Stop managing time and start managing performance

Every day, see how good you can become at focusing on what is right now. Some days are easier than others but every day you get the chance to get better at this key skill.

Ever since people started doing work they’ve felt there’s not enough time to get everything done that needs doing. If you only focus on time management, it’ll make things worse!

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What goes on

People worry about not having enough time to get everything done. Every day becomes a challenge to get through the to-do list. People tell us the pressure to manage time is never-ending. If you had a coach supporting you every day, things would feel different. You’d be focusing every day on what matters most for achieving success. Your coach would keep you focused on what is “right now”. That would be a game changer for most people. Simple, not easy.

Five performance truths

The brutal reality of high performance life – this is what you need to know

  1. Time management has been around for a long time, but it’s not helped people feel free of pressure and consistently successful.
  2. Time management sells an idea of finding ‘the system’ that will stop you having to worry about getting stuff done. That doesn’t exist – any system requires disciplined use and that’s what we know is essential
  3. People who keep a picture of success in mind, checking in with it regularly, worry less about managing time on a day-to-day basis . They’re more focused on getting the right things done.
  4. Managing energy and managing where you focus your energy are qualities to focus on more of the time. That’s how to get great at managing time!
  5. Performance has different phases, so having a single time-management approach that works perfectly for every day, week or month is unrealistic.

Three things to do

  1. Make sure you’ve got a clear picture of success for anything that you’re working on rather than simply being overwhelmed by an enormous to-do-list that isn’t really focused on an end-game.
  2. Get really good at practicing “right now” thinking – “Given the success I’m trying to achieve what is ‘right now’?.” It’s a great question. Think about it, then choose where you’re going to focus your energy.
  3. Stop worrying about becoming an expert time manager and start regularly checking in with how consistently you’re making progress towards your short, medium or long term picture of success.


Frederica’s story

Frederica worked in a busy finance department and regularly had incredibly long to-do-lists and a sense of not having enough time to get everything done before the next important financial deadline.

During a K2 Performance and Motivation Masterclass, Frederica spoke with the coach running the session about feeling out of control and needing to manage her time better. The coach suggested some alternative ways of thinking in the session and sent through some helpful materials afterwards.

This helped Frederica to build a Performance Calendar that set out 12 months in advance, all of her ‘key performance moments’ or fixtures. For each, she was asked to describe a picture of success, as well as the key skills and knowledge she had that meant she’d be able to achieve the success. Frederica was also asked to put on the calendar the regular tasks that needed doing to help deliver the picture of success, as well as the one-off tasks that would need completing.

The Performance Calendar, when completed, gave Frederica a different attitude towards her work. She was able to consistently focus on building up to key performance moments as well as possible, as well as being able to see how to fit in ‘surprised’ fixtures when they presented themselves. Instead of having a sense of counting down to deadlines, Frederica became more focused on ‘building up’ to key performance moments. The shift in approach helped her feel more in control more of the time. Frederica stopped worrying about managing time and became much more focused on being ready to perform and get key tasks delivered as a priority. She’s also started to crochet and is currently knitting a beanie for her dog.