We all “know” that time management is important and something that we should be good at. We work at improving our own time management and try to help or push teams to increase their management of the time allotted for projects or tasks.
However, there’s more benefits to being a good time manager than just the bottom line of revenue or number of tasks done.
In my life, it’s been important to remember that we can all be busy, but we can actively choose WHAT we are busy doing. If you don’t figure out this important distinction you’ll spend your life bouncing from task to task because everything seems important and needs to be dealt with right away.
Living like this takes it’s toll and won’t let you take care of some of the larger projects in your life that take planning and blocks of time to pursue. This is true in a career and your personal life:
Every moment of your time falls into one of four categories. These categories are defined using the words important and urgent. Important means that something must be done, and urgent means now or immediately! Category one is “important & urgent”. Category two is “important & not urgent”. Category three is “not important & urgent”. Category four is “not important & not urgent”. Most people think in terms of doing important things and they also interpret important things as urgent. This being said, most people spend their lives in category one, “important & urgent”. Everything they do must be done and done now. They don’t have time to do anything else because they only have time to do the now things.
I used to be a “now” kind of guy. I was always so busy doing the now or “urgent” things that I missed out on doing the “important” things in my life. There were times I missed my son’s baseball games because I was doing urgent stuff. I went a whole year and never rode my mountain bike because I was doing urgent things. I spent a busy year doing urgent things and missed spending time with my family at our mountain cabin. I didn’t spend time with my two daughters doing father things because I was working on urgent projects at the office. My wife and I didn’t get away for romantic weekends because I was dealing with the urgencies of running a business. No one ever spent more time living in category one than me.
This can have a dramatic impact in your life, and as I mentioned previously, it affects both your career and personal life. You can choose how to spend your time and set up processes that will help you deal with your daily routine so that you can more effectively utilize the time given to you. This means you can excel at your job, pursue a hobby, improve your relationships, and more.
Working in category one is no fun. The stress and pressure is not healthy, and it will shorten your life and turn your hair gray or your head bald. Managing Your Time Allows You to Focus on the Important Things
I couldn’t agree more with the feelings of working in category one. The thing to remember is that there will always be emergency tasks or unavoidable jobs that we just have to get done. That’s life. But you have the ability to choose how much time you spend in this area and can situate yourself so that you spend the minimum amount of time in this distracting and lower productivity zone. It’s your life – you choose.