Too much to do and not enough time to get it all done. For most of us that means it
is time to turn to time management. Courses and seminars in time
management, software packages, PDAs like the Palm, and good old
fashioned daily planners like a DayTImer, Franklin Covey Planner, or Day
Runner, all hold great promise to help you get your life on track. And
they do! Kinda. Mostly.
Time management is a smokescreen masking an underlying
problem. Sure time management systems allow you to manage events, set priorities, plan your day, and schedule your appointments. But are you making progress in life or are you just moving around meetings and activities? Have you just become more efficient at being ineffective?
Solve the underlying challenge of why you need time
management and your time management problems narrow significantly. In the end, it isn’t the tools and technology or time management that make a difference. It is you!
Your inner work is missing from the equation. Don’t blame the time management system you’re using if your life is filled, but unfulfilled. Look in the mirror. Chances are your life plan is ill-defined, weak, and unclear. The result is you fill your days with activities and commitments that seem like good works, but really aren’t amounting to a hill of beans, especially by comparison with your potential that was long ago compromised by doing what was expedient instead of what was right for your soul.
The transition to being true to oneself may in fact be the essence of maturity. Knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no" with the conviction of your spirit is the beginning. Here’s the big challenge. Time management without an articulation of purpose, vision, missions, and values is a like building a house and giving it no foundation.
Let the foundation of your time management approach be the clear articulation of these essential statements and now your inner life is aligned. Surely your outer life and work life will follow. That is what it means to be on-purpose.