Maybe, just like me, you have attended a time-management class.
As a professional organizer since 1982, I have attended about 20 such classes, and they pretty much all say the same thing. They deal with priorities, planning, organizing your projects, knowing your purpose, having a vision, and procrastination, just to mention a few.
Last week I posted the first article in this series, Can You really Manage Time. I explained how you can’t buy it, sell it, store it, multiply or change it. You can only spend it. We never seem to have enough time, yet we have all the time there is. Simply, no one can genuinely manage time. But if it’s true that no one can really manage time, then how am I supposed to improve myself in this area of my life?
The answer is, and always will be, character.
Abraham Lincoln offers some timely insight: “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
In trying to manage time, we focus way too much on the shadow and not enough on the tree. How we mismanage our time — always being late for a meeting or rarely completing a task on time — is the shadow cast by the tree. Using a calendar system can help manage your schedule, but doing so will not get to the root of the issue. To get to the root we must ask ourselves why do I have a problem of being late or not getting a task done?
Genuine, lasting solutions come from cultivating the tree of our character. Focusing on values such as excellence, self-control, and perseverance will strengthen our roots, especially in the area of how we spend our time.
Can you really manage time?