Sunday, March 05, 2006

A Secret of Time Management

A Secret of Time Management


Why do you think the best time managers agree that goals play a pivotal role in the process of managing our time?

I'd like to hear your personal ideas on the subject, so please continue reading for a suggestion on how you can formulate and crystalise them logically before sharing those you want to tell all readers of The Cool Time and Money Blog.

My own belief is that it doesn't matter how efficient we become in our day-to-day management of activity. We'll still never get 'it all done'. Why?

Because our lives are simply too complex and too busy to allow for full completion of everything that ever lands onto our IN tray or for that matter even into our IN box!

This tells us that the path of wisdom toward true time management enlightenment leads us away from searching for some arbitrary key to maximise personal efficiency. Instead, it leads us in search of tools that will help us live truly effective lives.

As you might know, efficiency is doing things right, while effectiveness is doing the right thing. Both are needed, but certainly being effective is of greater importance than merely being efficient.

How do we become effective,then?

Well, figuring out what we want out of life is a great start. And that is the very heart of personal and corporate goal-setting. If we take any such exercise - whether through formal journaling or simply scribbling our dreams on the nearest scrap of paper - to its logical conclusion, the result is a set of goals that we deem important.

If you'd like specific guidance in this area, you're welcome to begin your journey by reading free goal-setting articles I've written over the years.

From a time management perspective, having a well-formulated list of goals acts as the best form of activity filter cum decision maker. Since we can never get everything done, anyway, it makes sense to focus our limited time on the activities that help us move toward our key goals. It will profit you greatly to memorise this entire paragraph in a bid to internalise it.

What I've shared here is a simple idea, which I learnt from the legendary Brian Tracy. But please note it is simple to understand once it has been taught, yet it is by no means simplistic!

So, tell me honestly is that how you schedule your activities for any particular day? Probably not.

If you'd like to adopt this strategy, please try this simple trick:

Write down a list of your 5 most important short-term goals, 5 most crucial mid-term goals and 5 most desired long-term goals. Put that list of 15 goals inside your diary or paper organiser or slide it into the carrying case of your electronic organiser.

Each evening before you leave work, take a few minutes to think through everything that is calling out for your attention the following day. Cross-check them against your goals list. Then be hard-nosed enough to ONLY schedule those 'projects' that will move you closer to you goals.

That then begs the question, what about the rest of that long, long list of daily to-do items? Ignore or delegate them!

Try this time management tip for a week.

Then write to me here (in a comment) on how things have worked out for you during this important personal experiment.

I look forward to learning from you!

Warmest regards,


Rajen Devadason is CEO of RD Book Projects and its sister company RD WealthCreation Sdn Bhd. He lives in sunny, peaceful Malaysia with his gorgeous wife Rachel. He's a Malaysian Securities Commission-licensed financial planner, a life planning consultant, a professional speaker and a serial author... which probably explains why he's so exhausted! Some of his books are available here.


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