Posted by: msundermier | July 27, 2009

Time Management

Earlier this month I went on a relaxing vacation with my wife and daughter.  But getting out of town was anything but relaxing.  I was at work at 4:30 AM the day before our trip to get things done; I was calling and emailing on the drive to the airport to calm client concerns.  Why was I so crazed leading up to a time of rest and relaxation.  Was it because I felt guilty about going on vacation?  Nope.  Was it because I wanted to make sure my clients were taken care of?  Sure, but I have an awesome team who’s capable of doing that in my absence.  Was it because of bad time management?  Absolutely!

Good time management is an essential part of life, especially with juggling multiple facets of life like jobs, kids, family, and vacations.  We all know this, but forgetting the obvious can be all too easy.  Last year my friend Spencer directed me to a great lecture on time management by Randy Pausch.  Mr. Pausch was a professor diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in 2006 and given 3 to 6 months of good health at the time. He also wrote a New-York Times best-seller called “The Last Lecture,” and passed away in July 2008.  His down-to-earth perspective is something everyone can connect with, and I would encourage you to either pick up his book or listen to his audio lectures.  Feeling a need for inspiration and improvement on time-management, I listened to the lecture almost immediately.

Time Management

The message had an instant positive impact on me.  I adopted little suggestions Randy made like having two computer screens at your workstation and removing the annoying envelope icon that pops up whenever a new email arrives.  These two things have vastly improved my daily time management at the office.  But, over time, I’ve lost the over-arching message: time is valuable, and you must “spend” it wisely.

Many of us are smart with our money.  We know where it goes, we have goals for it, and we spend it wisely.  We need to apply these same adages to our time.  Life is short and much too demanding to spend our time inefficiently. 

We all need little reminders to improve our time management.  Like a preacher reads his Bible more than once, we too need to revisit important messages for our lives.  For me, I will start to make a point of returning to this lecture every so often to keep its meaning fresh.  If you too would like to watch Randy’s lecture on time-management, see it here or download it for free on iTunes.

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