We fail at time management when we fail to manage our priorities, attention, reasons.
We all want to be better at time management. But often we fail to improve in this area because we focus on calendars and clocks when we should be focused further upstream.
Time management begins with value management.
1. Manage your priorities
Managing priorities is far more important than managing moments.
The main reason we don’t manage our time well is that we are not hyper-clear about what our priorities are. If you have your priorities straight, then you can drift from project to project, chipping away as you like with confidence.
If you’re struggling with time management, write down an ordered list of your priorities and compare that to how you are spending your time.
Ask, “where is the disconnect?”
2. Manage your attention
Our attention is valuable. It’s why companies are always trying to steal it and monetize it.
But more important than its monetary value, what you give attention to is what you will become. Because what you focus on will dictate how you will spend your time.
When God is first in your attention, He will be first in your priorities, and therefore first on your calendar.
3. Manage your reasons
Constantly ask yourself, “Why?”
- Why am I doing this project?
- Why am I watching this show?
- Why am I thinking these thoughts?
Strong whys produce strong motivations.
Asking why forces you to examine your reasons, check them against your priorities, and adjust your attention accordingly.
Do this often enough and you’ll find yourself naturally managing your time to match your values.
Priorities → Attention → Reasons → Time
Manage your values and your time will manage itself.