Thoughts on Success Part 5

Manage Your Time

Each of us is blest with 86,400 seconds every day. How we choose to spend our time will have a huge impact on our degree of success. Managing our time is really not the issue. A better way of looking at it might be to discipline ourselves so that we spend our time wisely & in line with our goal. A properly written goal based on your values & expressing what you really desire is a huge benefit when it comes to spending our time wisely. Our goal helps us know what to say “yes” to & what to say “no” to. Remember that it is often necessary to say no to the “good” so that we can say yes to the “best.” A clear goal allows us to choose wisely & to choose with a clear conscience.

I think it is impossible to be short of time. We all have the same amount of time each day. There are no special allowances made for anyone. Unfortunately it is easy to spend our time unwisely (not in alinement with our goal). Consider the comparing options guideline (marginal reaction). When we spend our time unwisely we feel we are short of time. The reality is that we are not short of time but we are spending our time unwisely.

The following table is from Stephen Covey. He divides time into 4 quadrants. These are quadrant 1: important & urgent. Quadrant 2: important & not urgent. Quadrant 3: not important & urgent. Quadrant 4: & not important & not urgent. Fortunately we can choose which quadrant we want to work in. Covey’s idea is that as we choose any quadrant that quadrant will enlarge & the other quadrants will shrink. Quadrant two which is important & not urgent is the best place to spend our time. We will still have a few crises but they will not be difficult to deal with. It takes discipline to work in quadrant 2 but the results are impressive.

URGENT                                                                NOT URGENT
I            Quadrant 1                                                                         Quadrant 2
M           Results                                                                              Results
P        Crisis management                                                             Vision
O        Burn out                                                                              Perspective
R        Putting our fires                                                                  Balance
T        Stress                                                                                 Discipline
A                                                                                                  Control
N                                                                                                  Few crises

N        Quadrant 3                                                                       Quadrant 4

O       Results                                                                               Results

T      Crisis management                                                             Wasting time
I       Short term focus
M     See goals & planning as worthless
P      Victim (life happens to me)
O      Out of control

I encourage you to think about which quadrant you are working in. Remember we can choose our quadrant. Quadrant 2 is a great place to work & to live. My experience has been that if we spend our time wisely we will have time for everything that is most important to us. What is your experience?

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