Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Time Management - I don't have time to write my speeches

"I don't have the time to write my next speech !"

This is the typical response that you get from toastmasters when you ask them "It has been months since you gave a speech in our club meetings. What happened?".

Everyone on this planet has the same 24 hours in the day. The question is: What do you choose to do with yours?. All of the self help books tell the same thing and the chances are, you might've already tried some of those things and given up already!
  • Get up early in the morning
  • Maintain a to-do list
  • Time each and every activity
  • Review your time usage regularly
  • Yada ... Yada... Yada...


I want to challenge the toastmasters who say ... "I don't have time to attend the club meetings... or I don't have time to write a speech script". You have the time with you. You just have not PRIORITIZED toastmasters in your life. You just have not PRIORITIZED your need for becoming a better speaker. In your packed day-to-day life, if your dear ones get sick... you manage to find time to take them to a hospital; if a relative/friend drops-in to your home and spends an hour or two, you are able to engage them; if your vehicle or home appliance needs a repair, you are able to find time to take it for service; if you get some illness and the doctor advice you to come for weekly check-ups, you manage to find time to go to hospital. How are you able to find time to do these activities?

The next time you say "I don't have time for doing this... or doing that", think whether you have really PRIORITIZED that activity in your life.

Are you spending your time on the right activities?

Another question that you should ask yourself, "Am I doing the activities that I'm supposed to do?". If you are working, calculate the value of your 1 hour time. If you are paid Rs.44,000 for a month (i.e., 22 working days), the cost of 1 hour of your time is Rs.250. Imagine that you spend an hour in going to bank for dropping a cheque. In today's world, you can easily outsource such activities for a very affordable cost. Many companies have "service desks" that help employees to outsource activities such as railway ticket booking, dropping a cheque in the bank, paying telephone/electricity bills etc., for a nominal charge of Rs.25.

Excellent time managers are good at delegating things. I'm sure you can be an excellent time manager, too.

Also read: Speech Topic selection Ideas

Use extra force to break old habits

Bringing a change into your life isn't very easy. Especially, the habits that were cultivated for a long time, take a long time to get rid off. What happens when you go to the battle field with a wooden stick, and your enemy has a machine gun in hand? The mechanism that you use to bring in a change has to be much more powerful and persistent. For ex., you cannot get up early in the morning when you consistently go to bed at 11 pm or midnight. Even if you try to get up early a few days, you are soon going to give up! So, what should you do differently. Look at ways of going to bed early. Have a determination that "no matter what", I'll go to bed early. Try practicing that for a month or two, until it becomes a habit. Once it becomes a habit, it will be hard to break :)

Also read: How to write attention grabbing introductions

Fellow toastmasters, life is too short to be wasted in doing things that are mundane. I'm sure you have a passion to follow in your life - may be traveling, blogging, serving society, starting your own company or becoming a better speaker. From President Obama ... to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam... all of them had the same 24 hours. How they used that time, made them what they are today. How do you want to use your time?