T is for Time Management

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T is for Time Management

“Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives.  Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have"  (John C. Maxwell 1947 - )

One day I was whining to my brother, about not having enough time to finish any of my projects. He is the Life Coach who is my model for consistency as I described in K is for Keeping Consistent.  He asked "If you are a window washer and you have 10 hours a day to wash windows, and each window takes an hour to wash, how many window washing jobs  can you take in one day?”

I scowled at him but since we were conversing by phone luckily he couldn’t see that. . "Obviously 10" I said, suspiciously. “But what if it takes you 15 minutes to get to each job?” I wasn’t feeling in the mood for mental arithmetic but I grudgingly thought for a second and came up with 8 jobs. He pointed out reasonably “ so if you contract for ten window washing jobs and you only have time to do 8 properly, what’s going to happen?” “Alright, I get it.” I said. 

By nature being a high energy, curious, passionate individual, I too often leap into new ventures and take on more “windows” than I have time for. So thinking about his common sense analogy, I decided to take on a “new” project - figuring out a way to "Time Manage”, or rather “Priority Manage”, my life.

Going with the maxim “if you fail to plan, plan to fail,”  my first priority was to identify how I used my time, and then prioritize. Of course I immediately found out that I was trying to wash 20 windows in a 10 window day. How to prioritize was the issue?

First I tried to categorize - ( I‘m a lumper not a splitter!)  - Health, Business, Creative, Social, Cultural, Down Time, Planning. Then I tried Must be done immediately, Should be done Soon, Done by Certain Date, Sometime would be Nice - and also Love Doing It, and Don’t Really Want to but I said I Would.

Yes, I know there are all sorts of books on Time Management and Priorities. I have a couple on my bookshelf. But in the end, as my brother said as we concluded our window washing conversation, “ Remember  you’ll do what’s important to you.”

Can't decide what's not important so for now I’ll keep trying to wash 20 windows and tolerate the “not absolutely perfect” results.