People today are busy beings. Buzzing with activities all round the clock. Flooding brim full task lists are now commonplace. But even with this all round busyness, some stuff still lingers on – never getting done and punctuality has become elusive to many.
Simply put, a lot of people are busy but not productive.
In a bid to catch up, many have resorted to multitasking. But this isn’t the solution either as studies have shown that the back and forth switch between tasks literally drains the brain of energy reserves. This takes away focus which leads to distracted work and thus isn’t productive.
To break it down to the bits, all efforts directed towards managing time seems to fail and many are left not knowing what to do.
But Here’s the thing: Time management in itself doesn’t work because time is a finite resource which can never be redeemed when lost. All other resources can in some way be recovered but not. It is simply irrevocable.
So instead of trying to manage the time you have, why don’t you take ownership and responsibility of it. Take charge and control of how you use it.
Since everyone has 24 hours each day during which all activities can be done and time spent, so the amount of time available is not the problem but how it is spent.
There are four active ways we spend our time
- On Thinking
- In Discussions
- On Actions
- On Distractions
A large chunk of our time is spent in the thought world. Humans think a lot. Thinking is important because it helps us recognize what needs to be done, the alternative ways to getting it done and choosing the best way to get it done. Thinking when done well can help us move forward and become better every day.
Unlike thinking which is an individual thing, discussions are group behaviors. From the face to face word of mouth chat to instant messaging and forums, discussions take another large portion of our time daily. Most communication fall under this category. It helps us hear the views of others and thus contribute in shaping our way of life.
This essentially entails doing; doing that which we have chosen after thinking or hearing the views of others in discussions. Actions are what produces results. They are the tangible ways we spend our time. Unfortunately, most people don’t take action. They simply think and talk but never do. Resultantly, they are always struggling with punctuality and procrastination
These are good for only one thing – keeping you away from getting what you need. Distractions are the number one cause of lateness, procrastination and goal failure. They simply derail you from track of what you aim for and thus you are left struggling with punctuality always. Distractions can come in many ways mostly subtle as checking your email or instant messenger and bold as “let me go on a walk, I’d get back to this later.” They cause straying away from goal leaving you a failure. Flee from them!
Your choice of how much moments, seconds, minutes and hours you give each of these active ways determine what you get done by the end of the day and ultimately how closer or farther away from your goals you get.
Make your choice. Don’t let others choose how you spend your time. As billionaire Warren Buffet has said:
“You can’t let other people set your agenda in life.”
Begin by asking yourself, what tasks do I need to do today? And how much time does each task need? Allocate time to all your tasks and fight off distraction. This is essentially scheduling.
Also, recognize and attend to urgent tasks (opportunities that can’t wait) while you work on the not so urgent ones too.
Taking responsibility for time ownership and usage will help you stick to schedules and deadlines, deal with urgent tasks and that’s how you get to achieve a lot more.
Don’t just be busy be productive.