What if everything you know, or assume, about time management is wrong? Imagine for a moment that your tactics are all wrong because they are looking at the root of this concept incorrectly? What if there was a simpler, more realistic way to approach what most call time management? In this blog post, I will explain a fundamental difference in how I suggest you look at this idea and how you can begin to make real, lasting and effective change. Let’s dive in, shall we?
First off, I’d like to make it clear that there have been many books written and speeches given on the topic of time management by some incredibly well-respected leaders. I am not asserting that they are all wrong, or that I alone have the final word on the matter. I am simply asking the one question and offering an idea that for many may be a game changer. You see, we are all unique, wonderful and diverse creatures placed upon this wonderful planet with a distinct purpose. We do not all share the same goals, dreams or purpose. We do not all think in the same way. Therefore, one size fits all ideologies will never be 100% effective for 100% of the people. My thoughts here certainly will not break the mold and appeal and make sense to 100% of the people reading this any more than any other person in my position would. But for those to whom this clicks, the end result will be highly worthwhile.
Time is an ever flowing thing that cannot be captured, saved or manipulated in any way that I am aware of today. Jim Croce famously sang “if I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d want to do…” A great and somewhat sappy tune that I recall from my childhood. It was great not just because it was a catchy tune but it caused people to give some thought to the reality of the fast and ever passing of the most precious commodity ever, time!
Imagine standing on the banks of a fast rushing river. You turn your head to the left, towards the source of this mighty river and it disappears in the distance. You cannot see the actual source but you can see that clearly someplace over there somewhere is the beginning. You then turn your gaze all the way to your right and see the river disappear in the distance. Again, you cannot see the ultimate end, whether the ocean, lake or reservoir, it simply disappears in the distance. Now you are just staring at the river immediately in front of you. This river is not unlike the continuum of time. It is moving in a constant, rapid manner. Nobody really knows when it began on a macro level and nobody knows when, or if, it will end. On a micro level of our individual lives we certainly do know our beginning, but our ultimate end remains a mystery until it actually arrives. We stand in life at the proverbial banks of a river always focusing on the now which is fleeting so much so that in the instant you perceive the “now” it is already gone. So how then can we ever begin to imagine that we can in any way control this river we call time? We cannot control it, we cannot save it nor can we add to it. Each of us is allotted the same 24 hours in a day. There is nothing we can do to actually manage time, but what we can manage is “me.”
Consider no longer attempting to engage in “time management”, but rather focus solely on “me management.” Not only can we not manage or control time, but we cannot control or manage others or even circumstances. “Curly” Howard of the Three Stooges was famous for saying “I’m a victim of circumstances!” I loved when he would say that with his hilarious inflections. In fact, I often would wake my parents up early on a Saturday morning as I was laughing uncontrollably in my room watching faithfully each time the show was on. While being a victim of circumstances was funny in a slapstick comedy, it is not at all funny in real life!
So how do we avoid being a victim of circumstances? “Me management.” If we simply align our daily activity with our goals we will naturally make much better use of our time thereby producing better results in the future. Sure we still will be handed unforeseen circumstances in life and people will still be people and do and say things that attempt to eat up our time. When this happens, instead of reacting immaturely we can begin to respond in a more thoughtful manner that will better keep us on track towards our daily goals.
The better you become at managing the only thing you have control over, yourself, the sooner you will be viewed by others as a brilliant time manager. You, however, will understand that the thing you are mastering is not time, but you. This is the essence of the difference between fabulously successful people and others who are barely keeping up with bills and the demands of life. Once you have your short-term, mid-term and long-term goals set and in order, these will determine what your daily goals ought to be. By disciplining yourself to manage your daily actions, you will inevitably reach your goals by default.
Naturally, adjustments will need to made along the way. If a beaver builds a dam on a portion of the river, the river does not give up and cease to flow! Of course not! The river continues to flow and moves around the obstacle thrown in its way. Like the river, we must also find a way around the obstacles in our lives. Whether that obstacle takes the form of a physical challenge, circumstantial or other type, the end result is the same. We either shut down and stop moving towards our desired future, or we recognize the obstacle for what it is and immediately move around it.
There are many ways of beginning your “me management” journey. May I suggest you consider the value of a coach? As a coach, I am in a position where I have lived through so many obstacles most people will fortunately never have to encounter. Blindness, cancer, heart problems, chronic pain, divorce, financial ruin and many other challenges have presented themselves in my path. Many of them concurrent with other challenges. I have rarely seen one lone obstacle on my journey through this life. For some reason, they love to team up on me! But, as a result of walking the road that was set before me, I am uniquely qualified to lead others who face a variety of obstacles in their way. Take advantage of my FREE consultation and allow me to demonstrate the value in what I can do for you. Visit the contact page at my site, www.jeffgrillo.com.
And, as always, I enjoy ending my posts with a helpful suggestion for you to add to your personal development library. In addition to my books which are available on my site, of course! The suggestion below is a link to amazon.com where they will bill and fulfill every order.