Pigheaded Discipline or Flexibility?

February 6, 2019 | Leadership, Self Help, Time Management

Photo by Mark Cooke on Flickr

As I have posted before, I am in the midst of re-reading Chet Holmes: The Ultimate Sales Machine. While the book talks about how to increase sales through better prospecting and scripting, it first addresses time management and how to plan out your day.

A Life Long Student

I have long been a student on how to best manage time. I don’t believe tools such as google calendar, google tasks, or Microsoft Outlook are time management strategies. They are just tools. Since being in the workforce, I have used Franklin-Covey’s Planner and David Allen’s Getting Things Done. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. So I was eager to learn what Chet had to say about how to manage your day.

Chet’s Strategy

Chet talked about making a list of items you need to accomplish any given day. He also discussed assigning an amount of time to spend on each task. The book also spoke about planning your day with the tasks you identified and scheduling the most important thing (even if it was the least exciting thing) first. So if you had the job of “Write Blog Post” and you set aside one hour to do it, you would schedule that in your day. I should schedule checking email and making phone calls instead of doing it throughout the day. The goal is to do more proactive work in a day rather than reactive work.

A Dilemma

So far, his advice has increased productivity for me. However, there is still an idea I am having a hard time implementing. I am to identify six items I must get accomplished each day….no exceptions. He called it “pigheaded discipline”. I believe a set schedule, prioritization, and discipline are important. However, “pigheaded discipline” sounds too black and white to me. So what if a crisis comes up? Do we sacrifice other parts of our life for “pigheaded discipline”? Are we not allowed to spend time with our families? Am I not permitted to take care of myself by waiving exercise or abstaining from necessary sleep?

My Solution

I would say all of the above are necessary sometimes. However, I would not agree to this motto all of the time. Sometimes, it is ok to move those tasks to tomorrow. At least in my case, the key is that today doesn’t always turn into tomorrow. So I choose scheduling and prioritization and being disciplined in the process. I also resolve not to be rigid or continually ignore what I need and my family needs.

Soundoff: What has been the most effective tactic you’ve used to manage your time?

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