In talking about managing your time on a day-to-day basis rarely do you hear people talk about values. When I talk about values I am essentially talking about your personal core values. I have talked about business core values but to be a successful entrepreneur or employee, it's also a good idea to have personal clarity not just business clarity. The important question to ask is, what do I value?
To illustrate personal values, I will give you an example of one of my own. One value of mine is family time. How do I use this to drive my professional life? An easy example I can give is that of travel. While I do travel from time-to-time for business, I make it a point to do this as infrequently as possible. If someone were to offer me a great opportunity that required me to be away from my family 75% of the time, I would turn it down as it violates a personal core value.
This is not to judge someone who is away from their family like that, it's just not congruent for me. Time management is not just how we accomplish things. It's what things do we accomplish and how is our personal world more valuable as a result of the time spent on certain activities. We often get lost in the objective of task completion and lists when we plan our day. So why do we need values?
For us to maximize productivity, it can't be just about a system. There are often deeper layers that dictate what's managed within that system. This is where core values come in. They allow us to dictate more easily where we spend our time. It makes it easier for us to tell people “no” when the request is clearly outside our scope of what's truly important to us.
In using a time management system, keep in mind that the system is only as effective as the clarity behind it. If you haven't set aside some personal core value for yourself, do this tomorrow morning. Write down as many as you can think of and then pare them down to 5 final values. You will act with more intention and clarity by doing this and your time management system will also be more effective. How have you been able to use personal clarity to effectively manage your time? D0 you have a set of values written down?