Center for Management Development
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Rutgers CMD

 

IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN: NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

By Donna C. Coulson, M.S., PCC

Psychologists say less than 25% of people stick to their New Year’s Resolutions. (Ian Sample, The Guardian, 12/27/2009). A whopping 78% focused on the downside of what they didn’t achieve--like giving up smoking, losing weight, or growing their business.

The first time I presented a workshop on managing time was more than 30 years ago. The basic principles remain immutable: know your goals, identify the work that has to be done to achieve your objectives, prioritize the tasks and activities, then implement the plan on a daily basis (the really hard part). The basic tools and techniques also remain the same from creating an annual plan, to creating the daily “to do” list, to keeping a time log to identify time use patterns and time wasters. So, how does a time management “expert” have a major “Aha! moment”? 

I’m really pleased to be an instructor for Rutgers CMD.  The workshop content I deliver is always fun to explore with attendees; we get into interesting discussions and they are always active participants.  Some of the most exciting discussions come in two workshops I facilitate: The Challenge of Leadership in the Leadership Development Series and Leadership: 360° Self Diagnostic in the Mid-Management Development curriculum.

"The best way to predict your future is to create it!" -  Peter Drucker

This is one of my most favorite quotes and I often use it in the discussions about leadership.  To me, as I have spent the past 25 years studying and positioning myself in the company of great leaders, this quote exemplifies what great leaders do. 

 

“Does't thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”  - Benjamin Franklin

Life can feel like it is zooming by at a hundred miles an hour. We have full task lists at work. Our houses need repairs. Children need to be chauffeured from one activity to another. We move quickly from one activity to the next without taking time to think about what we are doing. Before we know it, our stress levels are sky high and that can result in a number of health problems.

Have you ever wondered why it seems so natural to talk with some people and so difficult with others?  Have you noticed that some people seem to just “get” what you’re saying and others cannot relate? Ever feel like you and the other person are just speaking a different language?

Content marketing is more important than ever, and some would argue that it’s the most efficient way to boost your SEO these days. Content is also an excellent engagement vehicle. Furthermore, creating good content for your website, blog, and newsletter is key if you want to continue to attract customers to your digital assets.

I like asking workshop participants for their input on important leadership and teamwork content topics.  In-class “buzz group exercises” allow them to consider key questions, discuss and debate possible responses, and reach agreement.  I consider their output as evidence: real and valid input from people in organizations who have insights and opinions about leadership and teamwork.

Very often, a large and complex project will spark a debate pitting the 100% rule against the 80-20 rule.  Project team members or project owners will often cite one rule or the other as the reason to go in a particular direction, and more than once I’ve heard project members debate which rule should apply in a particular project.  Occasionally, someone will say, “Wait a minute; we spent a lot of time making sure we adhered to the 100% rule and now you’re pushing the 80-20 rule.”  But the 100% rule and the 80 – 20 rule are not really in conflict with one another.

 

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