I’ve gone to several seminars over the course of my professional career that centered around the general theme of time management. You know all of the tried and true cliched ways to “manage your time”…create a daily plan, give each task a time limit, use an organizer, learn to say “no” and block out distractions. I am inclined to think that whoever come up with these tips must be a hermit.
You can’t control time, if you could I’m pretty sure there are some of you that would add a few more hours to the day. There is no way to manage time, you can only manage the choices that you make that effect how the 24 hours you are given each day is used effectively or miserably wasted.
I’ve carried a Franklin Covey planner for the past 15 years. I’m known for purchasing the next year’s calendar in August (or as soon as it becomes available) and I feel completely lost without it. However, it doesn’t help me manage my “time”. It helps me manage the unrealistic expectations I place upon myself that I can be all things to all people all the time. If I want time for what I feel is important (such as writing this blog or my book) then I have to make choices that will allow me to make time to write.
“Creating a daily plan” doesn’t mean two hills of beans when you come home from work and everyone in your family, including the dog needs your attention.
“Give each task a time limit” is a joke when you are working on a project for your boss that needed to get done yesterday but you didn’t get it until five minutes ago.
“Learn to say, no”….okay, I have to agree with this one. As a matter of fact, it’s rule number one for me. Saying “no” doesn’t make you less of a person, parent, employee, organization member or friend. Saying “no” shows that regardless of what is on your calendar, you are making a choice to manage your life in a way that’s best for you at that moment.
You can’t control time but you can control your choices. In order to have more “time”, make better choices.