In this chapter Drucker explains the one thing that is universal is time. He says it is a scarce resource unless we mange it. The result of not managing it is nothing else in our life can be managed. We as leaders, parents and pastors have to figure out how much time we have so that we do in the time we have what really matters in this life and the next.
[callout]Everything requires time. It is the one truly universal condition. All work takes place in time and uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this unique, irreplaceable, and necessary resource. Nothing else, perhaps, distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time.
Drucker, Peter F. The Effective Executive HarperCollins. Kindle Edition. [/callout]
To be effective in anything you do you have to know where you are spending your time. It seems that most of us have a budget for spending because when we have mishandled money we feel the consequences rather quickly. What few of us do is budget our time, because the ramifications of misspent time are felt over decades.
The best thing we can do to be more productive as a parent, boss or employee is know where we spend our time. Everyone is busy. Many people now have jobs that creep into their lives far past 4pm. Teacher such as don’t just go home at 2:45 when the school bell rings. There are parent teacher conferences, papers to be graded and report cards to be created. It seems every profession seeps into our lives.
[callout]The higher up an executive, the larger will be the proportion of time that is not under his control and yet not spent on contribution. The larger the organization, the more time will be needed just to keep the organization together and running, rather than to make it function and produce. The effective executive therefore knows that he has to consolidate his discretionary time. He knows that he needs large chunks of time and that small driblets are no time at all.
Drucker, Peter F. The Effective Executive (Harperbusiness Essentials) [/callout]
The more responsibility you are given in life the less time you will have to do more with so learning how to manage your time is not a luxury but a necessity. The goal of every person is to eliminate things that eat away our time and leave us wondering at the end of the day saying “What did I do?” or worse yet “Did anything I did today matter?”
We live in the era of distraction and in the deception of multitasking. I define multitasking as giving a little of your self to a lot of things at once while doing none of them well.
How can we be better with the time that we are given and have time for the things that truly matter.
1. Budget your time – Make a plan for your day/week
2. Start recording time – Write down what you actually do and match it to your plan see where you went off track
3. Start Managing time – ruthlessly remove time wasters things that eat into your productive time of the day. I am productive at night but TV and Social Media are time wasters I have to guard against.
4. Consolidate your time – Be better at doing things when you want to not when they want to be done. For example email check it a couple of times a day not every time your phone dings. The goal should be focused time to do what matters most to your family or employer. (My phone buzzed 8 times in the writing on these four points – I can’t check because my brain will go to the next problem and not be present with my thoughts here)
The reality is if you do not use your time others will use your time for you. You will not be effective in life and work you may get things done but you will never get the right things done. The goal of our lives is to glorify God in all things. If we don’t guard and cherish the time we are given we will abuse and misuse the time we are given by our creator to glorify Him in all things work, leisure and family.