What is time management? the sixty-four-million-dollar question. Before we can answer that question it’s important to understand that time management is a misleading description of a common problem. When most people ask the question what is time management? They are usually looking for a solution to a percieved shortage of time, and the way to deal with that issue is to icrease ones ability and willingness to manage yourself better. Unless you acknowledge that you are fully responsible for your own actions, you will never achieve what you want within the time you have available.
Time has no favourites
Time is the only aspect of our lives where it can be said that we are all treated equally. It is possibly the only thing in life that isn’t subject to recession, interest rates, inflation or government intervention. You can’t trade it on the stock market, or save it for a rainy day. When the clock strikes midnight, it doesn’t matter who you are or how you spent your time prior to that point, you like everyone else in the world (health permitting) will be given another 24 hours to work with.
So why is it that some people seem to achieve extraordinary successes on a regular basis, while others appear to be equally busy but get nowhere near the levels of achievement they would like? And why is it that others seem able to match your level of performance and yet still have time to take a leisurely lunch hour and leave work on-time every evening, apparently “stress-free”?
In essence, time management is nothing more simple than achieving. Whether this is over a long period of time or within the next hour is dependent on what you want. If only life was that simple.
Time management is as easy or difficult as you want to make it.
The key word is control. To what extent you are really serious about managing your time and therefore your life. In many cases, individuals expect someone to ‘teach’ them how to manage their time and wave a wand that will magically deliver the secret of life!!
The desire to manage your time and become more effective both personally and professionally, is entirely based upon your attitude, and to what extent you are prepared to grasp the nettle and do something about what to many is an increasingly frustrating problem.
It is only once you have taken this decision can you start to think about how you are going to do it practically in both your work and home life.
We have time for anything, but not everything! It is not time we are short of; it is how we choose to consume it which requires attention.
So how do I answer the question what is time management?
Essentially time management is a behaviour around which skills can and should be learnt and can be viewed as taking action:
- For the right reason (because it is linked to a goal or objective).
- At the right time (by prioritising).
- In the right way (within a system that works for you).
Look out for future articles that will discuss these areas in more detail
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Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor