We have all made the statement at one time or another, “I just don’t have enough time!”. But we all have all the time there is. Time can’t be managed, we can only manage ourselves. In this article, I share 5 compelling reasons to learn how to manage yourself.
It doesn’t matter if you are Bill Gates or a waitress at the diner down the street, God gave us all the same great equalizer – twenty-four hours in a day. What most people lack is not time – but rather, the skills to manage themselves to make good use of the time they have available to them.
Time is much like money. When you decide to spend an hour watching TV, you have decided to not to spend an hour doing everything else. Productive people don’t spend time, they invest it. They expect a return on every hour they invest. Whether time is invested in their business, their family or their own well-being.
“Your time is more valuable than money. Your time is your life!”
When you give away your money, you are giving away something that can be replaced. When you give away your time, you are giving them a part of your life. Waste your time and you are wasting your life.
There are many renewable resources, but time is not one of them.
Control your time and you are controlling your life. Controlling your time really means controlling the events in your life. People in control of the events in their life are confident, happy, and powerful. They possess one thing above all: inner peace.
“Productivity” is not a new issue. There has been an entire industry built to serve the person who just can’t seem to get organized. Everything from Things-To-Do-Today pads, to time management software are available to plan and track personal time usage. Why is then productivity or, shall we say life management, such a challenge?
As human beings, we tend to blame others for our shortage of time. There are many readily available scapegoats: drop-in visitors, meetings, inadequate equipment, telephone interruptions and one crisis after another. However, the only one to blame is ourselves – for letting our time be wasted. Once again, we cannot manage time; we can only manage ourselves!
There is another reason time management is such a challenge: conditioning. We’ve been conditioned to believe that certain things about ourselves and our surroundings are the truth. As a result of conditioning, many people have adopted myths about their lives as being the truth.
Visit a circus, and you will see what I mean about conditioning. Take a look at the elephants tied to little stakes that they could easily pull out, yet those little stakes keep the huge elephants tethered.
When the elephants are young, they are chained by the leg to immovable stakes. However, little by little, over the period of a month, the elephants are conditioned to think they can’t move about as long as they are tied by the right rear leg. From the moment this conditioning takes effect, you could tie these elephants with a string and they wouldn’t move. They don’t move about because they believe they can’t. The tethers in their minds are stronger than any chains.
5 GOOD REASONS TO LEARN HOW TO MANAGE YOUR LIFE
The value of time management is not to control time, since time cannot be controlled, but to use time to improve our lives. Time management will not give us more hours in a day, but it will give us a better balanced life:
1. Getting organized reduces stress
Deadlines are a major contributing factor in stress. It is impossible to manage stress without learning to manage our time. In fact, by learning to manage our time, we are learning to prevent stress.
The better we learn to manage our time, the more we avoid unnecessary stress and the less we need coping techniques. Why learn to cope with stress if we can learn to prevent the stress that time shortages inflict on us?
If time management equals stress prevention, then time management also prevents illness. Stress is now linked directly to some of our most serious health concerns, heart attacks and strokes being the most common.
In the business world, this means two things: the loss of some of the brightest and most promising managers, and the rising cost of company-paid health care plans. Stress-induced disability claims are becoming a major headache, not only for insurance companies, but also for employers who are sued for causing the disability.
2. Setting priorities helps achieve balance
Most entrepreneurs are self-motivated people, driven by an unseen force from within to achieve the goals they have set for their lives. Usually, that means the goals they have set for their business.
Hence, they see little value in helping their employees achieve a balance in their lives. However, it’s not only entrepreneurs who are addicted to work.
A new set of values must accompany new productivity skills in order to bring a balance to the life of the workaholic.
3. Scheduling eliminates procrastination
Procrastination is the most common self-inflicted time robber. For the salesperson, it’s putting off that phone call. For some, it’s putting off the beginning of an exercise program.
“Putting things off” has probably caused more time management problems than all the other causes put together. We have a natural tendency to do the things we like and put off the things we don’t. We need to develop a sense of urgency for each task and remember that time is of the essence.
4. Life management increases productivity
A good time management system will certainly improve our productivity. The more productive we are, the greater our advantage over our competition.
The reason that today there is so much “downsizing,” “restructuring,” and “rightsizing” going on in companies really comes down to the issue of productivity. The only way a company or a country can regain its competitive edge is to improve productivity.
What’s productivity anyway? Productivity refers to the relationship between results and resources. In other words, productivity equals output divided by input. This formula demonstrates that there are two ways to improve productivity: to hold output constant while reducing input and to increase output without increasing input.
How much can we improve our productivity? While very little research has been done in this area, there is some data available that would indicate that the average manager is only 30% effective. Returning phone calls several at a time can reduce the average time spent per call by 50%. Closing your office door and working without interruption for two hours a day will enable you to accomplish what would have taken you three hours before.
5. Increased focus results in goals achieved
All goals must have a deadline. Without a goal, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to arrive.
That reminds me of the story of the little boy who asks his father as he arrives home from work one day, “Daddy, what did you do at work today?’ “Oh, not much, son.” replies his Dad. “Well then,” replies the boy “how did you know when you were finished?”
There are many times when one activity can be taking you towards two or more goals at the same time.
For instance, if three of your goals were to spend a half an hour a day exercising, half an hour a day in solitude, half an hour a day in prayer, you could achieve all three at once by praying as you jogged or walked alone for a half an hour…………………………………………………………………..