Why time management is so crucial for business owners

Nov 5, 2020 | Uncategorized |

Peter Drucker once said, “Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed.” We could not say it better ourselves. Understanding why time management is important will change the way you look at your business and harness opportunities to increase your bottom line. To do so, we first need to understand time itself; 

 So firstly, “What is time?” Here is the definition of time in physics: 

“Time is defined by its measurement: time is what a clock reads. In classical, non-relative physics, it is “scalar” quantity (often denoted by the symbol) and, like length, mass, and charge, is usually described as a fundamental quantity.”” 

Secondly, “What is the concept of time?” (according to ScienceDaily): 

“An hour consists of a certain amount of minutes, a day consists of hours and a year of days. Time is represented through change, such as the circular motion of the Moon around the Earth. The passing of time is indeed closely connected to the concept of space.” 

We can see from the above definitions that it’s literally a science—all on its own—to define time as a substance or value. All I know is that time is fleeting and something we  cannot alter or change. We cannot add or subtract not even one second. 

We all have 86 400 seconds per day and that’s it – no more and no less! With this in mind, do we manage our time or does time manage us? If you really want to get the best out of your God-given-86 400-seconds, you MUST manage yourself in order to maximize your outcomes. 

The first historical account we have of time is in the Bible when God created day and night. As far as we know, time was first measured with the invention of sundials in ancient Egypt circa 1500 BC. Even then, the measurement of time was not the same as the methods we use to measure it today with clocks. The basic unit of measurement for a time then was the 12-hour periods of day and night. 

The big question then is “why do we value time?” Here are four points to take into consideration when planning to maximize your time management, not just in reaching your business goals but in any area of your life:  

  • Time is a commodity that we cannot get back once it is passed. As I am writing this the seconds are ticking by and all that remains for me is the document you are reading and the memory of writing it. So, if you do not use the time spent in your life on something worthwhile and productive, is it then fair to say that you have wasted the continuum called time? 
  • Effective time management is reliant on your ability to harness time. We easily say things like “time is money” or “time flies” or “time stands still” yet when we analyze our behavior we have to agree, that it is our daily activities that determine our ability to harness time effectively – or not. 
  • Time is infinite. Nothing is able to stop time and nobody can determine the end of time, nor can you determine the end of your own time on this planet. Make sure you use each second wisely.
  • Time relates to the Past, Present, and Future, yet we can only live in and influence the Present. The Present is shaped by the Past and the Future is shaped by the Present. 

“What you think of as the Past is a memory, stored in the mind of a former Now. When you remember the past, you reactivate a memory trace – and you do so Now. The Future is an imagined Now, a projection of the mind.” – The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle. 

The bottom line at the end of it all is that Time—for us all—will end. The only thing we are able to leave behind is the legacy of what we did with our time on earth. Will your remaining legacy be one of impact, success, and something that can empower others for generations to come, or will it be a few moments in time at the end of your life, filled with regrets and missed opportunities? 

Pieter Gruenbaum, ActionCOACH Business Coach
pietergruenbaum.actioncoach.com | pietergruenbaum@actioncoach.com 

Are leaders born?

Much has been written on the subject and assumes much more will be too. I actually want to tackle it from a different angle. When a child shows leadership ability it is fair to say they really do so naturally as they do not at that stage always possess the skill to do so effectively. Granted they create a following of friends, but to what means, and this is my question. Are they inspiring their followers (friends) to do better as a team or are they only doing it to further their own cause or goals? Keeping that in mind the question arises, are they managing their situation or are they leading?

As they mature during their scholastic years, they develop certain skills that are taught through leadership development classes, etc. Granted, certain children adapt to the learning of these skills easier than others and some are late bloomers as well. What is interesting though, is all along the skills to lead get developed, which means that you cannot just rely on your natural instincts to lead and create followers. Some leaders today will also tell you that they were not always comfortable in a leadership role, but due to their business growth and changes in their environment leadership skills were necessary to learn and hone.

Can a leader get away from just leading or does being a manager also feature in there somewhere? Can you separate the two? As a leader, you have a vision and purpose, which needs to be managed by setting goals. To achieve the vision and purpose you need to employ people, because most of the time you cannot achieve that on your own. Goals are put into an action plan and someone has to action that plan. As soon as that happens, managing people becomes part of your daily routine. Yes, you employ managers to do the managing for you, but who manages the managers? Now then a question arises on how do you manage and how do those reporting to you manage their subordinates? That is a different discussion. So, in the end, we are back to the child who wants to manage their own situation and bettering that, because isn’t that exactly what we are trying to achieve through managing our people?

To this answer the question of whether leaders are born, it stands out that as management skills are taught and developed over years of learning and practice and experience, the same applies for leadership. You have to learn new skills, gain experience by practicing those skills, and master the balance between being a manager and being a leader. In most businesses you cannot separate the two, because results are what we all strive and work for. That is the bottom line.

In conclusion. We are all born leaders. Some of us develop and learn the skills to further that and involve others to teach them the same skills because that is what leaders do. They develop others to be better than what they themselves are.

Pieter Gruenbaum (ActionCOACH)

Is coaching relevant?

A question I get asked a lot as a coach is: " As an MBA Graduate what can you as a coach teach me?"

Well, to answer this question will take a little bit of digging into what coaching really is. Now, I know many have written about the subject and I am certain many after this will write about it. Here is my take on coaching.

Coaching for me is divided into transformational and transactional coaching.

Let us look at transformational coaching first:

  • it is about transforming your way of thinking as a leader
  • it incorporates emotional intelligence or EQ for short
  • it is about knowing your strengths as a leader
  • it is about handling change and leading your people through the change - embracing change
  • it is about knowing your own why or purpose
  • it is about knowing who you are as a person - knowing your behavior styles and how they impact your decisionmaking
  • it is about vision and direction - where do you want to end up and what legacy do you want to leave
  • it is about impacting people and transforming them into leaders

And the list goes on and on. Where does coaching then fit into this as all of these mentioned states can be read about, videos can be watched on YouTube, seminars and virtual conferences can be attended, my colleagues and mentors give information and most of all your own experience and failures.

Through coaching all of these, let us call them experiences, are formed into new ways of thinking, doing things at a different level of consciousness, because someone with a different perspective and who is trustworthy, can ask the right questions for you to perform at that different level. Think of your experience after attending an awesome conference or seminar and how hyped you were after that for a few days, maybe weeks, and then you lost the supposed impetus it must have had on your business. That is human because as soon as the heat comes on we go back to what we know best and sadly that is going back to the previous ways of doing. Thus, back keeping on doing what you were doing and getting the same results. Coaching helps you through that period and helps you to create that new habit because a coach holds you accountable for your goals you have set out to achieve.

Does your MBA or B.Sc degree or experience give you this?

Transactional coaching:

  • it is about goals and planning
  • it is about making a profit
  • it is about marketing
  • it is about sales
  • it is about systems and technology
  • it is about your team
  • it is about clients and service
  • it is about delivering your product and/or service consistently
  • it is about building a commercial, profitable enterprise that can work without you.

And, there are many more facets of a business.

Once again, all these facets can be taught and your MBA has done so, also your experience as a businessman or leader. Through coaching all these aspects, and there are many more, gets you to set those targets/goals for every department in your business. Guides your knowledge and experience and that of your team to become a winning combination. Coaching helps to guide you through crises and gives you different perspectives to consider. Coaching helps to revitalize your thinking and transforms the way you do things for yourself and your team. A great coaching company will have all the intellectual property gathered over many years and with many coaches' experience, to let you rise above the rest. All highly successful teams and individuals in sport has a trained and experienced coach or coaches on their team. A coach will hold you accountable for your actions.

Does your MBA or B.Sc degree or experience give you this?

In conclusion. Coaching is far more than just teaching. It is a lifestyle for being successful.

Pieter Gruenbaum ( ActionCOACH )


Seasons of life by Pieter Gruenbaum 

I think everyone, who reads this blog, will agree that overall we are in a winter period or entering such a period with lockdown restrictions, economic downturn, death rates escalating, third-wave panic, even more restrictions, and just negative talks all around. Everybody has got someone that has Covid or has had Covid or is in self-isolation because they were in contact with someone with Covid. Am I sketching the right, bleak, wintery picture here? Can you feel the cold clutches of fear and despair around you? 

I want to tell you a true story about my niece. She grew up in Germany as a Jewish girl in a very close-knit family in the 1920's. Her father had his own business and also was a war veteran of the 1st World War. He in actual fact, with his brothers, received the Iron Cross for bravery in Germany, because of their endeavors during the war. Then in 1929, the Great Depression hit and within 2 years they lost their business and income. Money was worth nothing and her father could not find a job to support his family, which now included her 3-year-old brother, who she adored. This was the beginning of her autumn.  

During this time, she started attending school and for the first time came in contact with anti-Semitism, which she did not understand, but made some good friends, but because of her dedication and being gifted, she skipped a standard to be confronted with new beginnings and no friends. Just as she settled in, they emigrated to the Netherlands, because of Naziism and her parents wanted a better life for them. Does this sound familiar? Don't we always look for a way out of a difficult, unbearable situation? 

So, the next chapter of her autumn began as she lost her father due to illness. She had to leave school at the age of sixteen to help support her mother and brother during which time they were earmarked by the Nazis. Their movement and livelihood became under severe attack and in 1942 her grandmother was transported to Auschwitz. That was the last she saw her. It wasn't long after that before she, her mother and brother was also captured and sent to concentration camps. She was now 21 and her brother was only 14 years old. This was the beginning of her winter. 

She was left alone when her mother was sent to Auschwitz because her brother was in a different camp being a man. She never saw any of them again. She got a break and started to work in a factory that made electrical components to support the war efforts. By no means was this a cushy job. All the woman had their dignity stripped from them, having to wear the rags that was supplied as well as not having decent woman-stuff. They only had cold water to wash with and food was mediocre to say the least. The scary fact is that none of them had any, I say again, any choice. They were forced into every situation, whether they liked it or not. 

All the time there was this real thread that she at any time could be called for Auschwitz, which then happened. Imagine the fear and anxiety! Arriving there they stripped naked and had to endure the humiliation of having nothing. Nothing to eat or drink for days, no clothes, no expectation or hope that somewhere there is an outcome. She had no choice! She was numbered like an animal to be taken to slaughter. Then, a few days later she was loaded in a cattle truck again and transported to a different camp, because of the skills she learned, to make electrical components again. A broken one could say. A glimmer of hope, but still she had no choice in the matter. This camp was bombarded by the Allies and they had to endure a grueling 100km hike with no shoes, no blankets only the rags they wore through snow and mud. They were forced to travel the distance in only 4 days, with very little food or drink in harsh winter conditions. Yet she survived. A few months later the war ended and she was sent to Sweden where she got medical care and clothes and food. We can say her spring started. She could make choices again.  

For us it is different. Although we are in adverse conditions and circumstances, we have choices. We can't choose to wear a mask, but we can choose to sanitize or isolate or we can be ignorant. These are only a few of our choices. What choices can you make even under these wintery conditions to influence our next season, which is definitely spring and then summer again? Choose well, my friend! 

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