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#566: Capture the Benefits of a Sense of Urgency

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Monday, May 16, 2011
Updated: Monday, May 16, 2011
Having left a large consulting firm to start my own practice, I spend a lot of time doing things I never had to do before, incuding administration. Is it just a more efficient use of time to be in a (scalable?) larger firm?

One of the great things about being an independent consultant is that we have a lot of control over our time. At some point in our career, we can take the clients we want and negotiate our schedules. The opportunity of flexibility is not an obligation to waste time. Precisely because you have control of time means you should treat it as a precious commodity. Consultants, and managers, who respect time make steady progress against their goals by using it well.

As the expression goes, hard work always beats talent that doesn't work hard. The same is true of people who use time as well as their talent. Those with a sense of urgency will get started, and get finished, with their work sooner and accomplish more.

Make this sense of urgency a habit and a develop a reputation with others for using your, and their, time wisely. Prepare your daily, weekly and project schedules to make the best use of time and regularly evaluate and revise them. Expect that those with whom you work also treat time with respect, especially yours. Ask for updates to their schedules and what they think may put them off schedule. Always remember that time wasted is time gone forever.

Tip: Give the gift of time to others. Think of ways you can save others time in your interactions with them. Suggest ways of combining tasks or running them in parallel. Offer to provide a service for someone to save them time or suggest a process for saving time. There is no greater gift.

© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  consulting colleagues  goodwill  performance improvement  reputation  time management  values  your consulting practice 

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Brenda Thompson says...
Posted Tuesday, May 17, 2011
As someone who was a "virtual administrative assistant" for 10 years, I can also recommend that you find an excellent admin to help you with some of these tasks. I have not done that for about 5 years now, but I would imagine that, with unemployment rates being what they are, you could find someone who does admin work fairly easily. I recommend using LinkedIn or the grapevine to find someone.
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