Time management?

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 :)! Continue reading

The most valuable asset

I believe that time is our most valuable asset. If only for the reason that we can’t acquire more of it. Knowing that should make us think twice about what we actually do with our time. Generally we can invest it or spend it. The difference is huge. The time invested in what is important to us, to our family to our business will produce long-lasting effects, the time spend will create empty spaces in our memories.

The good question is: why so many of us spend the time instead of invest it?

I think Jim Rohn captured the challenge greatly in his quote:

“Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what?”

So what are we busy with? What occupies our thoughts and makes us do what we do?

I like to believe that “Life is a constant battle for a perfect balance. There is a time to work, there must be a time to rest. There is a time for others, there must be a time for us. The challenge is to get it right!”

Is there a magic formula? Some simple advice we can follow and get the right results? Well I wish I would have it! I would probably be rich, famous and beloved by all people who turned their lives around for the better. Unfortunately it is not so easy. Why? Because we all are unique and for each of us a different balance is required.

What I can do is share with you my thoughts and my way of dealing with the time challenge.

First of all what I learned is that we tend to spend most of our time on activities that have “Urgent” written all over them. The second group of activities we spend time on are activities that are neither important nor urgent, but seem to us like attractive and interesting.

What we tend to procrastinate are activities that are important but not urgent. These activities seem to be in the shadow of “Urgent”, “Attractive” and “Interesting”.

Yet the secret for creating a perfect balance is in this group of activities that are important and not urgent. In this category we have thinking and planning. When I say thinking I mean meaningful planned activity which results in conclusions. Not just random thoughts that we have all the time in our head. We should think about what is valuable and important for us personally, for our families and for our business…

Only when we decide what is valuable and important, we can actually prepare meaningful planning. The process of creating the planning is very important. A good planning increases our motivation for achieving what we want to achieve. Furthermore we create reference for prioritizing all other activities.

Now what we need is the right attitude and we can proceed with what we planned.

Our activities will produce results which we can evaluate and check if we are actually coming closer to what is valuable and important or not.

If results are not in line with our expectation we should check one of 3 places: was the conclusion of what is valuable and important correct? Was our attitude right? Did we performed the right activities with the right intensity?

When the work is done well, we will see that activities in the category “Important” and “Urgent” will contain only crisis situation which we could not plan or predict. The activities that are “Urgent” but not important will decrease drastically. Why? Because we will have clear priorities and we will simple say “no” to most of these activities. The same with activities that are “Not important” and “Not urgent”.

It is always 20% of activities that will produced 80% of the required results. By thinking, planning and evaluating we have much bigger chances to actually discover the right formula for the perfect balance in our life. The perfect balance is what I would like to wish you and myself for the coming week and entire life.

 

 

The phenomenon of time…

Have you ever thought about time? Not time management but time as a phenomenon, time in the context of a person. In context of you and me.

I believe that we come to this World with two very special, meaningful, precious gifts. One of them is the gift of our potential and the other one is the gift of our time. Both time and potential are connected with each other as how we will spend our time will determinate how much of our potential we will unveil.

Why these two gifts are meaningful and precious? It is simple; because you will never be able to acquire more of them. What you have at the moment you are born is all that you will ever have. You cannot buy borrow or steal more of time or more potential 🙂

Brian Tracy in one of his seminar said something that got my attention. He said that for one specific person time equals life.

Which means that when we decide on how to use our time we actually decide on what our life will look like.

Mahatma Gandhi once said that the future depends on what we do in the present. These are very wise words.

But what we do in the present depends on:

  1. What we have learned in the past
  2. How we are able to see our future.

“Now” is a bridge between the past and the future. It connects our past experience, past knowledge, past emotions with the promise of the future.

So what we do now with our time and our potential not only determines what the future will look like but also what our past will look like.

Wouldn’t it be great when in our time we will use our potential to create a better future and at the same time we will use it to create a great heritage?

Wouldn’t it be great if our heritage will inspire and help others to use their time and potential even better?

What we know about time is that it passes second by second and that the storage of time is limited. What we know about our potential is that usually we use only a small part of it.

As Les Brown puts it beautifully: we have greatness within us!

Which means that we should use our time supply wisely to explore and to develop the greatness which is hidden in our potential.

Together with these two meaningful and precious gifts we have been given a great responsibility. We are responsible for our choices and our decisions. And choices we make, all the time. Do I go to sleep or do I read a book? Do I go for a walk or do I watch TV? Do I do this or do I do that… Each day, each hour, each minute.

The educated questions are:

  1. Do the activities we chose to perform and decisions we make right now help us to reach our potential or not?
  2. Is this OK, knowing that our time supply is smaller with each second that passes by?

Panta rei

As Heraclitus stated a long time ago “everything flows, nothing stays fixed”.

I believe that this is even more true today than it was in 500 BC. The knowledge and technology are changing the answers to old questions with unbelievable speed influencing all parts of our existence.

A few years ago computers where for big and rich companies, now almost everybody has more then one at home. Internet was for nerds, now it is a commodity. Hundred years ago we started to discover flying machines, a few weeks ago a human made machine left the Solar System…

Within one week our children are confronted with the same amount of information as our grandparents during their whole life. With information, knowledge and technology we are forced to face much more changes and choices.

From the other side it is in our human nature that we long for stability and predictability. Changes can lead to the unknown and unpredictable.

So this is our new challenge. How to find stability and predictability when we are confronted with high speed changes that can and will lead to the opposite?

I am one of the fortunate people who do not mind all those changes around so much. I actually like the idea of being alert, observing, learning and analyzing what’s going on.

It seems to me that the best way to deal with changes is to accept that we will be confronted with them all the time and the frequency will only be bigger and bigger.

Actually I prefer to be a force of change rather then to be forced to change!  (with thanks to Kaypacha from whom I have heard the quote!)

I am observing changes carefully, looking at them through the filter of my values and goals. If the change is good I embrace it, if not I am trying to protect myself!

And when stability is a concerned? Well, one thing is predictable and pretty stable: “Panta rei”.