Time, one of the most equalizing, and finite parameters of life. We all have been given 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year to survive, live, accomplish, chase a calling and leave a legacy, but for some reason some people are just more effective than others and it really shows. The question shouldn’t be, ‘How do I get more time?’, the question should always be, ‘How can I be more effective with the time I am given?’.
Time management can seem to be a boring or wearisome subject, but the average man who says this spends a majority of his time on the urgent, commonplace, and un-noteworthy just to survive. Life is to short to live day-to-day just working, running errands, doing chores, paying bills, worrying, complaining and trying to take the edge off by entertaining ourselves to death and taking anti-depressants (30 million Americans currently)! As H.D. Thoreau said, ‘Its not enough to be busy, so to are the ants’.
The only way to live an important, purposeful and exceptional life is to once and for all get a handle on managing your time!!!
Here are some practical, and simple time management tips taken from Orrin Woodward’s book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for Life:
1) Big Rocks First – Stephen Covey in his book First things First tells a story of a life changing presentation:
“A presenter pulled out a wide-mouth jar and placed it on the table, aside to some fist-sized rocks. After filling the jar to the top with rocks he asked, ‘Is the jar full?’. People could see that no more rocks would fit, so they replied, yes!’. ‘Not so fast’, he cautioned. He then got some gravel from under the table and added it to the jar, filling the spaces between the rocks. Again, he asked, ‘Is the jar full?’. This time the students replied, ‘probably not’. The presenter then reached for a bucket of sand below the table, and dumped it in the jar, filling the spaces between the rocks and gravel. Once again he asked ‘is the jar full?’. ‘No’ , the students shouted. Finally, he grabbed a pitcher of water and filled the jar completely, asking the students what they could learn from that illustration. One of the onlookers answered, ‘If you work at it, you can always fit more into life.’ ‘No’ , said the presenter. ‘The point is, if you don’t put the big rocks in first…there may not be any room left?’
Being ‘Efficient’ is not the goal, being ‘Effective’ is the goal. Remember, ‘First Things First’ or as Brian Tracy says ‘Eat that Frog’!
2) Purpose Oriented Time Management – One of the first public relations experts in the country, Ivy Lee, gives Charles Schwab a bit of priceless advice to help him better manage the Bethlehem Steel Company. Here are some bullet points to summarize Lee’s time management strategy:
*Materials needed: 3×5 card, writing utensil, and a want to become more effective.
*Write on the card the 5 most important tasks you have to do tomorrow.
*Number the 5 tasks in the order of their importance.
*Look at the card first thing in the morning and keep it in your pocket.
*Pull the card out every 15 minutes throughout the day until task #1 is done.
*Next do the same for task #2, then #3, etc…
*You may not get the entire list done each day, but you will always be tackling the most important.
*Spend the last 5 minutes of the day making out a ‘Must do list’ for the next day.
Charles Schwab took this advice and applied it for 2 weeks and paid Ivy Lee handsomely for the information. Within 5 years it turned the unknown Bethlehem Steel Company into the biggest independent steel producer in the world, and earned Charles Schwab a hundred-million dollar fortune and a reputation as the best known steel man.
A man, of any financial stature, with no time left to do the important things in life, is no better off than a man with no money. The last bit of advice I can give you is to systematize the day-to-day in your life and prioritize the important. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…what is your plan to make sure that your time matters! For more information, go to http://www.the-life-business.com and order Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy and Resolved: 13 Resolutions for Life by Orrin Woodward. God bless