Time "management." Let’s think about that concept for a moment.
Could it have more to do with your perspective rather than the clock, your calendar, or your task list?
Go ahead, check your watch…notice the seconds tick-off.
"Time keeps on slippin’…slippin’…slippin’…" (thanks Steve Miller Band…yes, my 70’s era years are showing).
And yet, shouldn’t time be more than something that slips...slips...slips away?
It’s more about using it to your advantage!
Is time management "it?"
Because time management without proper perspective CAN be a waste of time.
I said, “can.” So you gotta accept the fact that you’ll never get a grip on it.
Time is not yours to control.
But…it is yours to use.
I’ll share some fresh perspective about managing it in a moment.
Using time to your advantage
“Make the most of every opportunity…”1 I’ve always appreciated and tried to live by that biblical reference.
It’s best to place the emphasis on “(making) the MOST…”
Personal growth and longevity is about moving forward in the direction of what you’re working to accomplish.
Forward momentum is the key!
Choose to think of time as the playing field where your actions are rewarded.
If you’re always focused on scheduling, managing, tracking, etc. you’ll likely lose momentum.
And momentum (as far as time is concerned) is everything!
A life in motion…tends to stay in motion
It’s physics. Movement in synch (somewhat) with the tick…tick…tick of each second will naturally accomplish something.
Though, don’t concern yourself here with the “what.” Instead, focus on motion.
We can discuss mile-markers and destinations later.
Time and its management ceases to be an issue when you’re taking action on worthwhile goals. One step and then another and another.
Before too much time has passed you’ll have achieved more than if you gave all your energy scheduling your next task.
Make action your default. And naturally, time will take care of itself.
But…if you’re feeling cheated (reading this) about what you assumed was about time “management,” here’s some related perspective.
1-Time “managed” is time maximized
The idea of time management is using what you have available to your advantage. You have 24 hours in a day just like everyone else.
No one gets more or less - it’s fundamentally about how you USE (“manage”) what you have.
Manage your time towards the accomplishment of what fits your values and your related vision for your life.
- What are your daily non-negotiables? Your values will set your time management boundaries.
- When do you do your best non-negotiable stuff? Self-awareness about your peak-performance zones will force time to work for you rather than against you.
- How do you evaluate your progress towards the non-negotiable? A brief daily review is the essential companion to planning your “what’s next…”
2-Time invested is time rewarded
Invested time is about priorities. You’ll prioritize what you value and what fuels your vision for life.
Clarity has an incredible impact on how you invest your time. If you’ve struggled to use your time effectively the core issue could be how clear (or not) you are on what you truly want to accomplish.
- Who are you? The roles you fill each day help determine your priorities. Roles such as: individual, husband/wife, dad/mom, grandmother/grandfather, worker/producer, creator/maker, friend/family member, etc.
- What tasks enable you to fulfill your recognized roles? Prioritize what enables you to be the best (insert the relevant role identities here) today and your “schedule” will be more fulfilling.
3-Time shared is time multiplied
It’s true that selflessness with your time will most often expand your opportunity for more.
Time is a resource to use as you choose.
Use it for good to produce value and I believe you’ll experience a return. Often the return is a portion of time you may think is long gone…it’s not.
Sure, there are no guarantees that sharing your time will naturally result in more minutes in your day. But the idea holds - horde your time and you’re certain to lose it.
Give it, invest it, and you’re likely to have what you need.
- Be generous with your time. Then look for opportunity to flow your way.
- Be aware of the time others share with you. Return the favor and you’ll increase your influence.
- Be open to the moments where your time benefits someone else. Awareness of your influence increases your sensitivity to the places that available time can flow.
4-Time-out is time renewed
Time is a slave to no one. But time will enslave you unless…
You push pause and take an occasional time-out.
- Time-outs renew your perspective.
- Time-outs restore your hope.
- Time-outs reconnect you with your values and vision.
- Time-outs re-energize your resources.
“You’ll break the bow if you keep it always bent…”
In essence, life is stressful enough. Don’t allow time to stress you beyond your ability to effectively use what you have.
Time is resource to be used. Use it to your advantage, keep it in perspective, and you’ll have less need to manage it.
Instead, you'll maximize it!
- The Bible, Ephesians 5:16, New Living Translation (NLT)