In the introduction to this three-part blog, I had talked about how many of us have high hopes about what we want to do with our time and goals about enhancing our time management.
I also introduced the following powerful principle of time management:
For as long as we are alive, the ability to make increasingly better choices about what to do with our time is available to us.
This first principle was meant to be an antidote to a fairly common belief about time that holds us back, or the belief that time controls us. When we fall into the trap of believing we are subject to the clock and other people's expectations of us, we willingly give up our own agency over our time.
From this new belief, that we can make choices, flows the second time management principle, which is...
In order to make better choices about what to do with our time, we need to be clear about our priorities.
For many of us who seek out help on time management, what we are really asking of time is to give us more time for the things that matter to us, whether that is a who and/or a why.
For instance, most people would agree that our closest personal relationships (family, significant others, friends) matter a lot. We really value spending time with these people and the accompanying feeling of joy we cultivate when we are around them.
Moreover, having a purpose and engaging in meaningful work matters to most people; after all, if you must earn a paycheck, it's fair to say that most people would prefer to earn it doing meaningful work.
Because life constantly changes and these priorities are often constantly shifting and needing to be renegotiated, it's important to engage in regular priority checks so that you can align how you are spending your time to these priorities.
To summarize this second principle, before you seek out external strategies to manipulate your time management, try searching for and defining your internal priorities.
Discussion questions: 1) Who and/or what do you value? Why? 2) What will it take to commit more and more every day to prioritizing what you truly value?