Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day #10 - More About Time

Being able to see an entire week at a glance is very helpful if we are attempting to use our time wisely. I actually take a look at my entire schedule for at least the next six months EVERY DAY. The purpose of doing this is to determine if the plans that I have made match the goals that I have established. It is very easy to become very busy without the activities that keep us busy helping us reach our goals. It is also very easy to spend most of our time reacting to people and situations that require our attention rather attending to those functions whose outcomes match our goals.

Steven Covey helped me understand this in his tremendous book “7 Habits if Highly Effective People.” In this book Covey described four quadrants or categories of things to do. The category that offered the most effective use of time is the one that he described as important, but not urgent. In other words The possibility exists that we spend the bulk of our time responding to matters that are urgent, but not important (someone else’s priority), urgent and important (an emergency) or not urgent and not important (a complete waste). If you have not read Covey’s book, you should do so. It is life changing. His outline is summarized quite well here:

The great thing about having your time chart and your written goals is that they really do belong to you. We should never become slaves to a goal or a schedule. We should make decisions about our lives that demonstrate that we are in charge. Of course, I believe in prayer and seeking God’s guidance in life. But even God has left to us choices that we must make and after a while we have to stop praying and pondering and make a decision. When we se that our schedule does not get us where we want to go, we should exercise our right to change our schedule. There can be no such thing as not having enough time to pursue our goals. When we see that a goal is unrealistic or less preferred after reconsideration, we have the right to create a new goal.

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