Don’t Let Time Slip Away

Time management is something that we all hear about. It may even be one of your new year’s resolutions. While most people can agree that it means to manage your time wisely, few people implement it in the same way.

The most important thing I learned from my first job out of college was time management. When I was first hired, I was sent to a Franklin Covey time management class. While I had considered myself to be a great multi-tasker and a good manager of my time (I had worked two part-time jobs while taking a full load of classes in college and planned my own medium-sized wedding my senior year), this class changed the way I approached work. My job was to run the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year and my goal was to raise $300,000. I raised more than $400,000, and I credit the Franklin Covey system with helping me do this. I’ve continued to use this system in my professional life.

During the workshop I attended, most of the day was devoted to learning about efficiency quadrants and how living in the quadrant where you put out fires all day is not efficient. After you learn their principles, it makes sense and intuitively, you probably already know a lot of it. However, they teach you how to take those principles and use them effectively.

One of the key’s to the Franklin Covey system is having everything in one place. Using their planner, I had a place to make a list of everything I needed to do that day. If someone called, I had a place to take down their name and some notes on the conversation. I took this everywhere I went. Let’s just say this was way before smart phones.

Their system drills down into the importance of prioritization and asks you to sit down at the beginning of each day to plan and rate the things you have to accomplish. It also teaches you how to carry unaccomplished tasks forward, because there are many things that are lower on your to-do list than others. Some have to be done today, while others can wait.

Today, Franklin Covey has diversified their time management offerings, and I’m sure I could even benefit from a refresher. But, I can tell you that if you decide to take one of their courses, you will not be disappointed.

Most similar to the class I took is their 5 Choices seminar, which is offered in a one-day or two-day workshop. They no longer teach you to use their planner because so many people use some form of technology to run their lives. Since you can program your iPhone to remind you to do something when you get somewhere, this makes sense. Franklin Covey also offers a condensed two-hour webinar that offers the same principles in a condensed version.

If you use Microsoft Outlook, IBM Lotus Notes, or a BlackBerry, Franklin Covey offers time management instruction through a two-hour webinar for each of those. Currently, they don’t offer a separate class for iPhone, but I’m told that they discuss using your iPhone in their 5 Choices workshop.

There are multiple systems out there to help you manage your time better. While I’m sure many of them are wonderful, Franklin Covey is the only one I’ve used and can therefore recommend. However, I will also recommend an article, “10 Time Management Tips That Work,” that is compatible with many of the principles that I learned from Franklin Covey. It claims in the beginning that the classes don’t work. While I disagree with that, I found his tips for a more productive day to be helpful. The article can be found at

Using these principles and tips, you can become more productive during your day. You will become the master of your time. As the saying goes, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”

You can find more information on Franklin Covey and their different workshops at

Story by Jennifer Taylor