Almost daily I am hearing people talking, asking questions and advising about “time management”. I know it is quite big issue as we want to be more productive (read valuable) and time for sure is an important asset.
However, I see a big danger in the way we associate word “time” with something that we can manage. It can give false hope and be misleading to many. Furthermore, it can be very costly for people who will not realize that time is something we can’t influence and manage. At least not yet :)!
In my post “The phenomenon of time…” I wrote that time is a precious gift which is given to us by the Universe. For each of us our life = our time. We can’t borrow it, sell it or save it. We can’t acquire more of it. Therefore, we can’t manage or influence it.
When we are in the “time management thinking mode” we can believe that we can control it, as management is all about organizing and controlling. This kind of believe can influence our decisions, which in the end are the building blocks of our life.
Our time is a mystery. It can be view as a mysterious donation from an unknown person. This person does not commit, does not give any guarantees, but somehow every time we need it, the donation is there. From what we know the donation can stop any moment, but can also continue for 80 – 90 years. There is no clear logic in it. We just don’t know why sometimes it stops and sometimes it continues.
Because of that I like to talk more about “value management” and less about “time management”. The thought that we can’t manage time do not change the human need for becoming more productive, more valuable. When we will focus on “value management “, not “time management”, we could come to different conclusions and we could make different decisions. This in the end could influence our life.
What is “value management” in my opinion? It is organized effort to increase our value in a domain that we decide is important to us, with the resources that we have.
First of all we need to decide in which domain we want to increase our value. This is crucial. Why? Usually we do have limited resources and if we will not be clear about our objectives we will waste our resources on things that do not count. Unfortunately, in our busy life I see many people trying to do so many things that in the end they do nothing while being busy all day long…
What kind of resources do we have that are available to us? Resources that can and should be managed?
There are 3 resources available to all of us and very well these 3 could be the most important in managing the process of increasing our value.
First on the list are our thoughts. We can manage what we are thinking about and how we are using our thoughts. Focusing our thoughts on the domain we want to increase our value will open doors and possibilities that we can’t see without this simple act.
Second one is our attitude that can be managed as well. We can learn how to make our attitude work for us, not against us. We can manage to have the right (adequate) attitude to the specific situation which in itself can increase our value dramatically.
Third asset that we can manage is our energy. We all have an amount of energy to be use for different activities. We can manage how much of this energy will be used for each activity.
When we will manage correctly our thoughts, attitude and energy the rest will be easy. Information about deciding what needs to be done, managing and planning of these activities, measuring the results, analyzing and learning from it, and if necessary improving it is very well described in many books and classes on “time management”.
For me however, it’s not anymore “time management, it is “value management” from now on!