I just don’t have the time. There isn’t the bandwidth. There are not enough hours in the day. The hurrier I go the behinder I get. Surely these are very common and familiar phrases in your work-a-day world. To me, only the last one holds any modicum of truth. Indeed, the more harried you allow yourself to get, the less efficient you become. How many projects are put off simply because of poor time management? How many concepts are thought to be staggering simply because of the perception that the project is just too big?
Consider the space shuttle. Taken at its entirety the project was of such magnitude that nobody alive could possibly have attempted such a thing, yet broken down into its component tasks and properly scheduled it was one of the most successful and satisfying undertakings of modern man. There is rarely a case to be made for not having “enough time.”
I have seen manager after manager bemoan the rigors of their daily schedule ad infinitum. Seriously, to the point of spending hours at the coffee machine or behind their desks bitching and moaning about how little time there is in their day. How many times during the day do we really schedule time to invest in the things that are actually going to SAVE us time in the long run? In my former life the business development of a major corporate travel management fell to my responsibility. There are absolutely no end of executive administrators and “C” level managers we ran into that realized there travel program was absolutely out of control (costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours annually) but simply didn’t “have the time” to sit down with us and get it fixed. Ironically, these same managers and admins somehow “had the time” for their engineers and managers to sit down on their computers and book their own travel, often making mistakes or deliberate misuses of corporate budget that any professional agent would have caught in a heartbeat. These same engineers and managers also seemed to have the “time” to spend on weekend “teambuilding” retreats, trade shows, and product user group meetings. It seems to be that “time” is not the issue; rather it is one of priority.
Properly setting your priorities, and holding to the discipline of enforcing your schedule, is of key importance in time management. It reminds me of a friend I had growing up that had to buy all of their groceries at a boutique market because they took credit cards, and the local market did not. They couldn’t just eat beans and graham crackers for one single month to save enough to pay off the credit card debt and start paying with cash at the market across the street that cost about 2/3 of what the boutique market charged. Instead of exercising the discipline and “sucking it up” for a small period of time, they continued to pay exorbitant prices for their groceries, and monthly interest charges on their credit cards.
Time is money. If you don’t take the time to invest in your future, you will not have any savings. Our next installment will discuss how to invest time wisely on your internet presence: your website and your social media profiles and sites should be your best “selling” assets. Have you invested the time to make sure you are taking the maximum advantage of those golden resources?