If we had to reduce the mission statement (or vision statement) of any manager or leader to only two words, it would be to control events. Simply stated, if we are not controlling events, then they will be controlling us. There is no third alternative!
Many of us begin by trying to efficiently manage our time. William Oncken, Jr. (1912-1988), who created his unique MMT philosophy and its humorous and down-to-earth imagery in 1960, believed that efficiency — the “daily diary” approach to time management — is useful only after you’re in control of your time in the first place.
But as you know, each day brings many unexpected interruptions, sometimes so many that you may not get around to doing what you were planning to do. Of course, handling those interruptions is part of your job; how you handle them determines whether or not you are in control or whether events are controlling you.
For example, suppose you have a deadline to meet for a project and you plan to spend the whole day working on it, then your boss calls you in for a three-hour meeting to discuss the status of another project. What happens to your plan? Or suppose a peer or one of your staff members comes to you with an urgent problem, which you know you must take care of right away to avert a disaster.
In these cases, someone else is determining what you do and when you do it, no matter what you had planned. And in the case of the peer or staff member, you might even be doing something that isn’t your job to do. Of course, in neither of those cases could you refuse to cooperate on the grounds that you have a plan and must stick to it. That would hurt your organization. And when you do something that’s bad for your organization, it’s also bad for your career.
You’re caught in a paradox - organizational management versus time management. You need to maintain good relations with the people you work with to do your job effectively, but they are precisely the source of the interruptions in which can prevent you from doing your job. That paradox is the basis of the Oncken MMT Philosophy.
Our Invitation To You
To make our Managing Management Time™ ( MMT) philosophy an integral part of your organizational culture, contact us about conducting an on-site Seminar at your company location. We also invite you check out the follow-up training available to graduates of our MMT Seminar.