize accordingly. Busy people put a good deal of thought into their time and schedule. Isn't it interesting that the more time you spend thinking and planning about how to use your time, the more time you have?

# 3 Delegate
Busy people effectively delegate tasks both at the office and at home. If a busy person volunteers to organize or chair a fundraiser event, they eagerly delegate to others so as not to clog up their personal or business plans.

# 4 Don't Procrastinate
More importantly they don't put off tasks they can do right now, I mean right here and right now, today, not after lunch, now.

When I'm late to a meeting and running behind time, it's usually my fault. I was either on the phone chatting, on the internet goofing off, or was not paying attention to the time and my schedule. That's when I go back, look at my plan, my priorities and how I may have procrastinated.

Are you paying attention to your 2009 plan?


As a business and personal performance coach, Bob Cooper uses his skills coupled with his extensive experience in broadcast sales and management to support his clients. His focus is to challenge his clients to set aggressive, attainable goals designed to dramatically increase their revenue and enhance the quality of their personal lives.
To contact Bob, click on
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