In his terrific TED Talk, Rory Vaden makes the point that there is nothing we can do to stop the passage of time; therefore, there is no such thing as time management, only self-management.
I have fallen in love with this term because it so elegantly sums up the struggle we all face every day in order to be successful in our careers, and with our families. Self-management goes further however than simply getting more done in less time. If we manage ourselves effectively, it can also be the golden ticket to developing real charisma.
Here are three ways that I believe you can develop your charisma through self-management:
Be Ruthless With Your Time
One of the greatest men I’ve ever worked for always said that if you aren’t ruthless with your time, you’ll end up being ruthless with people. This is a very true statement. We’re all given the same 1440 minutes every day. Some people make those minutes work and others let them slip away but when they’re gone, they are gone for good.
Charismatic people are able to invest time in relationships because they have systems for dealing with the tasks and events of their lives. Look at your calendar. If it’s empty, you’re probably running from fire to fire with little time for the people in your life. Take control, use the best tools available to you and block time for your tasks. Be ruthless with your schedule in order to create time for people.
Manage Your Attention
The key to being charming is being present. Unfortunately, our world has more distractions now than it ever has. It used to be that we looked past the person talking to us, now we look at our phones.
Being charismatic means making people feel as if they are the most important people that we can be engaged with at that particular moment. This means managing our attention. Develop the discipline to stay off your phone. Develop a system to record your random thoughts so that when you’re listening, you aren’t thinking about the things you have to do. Develop the habit of looking the person speaking to you in the eye. Giving your attention makes you interesting and interesting people are charismatic.
Manage Your Energy
Have you ever met a charismatic person with low energy? Me either. Charismatic people exude a kind of contagiously high level energy. They seem to be high on life and others can’t help but to be impressed. High energy isn’t a natural state for everyone however. The good news is that it can be developed with self-management.
I will admit that when I weighed 325 pounds, I wasn’t the most energetic kid on the block. I didn’t deserve to be. When you fuel up with gas station hotdogs and Coca-Cola, you tend to crash quickly. It takes self-management to control your blood sugar. It takes self-management to make sleep a priority and it takes self-management to avoid burn out by taking strategic breaks throughout the day. There is no question that I am a lot more energetic now that I’m a hundred pounds lighter and I know that it has helped me become more charismatic as a side benefit.
Cary Grant once said that “everyone wants to Cary Grant, even I want to be Cary Grant.” What he meant was that everyone thought that being debonair and charismatic came easily to him but in fact it took a hell of a lot of work to be that handsome and charming. You probably weren’t born with Cary Grant’s look but by managing yourself to be ruthless with you time, managing your attention and managing your energy, you can be every bit as charismatic.