Time Management is a Myth!

As the owner of an IT Services company is talking over lunch, he tells me how his customers just don't understand that there are only so many hours in a day. Everyone has a crisis at the same time, and they all want to be at the top of my priority list at the same time, and that doesn't count what was on the list before they called with their current crisis. He says, what can I do to get my life back?

I told him that I used to find myself in the same situation, but then I realized that what Tony Morgan said was the heart of the problem: “You get to decide where your time goes. You can either spend it moving forward, or you can spend it putting out fires. You decide. And if you don't decide, others will decide for you.” The difficult thing is setting those boundaries, made particularly hard by a corporate policy of providing unmatched service to all you customers. One productive way out of this quagmire is the use of the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule): 80% of the results you want come from 20% of your activities. How can you use this observation to change your life?

You need to find the way to finish each work day knowing that the important tasks were completed. So, the key to this approach is to determine each day what are the important tasks, the 20% that get you 80% of your best results, and get those tasks done first. Brian Tracy wrote a book about that named Eat That Frog. You see, the more you research time management, the more you realize that this is an age old problem that goes back centuries. It doesn't matter whether your desire is for more money, more leisure time, or more time to do nothing at all, they all boil down to getting more of the important things done in less time, and the trick to accomplishing this is to avoid doing things which are not important. Thus what you are managing is not time, but priorities.


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