Time Management Perspective

This past Saturday, I was looking back in my journals from ten years ago, and reflecting how John and I were in such a different place in life. In 2011, I worked in an office attached to my home, and only had three staff members, one of whom worked part-time. Two of our children were in middle school, one was heading to college and our oldest daughter was a young adult beginning to navigate life. In my journal was the following note:

168 hours in a week
8 x 7 = 56 hours of sleep
112 hours a week remaining

I surmise I wrote this note whilst trying to balance everything and feel accomplished at the same time. That was one of the times in my life where I had no choice but to trust God for new mercies each morning. Being extremely action-and-results-oriented, and on the process side of communication style despite having a creative streak through me, I found all the emotions of the adolescent years quite challenging. As parents we want nothing but to please our children, and for them to be happy and healthy with the tools they need to live a fulfilling life. Yet, as you learn when they are adults, each child accepts your efforts from their own perspective.

It is the same with your employees and co-workers in the workplace. You may give your best to try to fulfill their needs, only to see their perspective on how well you are doing varies from your expectations. Eagle Management out of the United Kingdom explains time management and the different DiSC styles:

The D’s want to do it now because they tend to be more focused on getting results right away and getting it done fast. They are comfortable getting started right away and may occasionally ignore non-essentials. Many D’s are efficient at time-management because of their task-focused and fast-paced style, but we know D-styles are not always effective at managing their time because they might not always do the right things. The D’s, and I am one such person, may make more mistakes because they tend to overlook instructions and are more comfortable taking risks. Their short-term perspective may cause a diversion in their attention span. They want results now and can be prone to give up too soon.

The D’s can become more self-aware by practicing patience; hard though that may be. When the D-style is under pressure they are working hard to get things done. They may think they are managing their time well, but they may be able to perform better if they were to actually slow down a bit. They may feel comfortable getting started right away, but they may end up going in an entirely wrong direction and have to backtrack; I know how that feels!

The D’s may sometimes need to be aware to not abandon efforts too soon if they don’t see the results they want right away. In reality, ideas sometimes take a little longer to develop and grow. They need to consider others, who are part of the implementation of their ideas, who don’t always move at the same pace. Patience may sound counter-intuitive to D’s who want to get things done quickly, right? However, thinking about the steps needed and planning a little more can end up saving time and getting them to their desired results faster.

The I’s, like the D’s, can sometimes ignore unnecessary details and jump right in. Their focus on the future rather than the present means that they can start lots of things but finish few of them before they move onto something new. They tend to get excited and motivated by new things and ideas, but then the work begins. Every project and every task have those parts that are mundane and not exciting to them and so they may find their attention and enthusiasm begin to decrease.

They are good at getting others involved with their “we can get this done” attitude. However, their optimism can get them to over-commit and over-promise.

The I’s can improve their time management style by building their discipline. Rather than celebrating too early in their mind, they can start by practicing more discipline to see the idea through. While they may find this hard to do, they will have better managed their time and decreased their stress levels.

The S’s are comfortable when their environment is stable and secure. They are great team players who, with clear instructions, will complete tasks. We can trust them to stick to the plan and stay focused, even with repetitive tasks. The S’s, unlike the D’s and the I’s, tend to have longer-term perspectives of time and can be very persistent, completing the task in a consistent and methodical way.

The S’s understand that positive outcomes might take time to achieve, but that does not always work in their favor. They might improve their management of time, by occasionally jumping in and starting. They want to plan and have an idea about how things should happen. Consequently, they may end up thinking too much instead of just starting. If they just start, they may realize that it not as difficult as it originally seemed. They may be surprised that it didn’t take as long or was as hard as they thought it was going to be.

The C’s, like the S’s, also have a longer-term perspective because one of their key drivers is to do things correctly even if it takes more time. When they make decisions, they will want to take a lot of time to do their research and due diligence. While this might be frustrating for the D’s and the I’s, the C’s often make the ‘best’ decisions. Even then, they may feel the need to redo it if it isn’t correct. Disciplined C’s are comfortable staying focused for long periods of time. They do not want to make mistakes so they may double and triple-check things. They can get stuck in the details, and lose track of time and the big picture. They may become distracted when they encounter mistakes.

The C’s can enhance their time management by building their awareness of “good” versus “perfect.” They sometimes need to remember to balance things being good enough and always striving for perfection. Perfection takes a lot of time and it is not always attainable in results. The C’s could benefit from recognizing that they need to let go of some perfections and doing it very well is more than enough.[/vc_column_text]

Now keep in mind everyone has a mix of all four DiSC styles and individuals each have three or more prevalent priorities out of the eight priority scales.  We often see in interviews, conducted by a person with a D style personality, it may be as short as thirty-minutes, whereas someone with a C style needs a full hour to cover the same questions.  The D style may be missing detail or clarification and the C style may have gone into too much detail.  Two D styles communicating together in a room can produce results quickly and efficiently, yet if they don’t run the details of their plan by someone else, they could be headed for disaster.  A C style can be so caught up in detail they can lose vision towards results and time restrictions.

A few times when C personality styles who speak English as their second language have interviewed with dominant personalities, we have been questioned as to their ability to communicate in English.  We found this odd, but later discovered that their few second delay in order to process what was said led the dominant to conclude they had trouble with the language, when that result was not the case at all. They were taking time to give the answer they thought to be correct.

Looking back on time with my family, if I could do something differently, I probably would have made a more conscious effort to spend more one-on-one time with each daughter without the others accompanying us.  Each of them has different styles of communication and one on one time allows for two individuals to learn to adapt to the others styes better. Like styles tend to gravitate toward one another as often it is more relaxed.

Although I host weekly meetings with my team at FLCC and spend scheduled individual time with each of them at the office, we really have not made the time to meet outside the walls of business due to the coronavirus.  It’s time to do that again.

Who needs your one-on-one attention?

To Your 168 Hours a Week,

Suzanne Breistol


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