Managing the most important resource
How does your schedule look like? Mine is crazy! I hop from one speaking engagement to another and for the rare days when I do not speak I spend the day on meetings and doing training needs analysis with clients. Over the years, I have found myself not wishing for more things, more trips or more stuff but wishing I could have more time.
I have been in business for a long time. From manufacturing to retail and now in the field of consultancy and training, the one thing that fascinates me is that technology promised that we would be able to reclaim our time and that all those productivity tools could make our life simpler and our work easier. I don’t think that has happened. Technology has enabled us to do more at any given hour of the day and so we are expected to churn more results in shorter time and do so within the same 24-hour time frame that has remained constant.
Look around you and you will observe that most people are glued to their screens, buried in email, constantly stimulated by notifications without really getting much work done. And when stressed and in an attempt to find momentary relief anyone can watch a movie on demand that consumes more time that leads the same person having to rush through the day finishing the work, in exchange for the time spent watching a movie or binging on a TV series. And now, artificial intelligence promises to deliver the same that early day’s technology could not deliver.
I do not want to sound critical, cynical and skeptical but over the many years of my existence in this planet the one thing I have discovered is that time remain constant and being productive and making use of time should not just pin its hopes on technology but requires human skills and ability to use it wisely. These following ideas have helped me through the years and I would like to share with you how you could best allocate time to yield productive results:
1. TIME IS MADE NOT FOUND.
You do not find time because time is everywhere. It is the fabric of life and all its created beings. Each moment carries the potential to be used effectively or wasted negligently. Therefore, be mindful of your time. When important things or events require your attention, you do not say you will find the time, which you most likely would not but you need to carve out the time to do activities that would bring and add value to your success goals.
2. YOU MANAGE TIME BY MEASURING IT.
Understanding time is the best way to manage time and you cannot manage it unless you have learned how to measure it. Have you quantified how you spend your time? Have you tracked how your time is spent? Have you made up a plan on how to use time and know where time is going?
3. PUT A STRUCTURE TO YOUR ACTIVITIES.
Build routines. Routines provide the familiarity of place and moments when you know you need to do the things you have to do. This prevents uneventful wandering as to the next thing you need to do. Every disciplined person I know carries a workable routine because they know that time is just too precious to be wasted.
4. USE TECHNOLOGY TO HELP YOU SAVE TIME.
Before I go to the next destination or the next speaking engagement, my navigational device helps me plot out the route to take, it’s algorithm predicts the time to get there and so forth and so on. I have a device that wakes me up in the morning, gives me my news feed for the day, tells me the weather forecast and reminds me of the appointments for the next day. This leaves me with the important tasks that I alone can do such that machineries and technology cannot like researching and formulating my next lesson and speech. Maybe one day technology can do this for you but not now I suppose.
5. STAY AWAY FROM TIME VAMPIRES.
There will be those who would drop in your workplace for a chat. Tell them politely you would love to talk to them when you are in the pantry but meanwhile you have things you need to work on. Once in a while we need a little break so entertainment may be good but make sure you put a cap on the time you do for these so you can allocate good time for more productive work.
Time is more valuable than gold or money. You lose money, you can re-earn it but when you waste time, it is irredeemable. Somebody says: “Time poverty is simply a distribution issue.” And the phase: “I don’t have enough time…” is really silly when we distribute time correctly because no one in this planet have been given more than 24 hours each day. We just need to learn how to devote time to the things we most value.
There is a finality to time and existence while we are still trapped in this planet; it is the time beyond this life that is infinite but meanwhile, we make the most of our resource which is… of course, time!
Humans are not machines, we need time to think and reflect. Time Lords know that spending every waking moment working leads to diminishing returns, so they balance their work time with ample moments for contemplation and relaxation, and strive to use their minds to the fullest extent. Allocate some of the time you’ve saved to invest in yourself and it will pay dividends later.
(Mark your calendar, as Francis Kong runs his highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership seminar-workshop on Jan. 16-17, 2018 at SEDA Hotel, BGC. For registration and inquiries contact April at +63928-559-1798 or register online at www.levelupleadership.ph).