This week we continue with our organisation series and move into the concept of time. Although most people talk about time management, it is hard to determine how one can manage it since its a resource that cannot be controlled. No one is capable of saving it or manipulating how it moves.
Every single day, each of us regardless of who or where you are get the same amount of time. What differs is the return on investment at the end of the day after investing this scarce resource. Since you are not able to manage time, what you should do is manage your life and priorities in order to use your time effectively.
Below we look at three simple but effective tools you can use to manage your life and make the most of your time.
Have a Mission Statement
Just like organisations need a vision and mission statement in order to carry out their objectives, human beings also need a mission statement. A mission statement helps to paint a clear picture of what direction you want your life to take. It also enables you to clarify the values you want to live by as well as the legacy you will leave behind.
According to the late Stephen Covey, a good mission statement should:
1. Be Timeless given that it is based on principles and general rules which deal with the totality of life.
2. Deal with both ends and means. This in effect means it should address both the destination you want to reach and how you will reach there.
3. Address all the roles in your life. Many times people fail to achieve their goals because they set them in the abstract. Good goal setting takes into consideration the roles you are currently playing in your life.
4. Deal with the four dimensions of your nature as a human being. These are your body or the physical, relationships or the social/economic, mind or mental and spirit for the spiritual aspect.
When you take time to craft a mission statement, it serves as a rudder for your life. All you do or seek to do must align with it. This ensures that you are able to weed out stuff that would derail you and therefore steal your time.
Have Clear Written Goals & Objectives
People who have their goals written down tend to live a more focused life. They know what they want and how they plan to achieve it. Goal setting allows you to properly manage your time because you stop doing what is not aligned with your goals.
When setting goals, start with a self evaluation so that you are clear about who you are and what skills and abilities you possess. Your goals should help you to achieve your mission statement and your hearts desires.
Experts recommended that you take time to regularly examine your life to ensure that your actions are in congruence with the plans you have set for yourself. When you do this, you are able to see how you are using your time. If you discover there are activities taking your time but which are not compatible with your vision, they should be minimized or eliminated.
Guard Your To Do List
Nothing steals your time more than not being in control of what gets on your to do list. One time you maybe doing well with a manageable list, before you know it things are out of control. You have over committed yourself! The only way to avoid such a scenario is to get into the habit of saying NO!
Peter Drucker was right “people are effective because they say no”. Similarly, Kate Olsen reminds us that ” No is a full sentence”. Sometimes all you need to say is no without an explanation.
Before committing yourself to do something, check to see whether you have the time to accomplish the task. In addition, ensure that the activities you get into align with your mission statement and will contribute to achieving your goals. Always ask the question how does this fit in my plans?
If you follow these three easy steps, you will find that you not only live a stress free life but are also able to accomplish much in the 86,400 seconds we each receive everyday.
The Organisation Series
How To Manage Your Life NOT Time (You are here)