Is Time Management an Oxymoron?
Is Time Management an oxymoron? Can you really manage time? Time marches on its own schedule, whether you like it or not, with or without you. You can’t manage time, but you can manage yourself, and what you do with your time. As your single most valuable resource, successfully leveraging time is critical to your success.
You can always make more money but you can’t make more time.
As you look at what you do with your most precious commodity, it only makes sense to start with the end in mind. Why is that important? Simply put – if you do not have a clear vision or goals in life or in business – then time management really becomes pointless. In other words, if you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there, and what you do with your time doesn’t matter.
I did a seminar for NAWBO yesterday on TimeWise – how to properly invest your time, and it reminded me of how extremely valuable it is to master getting the best results from the investment of your time. There are tremendous tools and techniques for mastering it that most people don’t know about, or don’t use. So I’ve decided to do a series on the subject, this is part 1.
STEP ONE: DESTINATION – Where are you going?
A key element to develop effective time management is Vision. I know many people (and I’m sure you do as well) that waste so much precious time because they have little sense of purpose and vision. Therefore, they are doomed to live life, day to day, getting pulled this way and that, taking what comes and missing the possibilities that exist. Clarity is the most important concept when it comes to vision and personal productivity. The key reason why some people achieve more in a day than others (all things being equal) is due to the fact that they have complete clarity on their goals and objectives and don’t deviate from them. The discipline of clarity prevents procrastination and provides the focus and motivation that propels individuals to reach their dreams.
Let’s define vision. Vision can be described as your ideal state (for your life, business, career, etc.) in 1, 5, 10, 20 years and beyond. You should be able to picture this vision with absolute clarity and describe it with precise detail. The more clarity you have with your vision, the more motivation and focus you will have in your life. Commit to spending 2 hours developing and writing down, or drawing, your vision.
Having this clear vision will help you determine what you must do today in order to achieve what you want tomorrow. Once you have established a clear vision, it’s imperative to develop the goals that will help you achieve that vision. While vision is the destination, goals are the short and long-term milestones along the path that get you closer and closer to achieving your ultimate vision.
Do you have written goals for your life and your business? Next week I will talk more about setting goals. For today, focus on Vision, and developing a mindset of control over how you invest your time. You are responsible for how you choose to use your time. Its not anyone else’s fault, if you allow unimportant interruptions in your day, its your fault.
Developing the vision, and the right mindset and proper attitude sets the stage for creating effective time management habits and disciplines. Many of us feel chaos in our lives because we have not established the fundamental disciplines of time investment. You have to first believe your situation can change and that you have the power to overcome your ingrained habits. Once you have a firm desire and make the conscious decision to get control of your actions and behavior, you will then be open and prepared to learn and embrace the key disciplines and tools of effective time investment.
Where are you going?
Lisa Walker is a Certified Business Coach with ActionCOACH, the World’s #1 Business Coaching Firm. She has a proven track record of success with both small businesses and in the corporate environment. Business Coach Lisa Walker – When You’re Ready to Be the Best.