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Emotional Intelligence and Time Management
Once we have 'reframed' our thinking from time management to self-management we can truly become responsible for being more productive and improving our outcomes. I believe there are two key self-management factors that impact your outcomes. They are CLARITY and DESIRE. When you are really clear about what you want to achieve AND you have the desire, your actions are will be more productive. So how do you get clarity and desire?
Developing clarity and desire uses Emotional Intelligence skills and abilities. Relying on pure rational, logical thinking processes will only get you part of the way.
Let's talk a little more about these.
Clarity is about knowing exactly what outcome you want.
The clearer you are about your outcomes the more productive you are. When you know exactly what outcome you want to achieve, you are much more focused. You become aware of all the possible actions to move you towards your desired outcomes.
Truly knowing what you want your outcome to be includes how you want to feel. In fact, how you want to feel is usually THE most important outcome you need to be clear about. Clearly knowing how you want to feel uses your skills of emotional self-awareness.
There are two key ways clarity impacts outcomes.
This first is knowing whether an activity is productive or unproductive. I define productive in terms of moving me closer to a desired outcome (unproductive is NOT moving closer to a desired outcome). When planning or starting a task ask yourself "does this activity help me progress to achieving my goal?" Lack of clarity makes answering this question hard and therefore decreases productivity.
Once we are able to determine whether an activity moves us toward our outcome, then we look which of the possible actions will be the MOST productive. For example, if my desired outcome was to Travel to New York from London the following travel methods would move me closer to my destination walking, taking a boat, driving and getting a flight.
The most productive of these in terms of time used would be to fly. To develop ways to improve self-management and become more personally productive here are some questions I suggest you could ask yourself.
If I were going on holidays tomorrow for 2 or more weeks, what would I want to complete today?
What is the highest value-added action I can do?
What can I, and only I, do?
Why am I on the payroll? What is my purpose here?
To know if a task is productive or the most productive you need to clearly know your outcome.
The cloudy confusion that descends on most of us when we lack clarity comes from how we feel. This is where we need to be skilled in emotional self-awareness, emotional self-expression and emotional awareness of others. To clear the fog we need to know how we really feel and be prepared to express that in an appropriate way. We also need to recognize the emotions (or potential emotions) of others and how much impact they are having on us.
When we are clear about the outcome and the activities that will generate the outcome, then the only thing that can stop us is a lack of desire. In simple terms - if you don't do the actions, then you didn't want it enough. You let something get in the way.
You decided (consciously or subconsciously) that something else was more desirable at that point in time.
This is where many of us get caught up in the day-to-day. Often you don't consciously decide something else is more important, but you might as well have. In fact, I suggest you would be better off if you did consciously decide not to do something - at least that way you would be clearer about which direction you are heading.
Do you get caught in the day-to-day? Do you find yourself busy reacting to things, rather than consciously choosing the actions and direction you want to move in? If you were a ship would you stay on your charted course or are you sailing without a rudder, at the mercy of every change of wind and tide?
A lack of desire is usually associated with a lack of connection to the goal.
The connection comes from within and is heavily influenced by how you feel! Do you lack passion because it's not really your goal ("it's what Dad wanted me to do")? Do you feel more fear than excitement? Maybe you feel like you should have the goal rather than feeling inspired by your goal.
An emotionally intelligent individual is usually more aware of how they feel about their goals. This enables them to create goals they are emotionally connected to and this increases the action, progress and success. You achieve more in less time with what seems like less effort.
Time management skills questions for your self-development
In the next 24 hours, read this and other articles on time management. Then spend some time on these time activities:
Clarify your goals and values. Are you really clear about what they are and why you want them?
Stop at least twice a day and ask yourself:
- Am I really clear about what I want to achieve from the task I am doing?
- What level of desire (rating out of 10) would i give myself in relation to this outcome?
You will find that when you have clarity AND a desire 8/10 or higher you achieve more in less time with less effort!
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