Time management is one of the most over used phrases today. Everyone seems to have a time management problem. However, time management can't be an issue because nobody can manage time.
How many times in a day do you complain about your inability to manage time? How often do you yearn for time management tips? If managing time is your focus, I assure you you are losing the battle. We must turn from time mangement to personal effectiveness improvement, and learn to maanage priorities.
Managing time is impossible. That's why it is important you understand that your central issue is not time management but personal lifestyle management. Mull over this. You must learn to set and carry out goals and plans, and learn to work with priorities. But, most of all, you must try to attend only meaningful meetings. Yes, meaningful meetings. We waste too much time in meetings. We must put time and effort to making meetings meaningful. As well we mus learn to control our behavior and to allow emails, Facebook, and the internet to lead our activities. They are seductive!
No doubt you are stressed from rushing from one meeting to another; you are always late. Like many people, you are suffering from chronic lateness and hurry sickness. Probably, your reputation is tarnished by your frequent lateness. Still, you rush about directionless. Chronic, frequent lateness seeps into your life, and you accept it because you blame time, or rather a lack of time. You believe that this hurry sickness state will pass when you learn to manage time. Wake up! You cannot manage time.
How many time management seminars have you attended? Have they helped your personal effectiveness? Are you frustrated because everyone continue to demand your presence—your wife, husband, children, boss, pastor? Will it ever end? Maybe not, but don't despair, each person has the same challenge to different degrees. We can't do everything we want done and others want us to do each day. Each of us has access to the only source to help us deal effectively with this challenge: Jesus, the living God. He has given each of us 24 hours daily. He encourages His children to call on Him for help, and He will help. Isn't this great news?
Michel's book, Managing God's Time: Personal Effectiveness Improvement, presents biblical principles, tips, tools, techniques, to help you set priorities and handle daily challenges in each 24 hours. It stresses the obvious: time management is impossible. You can't manage time, but you can manage your personal effectiveness, such as how you set and carry out priorities. To turn away from time management ideas and improve your personal effectiveness, remove these useless phrases, among others, and their harmful effects from your vocabulary and your life:
To emphasize you cannot manage time and you must manage priorities, Michel developed the P-Squares Decision Process. It is a key tool. It will guide you to learn to un-balance your life so you focus on right priorities to improve your personal effectiveness, and stop yearning for time management tips. Priorities deal with the important. Priorities lead you away from the urgent to conquer stress. Through working with priorities, you will develop an attitude to life that rejects the victim mentality that blames others, including a lack of time, for your ineffectiveness.
You can start today to manage your effectiveness by learning to set goals to do identified priorities. A Christian should seek God's goals. God's goal needs to be pivotal—where God wants you to go. God's goal is perfect. God's goal will ensure you drop the urgent, pick up the important, and focus on right priorities. Do you believe? Still, this is merely the start. A goal without a plan is useless. The plan is the steps to do the goal. The plan shows how to do the goal. Without it, you will be lost. Even so, there is more.
Time management jargon points to To Do lists. Time management literature suggests different forms, and tools to classify these lists. But usually, these time management documents exclude a time spending plan that shows how much time you will need to do different items you plan to do each day. As well, it will show clearly the need to plan to not do items. That's a key activity: Deciding what you won't do because your time is limited—time is a fixed. It is a limited resource.
Often, we set a goal, do a plan, but do not estimate the cost in time, so we run late, chronically late. We think of a spending plan only in money terms. However, it is essential that after the goal and plan, you allocate a spending plan for expected time and talents needed to do the goal. This will indicate early, if you might need to defer priorities because you allocated too many projects in available time. Daily, understand that you have 24 hours only, which are more than enough to do what you need to do. The question to answer is this: How much time do you allow the Internet, emails, and other gadgets to keep you occupied?
However, it does not end with the goal, plan, and spending plan. While identifying and allocating the time needed for your tasks, build in reserve time, a buffer, a margin, to allow for the unforeseen. The unexpected is normal each day. You might not know what they will be, but you know you will have to deal with unplanned events. That is why you must build reserve time in your daily time spending plan.
Reserve time is not a panacea to do the goal on time. Reserve time is that buffer that will help to reduce stress, look at different alternatives objectively, and one way to help improve your personal effectiveness, that's what time management is about, improving personal effectiveness.
You can conquer the seductive pull to blame a lack of time for your ineffectiveness only by recognizing and rejecting deflection speech. People seem comfortable with deflection speech, such as, my shirt is too small, instead of, I have gained weight, or, I have no time, instead of, I have not managed my priorities well. Deflection speech encourages the victim mentality — Stop; it is harmful to your health!
We over commit ourselves, we under-deliver, and we blame a lack of time. Generally, we don't see the central issue: lack of planning and execution — certainly not a lack of time. Will you accept you cannot manage time? Will you accept responsibility for working in the 24-hour day that God gives you?
Particularly in this era of political correctness, we need a mindset-shift in order to begin taking responsibility for our actions and inactions. Accepting the level playing field of 24 hours daily is a first and vital step on this pathway toward a new attitude. That might appear simple, but it is extremely difficult to implement any new habit consistently.
The next step on the journey away from the time management attitude is accepting who we are and not who others want us to become. We don't have to look like that person with the perfect figure in the infomercial trying to convince us to buy the stuff she is selling. God loves you and me as we are. Many biblical stories illustrate this truth, which was as true in antiquity as it is today. Let us accept the level playing of 24 hours daily, and do God's priorities.