I was reading “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. In one section, it talked about time management and the idea of “first things first”.
Assuming you are one who tries to do a lot in life, you might feel like there always isn’t enough time. There are many basic rules it talks about, and some of which you are already doing:
Making a list, checking it twice:
For those of you who are “organized”, this comes very naturally. You get to your workplace and you plan ahead as to what to do from now until 5 pm. Then the next day, you do the same again. It is a great tool. However, there is no prioritization. What should you do first? You only have so much time before soccer practice; do you go to the mall to pick up a drink? Get grocery for the night? Get to the practice early to chat?
Fill the agenda, stuff it hard:
Simply speaking, you need to match your checklist to each time slot. Again, this may be something you are already doing. Class ends at 4:00 pm, food for 15 mins, piano lessons start at 5:00 pm, rush home by 6:00 pm, followed by shower and homework, then just in time for the favourite TV show at 8:00 pm. You have been doing a great job making yourself super busy. But do these things lead you to anywhere?
- Set goals
- Breakdown tasks
- Set schedule
- Now do it!
Instead of running around like a headless chicken, one can create clear objectives in life. Then based on the clear objective, make the right choices to direct yourself towards the objective. If you can manage to put all these 3 ideas together, you should have the best plan ever! Yes? No? Why not?
The Prioritization scheduling model works, of course. What doesn’t work is likely that no one can follow their own plans properly. Yet flexibility is important too. Sticking to a plan to the letter is not always the best way to go. I told myself that I would be uninterrupted for this one hour to write this essay, but the baby was crying. What should you do?
Be flexible to other things, even when you have set your schedules.
Sometimes, you have to let yourself get away from the target in order to manage yourself and then become more effective. For example, an athlete knows not to train for too long to give time for the body to recuperate. Another example: one of your staff is unhappy and is not working effectively; you may still want to spend some time to understand what’s wrong, even when you know deadlines are around the corner.
In summary, stay the course with your goals and targets, scheduling and creating lists to help you achieve, but never lose sight of what’s most important.
Always Remember W.H.Y.
Be Well, Be Happy, Be You