Time Management: “Trying to Teach the Pig to Sing…”

j0384830This is a phrase I use with our team regarding Time Management and Focus.  It comes from the country* saying…

“It’s like tryin to teach the pig to sing… it just wastes your time and annoys the pig.”

One of the skill areas I am focusing on for myself is improving time management and prioritization.  This is important to me and will help my clients, our projects and our firm.

And yet there are so many wastes of time in every industry… and our lives. 

One waste of time are people in meetings that feel the need to speak up without anything constructive to add.  It is okay to be silent.  Really. 

Another big wastes are continued discussions on decisions that have already been made.  For example, if a proposed solution is really good but has a true fatal flaw that means it cannot be used, move on.  Continuing to consider and analyze a solution that cannot be used wastes time that could be used on a real solution.

And another example is in real estate.  My personal belief is that over-priced houses are such a waste of everyone’s time.  Are you really selling or just fishing? 

Bad cold calls are another waste. If you can’t get me interested in 30 seconds, then please take some classes.  Not all calls are something I am interested in but you might still be interesting or of value to someone I know.  But come on…. be interesting and interested.

Look around and you can see that many successful people are either inherently skilled or, more likely, have developed their focus skills.   We can all practice and improve our own skills in these areas and it does yield better results!

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* In the interest of full disclosure, I grew up in Bear Creek, a town of about 1,000 people (pigs are not counted) in rural Northwest Alabama.

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About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.