Updated: May 14, 2021
Can you manage time? As you think about it, take note of this: Time is your MOST valuable resource and how well you use it will determine how far you go in life. In this article, I will share with you 5 valuable principles to help you prioritize right. I strongly encourage you to read till the end.
“Time CANNOT and will NOT be managed, and you will never get more of it”.
Lets analyze the term time management which I believe you’ve heard so often. What is management? It is simply the process of controlling things or people. Time management implies that time can be controlled. However, each of us gets 24 hours in a day, no more no less. Neither can we speed it up or slow it down. So can you really control time? The answer is No. James Cornell said: “Time cannot and will not be managed, and you will never get more of it”. Consequently it is absurd to talk about time management. If you can’t manage time, what can you do? Prioritize! Prioritize! Prioritize! You can control your priorities.
Prioritize! Prioritize! Prioritize!
Prioritizing the right people and tasks will help you to get maximum returns from your time. What tasks should I do first? What should I do later? Which tasks are important and urgent? These are some of the questions you MUST answer. Instead of asking: Will my calendar be full? Rather ask: Who and what should fill my calendar? In other words, What do you prioritize? How do you make every second of your time count? Every good leader MUST learn how to prioritize right. John Maxwell wrote: Practical people know how to get what they want but Leaders know how to get what they OUGHT to want. Knowing what you OUGHT to do or want comes with setting priorities.
Why is it challenging for people to prioritize right?
Most people overestimate the importance of several things.
1. Making EVERYTHING a Priority
If everything is a priority then NOTHING is a priority. You should be able to filter out those mundane tasks. DON’T let them steal your valuable time! Prepare a list of things you HAVE to do, things you OUGHT to do and things you WANT to do.
2. Having TOO MANY Priorities
Having too many priorities is overwhelming. Having long to-do lists, full days, several activities, tasks or responsibilities is really exhausting. Focus on what matters most first and leave the rest for later.
3. Focusing A LOT on SMALL demands
Paying a lot of attention to small demands causes HUGE PROBLEMS TO ARISE. Robert J. McKain once said: “The reason most major goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first”. To most people, spending most of their time on small demands may seem harmless. But this could prove fatal. There was a tragic accident that occurred on the Eastern Airlines flight 401. The light which indicates proper deployment of the landing gear didn’t light up. As a result the pilot kept circling in autopilot with the plane to give time for the crew members to check on it. They tried to determine whether or not the landing gear was actually deployed or if the bulb was faulty. As 3 experienced crew members focused on this, they lost track of their altitude which was far more important. They lost altitude as the pilot kept circling in a loop and consequently the plane crashed causing over 100 deaths. Don’t let insignificant tasks or demands overshadow important ones!
4. Sometimes ONLY emergencies FORCE people to prioritize.
Sometimes ONLY emergencies FORCE people to prioritize. Following the titanic crash into an iceberg, there was a lady in one lifeboat who at the last second asked to return to her room to collect something important. She was given 3 mins; in a hurry she left money, jewelry and other valuables and rather grabbed 3 oranges and returned to the boat. I bet if she had to make that choice an hour before the crash, she would never have give up her valuables. But her priorities changed due to the emergency.
Now that you know the obstacles to prioritizing right, you can avoid falling into those traps. But that’s not enough. You MUST also know what to do in order to prioritize well.
Those were 5 priority principles that if applied can boost your productivity. What do you think about them? Any personal tricks you use to prioritize? Please share with us in the comments. We deeply value your feedback so please leave a COMMENT on your impressions of this article below. We believe you found the principles useful; why not SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter below to receive more of such content in your inbox. Stay tuned and until next time remember that BESTech remains Your Best Bet.