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Utilize Your 24 to Be a Better Leader

Time. We all have the same amount of time in a day: 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds. Yet, some leaders seem to utilize their 24 hours to be a better leader than than the rest of us.

frankieleon via Compfight cc

What is the reason some people are able to accomplish more in a day? It’s simple.

Time management.

And a little organization.

Time Management

Time management is defined as the ability to plan and control how you spend the hours in your day to effectively accomplish your goals.

As I too only have a certain amount of time in my day, I make sure to utilize every minute. From the time I wake up until I go to sleep, I have my time intentionally scheduled. Not every scheduled minute is what some may call “productive time.” I make sure to schedule times of rest and spending intentional time with my family. I make sure to plan out the things that are important, and non-urgent, into my day.

In the past, I have utilized my break and lunch time to maximize my time. I walked on my morning break, wrote during lunch, and read during the afternoon break.  That allowed me to spend time with my family in the evenings. Once the kids went to bed, I set aside time to read, write, spend time with my husband, or spend time with friends.

That looks different now. Each week, I sit down and plan out my week. I first put in the standing information, any appointments and when to times to pick up my kids. Then I fill in what I am doing the other times, including when I am going to work out, when I am going to work on my book, the most recent class at the local university I am teaching, or my other business. I have found if I don’t have a plan in place, then it does not happen.

As a leader, you are most likely pulled in every which direction. Learning to plan out your week allows you to spend time focusing on the important items in your organization. Vision casting, goal planning, and the future. If you don’t plan, then you will constantly be bombarded with the urgent matters that arise in your organization. Focusing on the urgent doesn’t allow you to invest in your employees to raise up the next generation of leaders.

If you aren’t sure how you are spending your time at work and home, then that is where you have to start.

Here are 5 steps to maximize your time as a Leader:

  1. Where do you spend your time?

Use this time blocking document to notate where you are spending your time. It is set up to be used in hour or half hour increments. This is a tool to help you, not to hinder you. If you forget to write something down, do not worry. Utilize this tool to the best of your ability. The more effort you put into the exercise, the better you can accurately determine where you spend your time.

  1.  Review the document.

Look at your week.  Are there specific trends? Are there certain times of the day you check email or simply zone out? Are you more productive in the morning or afternoon? When is the best time to schedule meetings?

  1. Decide what is a waste of time and what is important.

What did you do in your week that you felt accomplished in doing and were proud of? What in your week can you not believe you spent time doing? Decide which activities you participated in are of importance and which are a waste of time.

  1. Think about your goals and priorities as a leader.

Did the time you spent during the week help you move closer to your goals and keep your priorities in line? Often, I find myself checking emails instead of working on what is going to move me forward in my business. I get stuck on the doing. I like to feel like I achieved something. But achieving does not put me closer to my goals if I am working on the wrong task.

You need to schedule the tasks that move you towards your goals and priorities.

  1. Create a schedule

Create a schedule that includes tasks to be completed for yourself as a leader, your organization, your up and coming leaders, people to be with, and the hobbies that are most important to you. Your calendar is to be used as a guide. It includes the important and urgent for work and your personal life, as well as the non-important and non-urgent. It is to help you maximize your time.

I’ve learned that if I do not schedule certain tasks, then they are not accomplished. I have learned that if it is a priority, then I have to schedule it.

Scheduling ensures I have planned my time according to my priorities. Click To Tweet

Some may say by scheduling out my time I’m not leaving room for margin or spontaneity, but I schedule out margin as well. There will always be certain things that trump my calendar. By scheduling out my day and week, I have a plan in place, and I get 85% of what I have scheduled accomplished.

And the other 15%?

Life happened.

Do you schedule out your time? If so, what do you normally put in your calendar?


Stephanie_small (1)

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on TwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn.

Stephanie German is a leadership coach, adjunct professor, and dedicated work-from-home mom. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and is the chair of the Red Shoe Society Central Valley (Ronald McDonald House guild). When she’s not coaching clients or writing about leadership, Stephanie is usually headed to the mountains or the beach with her family, drinking savory wine, or working on the latest project with her husband. Stephanie’s greatest desires are to nurture the next generation of leaders while raising her own children to be strong, independent, and brave. She lives in Fresno, California with her husband Blake and her three spunky daughters, Cara, Kinsey, and Peyton. She is the author of So Your Boss Can’t Lead?

What is a Coach?

“I’m a life coach.”

I sometimes shudder when I hear this statement. I heard someone say this recently but since I overheard it from another table, I decided not to interject in the conversation. Being a coach these days is used flippantly.

While there are many coaching certification programs, the profession of coaching does not have any regulations. What does this mean? Anyone can call themselves a coach. During graduate school, I was trained under the Core Competencies of the International Coach Federation, which is as close to a standard currently in the profession of coaching.

There is a skill set associated with coaching. It is not only about encouraging. Sometimes, a coach must call out the hard stuff or lack of action in order to keep the client accountable to the goals they set. It is having the ability to be an active listener, asking powerful questions, hearing what is not being said outright, and communicate those truths back to the client.

Coaching is about maximizing your potential. Seeing the vision and helping you get there.

What exactly is coaching?

Coaching is about maximizing your potential as an individual while utilizing the gifts and abilities you have been given. In this professional relationship, the coach helps the client achieve extraordinary results in the areas of their life that are important to them, whether that be relationships, business, or taking care of themselves.

A coach will help you move beyond the mediocrity of your current situation. We often get stuck in our own head, putting limitations on what you can achieve in life.  A coach draws out what is inside of you that you didn’t even know was there. A coach helps you discover what needs to be changed, and then helps you come up with a plan to make those changes. Without a coach, you will never become the best you that you can be.

In the simplest terms, coaching is a client-centered relationship based upon goals set by the client. The coach acts as a facilitator, sounding board, and provides accountability to help the client achieve success.

Effectiveness and Importance of Hiring a Coach

No great athlete has become the best they can be on their own. They always have a coach pushing them towards greatness. The athlete understands they must be ever learning and changing to become better. There is no athlete or team who is without a coach. The coach sees the larger picture while the athlete can only see what is in his scope, including position on the team and mindset.

This is the same for a life coach. A life coach enters into the relationship with the best interest of the client, helping them see the larger picture. The coach is able to see the larger picture due to the fact that they are not in the midst of the current situation. To help understand your situation, questions should be asked that bring moments of clarity and the “aha” moments to get you moving forward.

Coaching is about expanding your capacity as an individual.

Coaching is about expanding your capacity as an individual. Click To Tweet

If you are in a place in life where you are stuck, hiring a coach may be the next step you need to take.

I would be honored to help you sort through what is important to you and how you can make the changes necessary to get from here to there, to live your best life now. You only have one life to live.

Why not you? Why not now?

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

P.S.-If you would like more information on the coaching relationship, send me an email at stephanie @ stephaniegerman (dot) com. You can check out my coaching page here

I’d love to continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on TwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn.

Why Your New Year’s Resolution Will Fail

The New Year’s Resolution. The time of year that everyone sits down, writes unattainable wishes, and then forgets about them by the time February hits.

I’ve already seen those that consistently go to the gym complain about the New Year’s Resolution crowd that is sure to join them starting today, Monday.

I’ve been there. I know you have been there.

You have the best of intentions and you just know that this is your year. You are going to achieve your resolution.

In the past, I was the same way. One year I decided I was going to work out 6 days a week and was going to stop eating fast food as much. Yet when the time came to make that change, I did not have the structure in place to achieve those goals.

If you are like me, then you have had the following New Year’s Resolutions:

-Lose 10 lbs.

-Write a book.

-Be more intentional with your significant other.

-Be more intentional with your kids.

-Not have your phone in your hands certain times of day.

The New Year is a great time to for a fresh start. A clean slate, a new calendar, new goals.

The New Year is a great time to for a fresh start. A clean slate, a new calendar, new goals. Click To Tweet

Why Your New Year's Resolution Will

It’s not that you don’t want to be successful. You made the resolution for a reason, on some level it is important to you. Yet when it comes down to it, only 8% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions are successful in achieving their resolution.

The odds are not in your favor friend.

Only 8% of those who set NY Resolutions will achieve them. Click To Tweet

What normally happens is you are super excited and in that excitement to make healthy changes, you plan to do too much or don’t have the structure in place to achieve your goals. You might not pace yourself, making incremental changes that lead to lasting change, so the changes you do make you are not able to sustain for the long haul.

The reality is you have created habits over a lifetime. When you are trying to change those habits, it takes purposeful planning and attainable action steps.

Another reason you may not be successful is you may not have told anyone your goals. If no one knows your goals, they can’t keep you accountable. To achieve a resolution you have to put structures in place in your daily life.

While many will not achieve their New Year’s resolutions, you can defy the odds.

Here are 4 steps you can take to help your New Year’s resolutions become a normal part of your daily life.

Write Out Your Goals and Your Why

Goals are great. We love hearing an inspirational quote about achieving goals. These are some of my favorite quotes:

“Don’t let life change your goals. Achieving your goals can change your life.”

“Action without planning is fatal, but planning without action is futile”

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Henry David Thoreau

Feel inspired? I know I do. The reality is that goals are great, but if you don’t have a reason as to why you have set the goal, you won’t achieve it. You will have a set back or hit a bump in the road, and you’ll give up.

When you write out your goals, make sure you follow the SMART model. Is your goal Specific? Is it Measurable? Is it Attainable? Is it Relevant? Do you have a Time when you will complete it?

Action: Write out your goals and your compelling why. Also, set an initial deadline for your goals.

Tell Someone Your Goals

Rarely is anything achieved when it is kept to oneself. We need encouragement and accountability from one another. When it comes down to it, when it starts to become difficult, we need others to kick our butts back into gear.

Action: Tell two people your goals

Create Action Steps and Put it in Your Calendar

Goals will stay goals on a piece of paper unless you create action steps. The action steps that you create need to be specific to your goal.

Want to lose weight? Then you must decide how you are going to work out and when you are going to work out. And then make appointments with yourself in your calendar.

Want to write a book? You have to put all of the pieces together, from research, to development, to time to write.

Want to spend more time with your kids? Decide what that really means to you, then come up with a plan.

Knowing how you are going to get from point A to point B is the only way you will achieve your goals.

Action: Create appointments with yourself as to when you will work on your goals and what you will do during that time.

Hire a Coach

Sometimes, no matter what you try to do on your own, you just will not achieve your goals. This is where hiring a coach comes in.

Often the very thing you need is a person who is far enough from your current circumstance to ask the right questions to help you gain a greater level of self-awareness to set the right goals with the action plan that you need. These insightful conversations will leave you with concrete action steps to take before your next coaching appointment.

You would hire a coach to help you achieve your weight loss goals at the gym, why not hire a coach to help you achieve other goals that are important to you?

If you want to achieve your goals but aren’t sure how to get from A to B, then its time to connect with a coach.

Action: Hire a coach.

You can be a part of the 8%. It won’t always be easy; in fact, it will get to the point where you will want to quit. But don’t. Don’t give up on what you wanted. Look at your Why. Remind yourself why you set that goal to begin with. It takes courage to make a goal, tell someone, and then chase after it.

What are some New Year’s Resolutions that you have set in the past but failed in accomplishing? See mine in the comments below!

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on TwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn.