So, as we continue to review the content of my book, and some of the key take-aways from the book, we decided to continue the interview series with topics about my book. Today’s topic stems from the question why it is so important to Goal Setting.
Question # 1: “Why is it important to consider time when setting a goal?” Well, let me first start with; time should be a consideration for anything you do in your life, because time is the sole commodity that we can never get back once it is spent. So, with that answer alone, I should hope to get people to grasp how important our time is in life. Putting that aside, however, when you think about the things you want to accomplish in your life, you really need to know and understand the commitment of time you are taking on.
Time is so precious a commodity that if you don’t consider the value of time spent on any project you may likely be frustrated with time that was wasted on a project, or goal, that you don’t truly value the same as others. For instance, was getting to level 100 in Angry Birds, really worth all the time and potentially money spent playing that game? Versus, spending that same time reading a book to improve your skills at your job? I’m not here to judge, I have my vices as well, I am just suggesting if you have big aspirational goals, you won’t get much done if you are sitting around wasting time.
Lastly, you must make your plan to achieve your goals and then plug it into your daily calendar to ensure that those tasks, to achieve your goal, get done every day. If not, the likelihood of ever achieving those goals will never come to fruition. Some people will actually spend 3, 4, 6, even 10 hours doing an entire Goal Setting workshop, and come up with a phenomenal plan to achieve amazing things, only to never set time aside to take action. They put the project aside until they magically have time “Someday”. We like to say that their goals get shipped off to “Someday Isle” and never return. People who don’t commit to taking action daily in their busy lives simply won’t make things happen to achieve their goals.
Question # 2: “How do you define time management?” So, Webster’s Dictionary would define Time Management as; “The analysis of how working hours are spent and the prioritization of tasks in order to maximize personal efficiency in the workplace.” I would define it as simply the Art and Science of getting things done. The reality is there are a ton of tactics and skills that can be taught to help manage your time, as well as a plethora of tools to use. However, none of those are important if you can’t employ the “Art” portion of time management with the science of it.
Finding what works for you in your world, with your skill sets, and resources available to you will vary dramatically. The commitment to being efficient and understanding the real value of time is universal, and everyone must embrace this concept to be able to win in the world of Time Management. If you have the understanding and commitment, this will comprise the “art” of this process and ensure that you get the full value and more importantly you’ll understand how to incorporate this into setting and achieving goals.
Question # 3: “Would you, please share 2 or 3 principles you teach to your clients?” I’ll share 2 of my 6 that I believe are most valuable and probably the most practical. Having clearly defined goals are paramount, be realistic, if you didn’t know what you wanted to do or how badly you wanted to do it, how could you possibly know how you should spend your time? This allows you to clearly set your priorities and ensure the most important things get done first.
A second principle in time management that I would share, would be knowing what your time is worth. This is often an overlooked concept when it comes to time management. I can tell you this is what changed my life dramatically. I went through an exercise where the point was to figure out how to calculate what your time is worth based on how much money earn currently, then how much you intend to earn. When I saw how much my time was worth per hour, it truly made me think about how I was spending my time.
If you think about it, if your time was worth $250 per hour, for every hour you are productive in doing what you are good at, would you waste as much time? I know when I figured this out, I immediately stopped playing video games cold turkey that day and didn’t touch a game system for over 5 years. At that point in my life in my early thirties, I was so hooked on playing Madden Football, that I could play it for almost the entire weekend and knock out 3 or 4 seasons and be the king of my little EFL (Eric Football League). When I did that exercise, and saw that my time was worth $100 per hour back then, I was dismayed at all the time I wasted.
Now remember, I’m not talking about normal relax or veg-out time, I’m talking about hours and hours of being engrossed in the game ignoring potential work I could be doing, my wife, or my kids. How embarrassing that? But that is what happens when we don’t truly understand the value of our time. Imagine, that’s just what I can value for my work time, as we all know, you can’t even begin to put a dollar amount on that time with your spouse or children.
Question # 4: “How does time management help us achieve our goals:
By effectively managing your time, you can prioritize what are the most important things to YOU, and ensure that they get done first. Remember, you are either working towards and recognizing your goals to reality for yourself, or you are working on achieving someone else’s goals. (Pause for Effect…)
Let me restate that again, because that’s a HUGE statement that you need to let resonate for yourself. If you are not working towards and achieving your goals in life, you will be working towards someone else’s goals!
So, if you don’t slow down in your crazy busy days to set time aside to work towards achieving your goals, you will get caught up working towards someone else’s goals. If you have a job working for someone else, you are working to achieve their goals, not yours. Now you can create goals that help further develop your career with that company, or help you learn skill sets that you can then use elsewhere, but while you are working for that company you are helping them achieve their goals. That’s not all bad, you just need to come to terms with that so you don’t lose yourself over time.
So, by effectively managing your time, you can set personal goals outside of your time at work, or taking care of the kids, or spending time with your significant other. By setting that time aside to work towards that which is important to you, you become more fulfilled and appreciative of the time you spend with those loved ones. Giving everything of yourself to someone else is not entirely healthy, you must have your own goals and ambitions to move yourself towards, this keeps you alive and engaged in life.
Managing that “Me” time for yourself, allows you to carve out 5 or 10 hours per week to achieve important goals for your own growth, development, and fulfillment. This will make you a better spouse, parent, partner, etc. This is because you are not having feelings of regret or frustrations for having given up something for yourself, in lieu of something for someone else. This is not a great way to go through life. For instance, "I never started my business because I got married and had kids." That statement is not only potentially damning to your relationship with your spouse or children, but it is a lame excuse at best.
We know people who have said, and we may have said that to ourselves, but deep down if we really think about it, we know that is a copout. The challenge is, if we say it long enough and often enough, we begin to believe it. This creates doubt, frustration, depression, and several other self-sabotaging feelings. It’s not that getting married or having kids kept me from doing anything, it’s that my mismanagement of time, cost me the ability to go after my goals. Instead of watching TV, I could have taken online classes to further my career or start that side-business.
Let me finish by tying this up with the simple statement that, Time is a Created thing. We as human beings created the concept of time as a way to measure certain things in our lives. But we are in fact born with a certain amount of time to live our lives, so in a sense, it would be logical to keep track of time, since we know that inevitably we will age and die. What we do while we are here is determined by the actions we take every day, and how we use those 1440 minutes we have each day. We all have that same amount of time and a certain number of obligations in life, but how we use the rest of that time, will determine what we accomplish in this life.
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