Sunday, 12 October 2014

Schedule like the CEO

"Since I have started a family and know that I need to close the office doors sharp at 6, I have become far more productive than the times when I had every opportunity to sit there till late . . .
However, it doesn't deter me from going out of the way for a client in a different time zone or if a special request comes up"

--- Rohit Thakral
Target Integration Ltd.
Dublin, Ireland
It is boring for some, difficult for others but the bottom line is- To lead a more fulfilling and productive life, Scheduling is an absolute necessity. A lot of us might think that this is a very rigid, inflexible & boring way of living life- stuck in the same everyday routine of hourly tasks; but surprisingly- 'It is Not'. As a matter of fact, people who stick to a schedule and are good time managers are found to lead a far more fulfilling & successful life. The secret- "By staying completely focussed on the work at hand in that designated time, they reach a whole new level of mastery in performing & completing that task. Which leaves them with enough time for all the other things they want to pursue (like socializing)"
Of course it is important to be flexible to avoid monotony, to make space for personal commitments, special engagements or events which might suddenly pop up one morning; but compromising upon your priority list might not be a very good option to go about it.
The ability to say- "NO" also greatly helps in managing our time effectively and prioritizing our commitments. But isn't it rude?? Isn't it difficult to 'Refuse' a proposal, an invitation or even a project (which you know you won't be able to fulfil)- Probably Not! A recent article in the 'Business Insider' by Brian de Haaff recommends four ways that can help us become more comfortable while saying No. It says that if a person a) Has a well defined vision and a well structured priority list, b) Genuinely understands the other person's request and the reason behind it, c) Responds quickly to the request and above all d) Explains his/her point well; then there is an extremely less chance that his denial will be perceived in a negative manner. In fact, one of the important identifiers of the fact that you are surrounded by sensible friends and great business associates is that they value your time as much as they value theirs.
In my personal opinion, if there is a single quality that can help us become superb time managers and greatly improve the other avenues in our life, it is DISCIPLINE.  Leadership expert Jim Rohn has rightly said- “Disciplined action is what gives birth to ideas, enterprise and values". But why is it that we are always reluctant to inculcate Discipline in life? Majorly because the results are not immediately visible, but they surely lay a more permanent foundation for success & productivity. When we look at the best & the most productive professionals in the world like the best CEO's, best sales professionals, best consultants we look at the "End Result" & assume them to be 'Gifted'. But we ignore the amount of relentless effort, the amount of discipline that they have followed throughout their lives to be where they are.

Thakral's value for his time, perfect balance between work & family life as well as the ability to go out of the way for a client  reminds me of a superb quote from the Lead Without a Title philosophy- "A commitment to mastery doesn't close at 5 p.m.". (It is just that in his case, it is 6 p.m. !)
'Discipline & Effective Time Management' to 'Success & Productivity' is like 'Rhythm to Music'. Without proper rhythm, even the best composed piece of music would lose its lustre. Times are changing and so are people along with it; but sometimes following pre-modern rules of living is the best you can do. I decide to live in accordance with the age old saying of- "If you don't value time, time will not value you". What about you ? ? ? 
Aim for Nothing but the Peak!
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