Once you have a set of core values down for yourself. The next piece to your time management platform is to have a goal or plan. I have always wondered why people get so concerned with how they manage their time on a day-to-day basis when typically they have no goals or plan. In the end all that ends up being managed is busy work. When you don't have a specific plan of intentional action, time management is meaningless.
Not too long ago, I ran across a statistic that said that only 5% of people actually have written goals. I was surprised by how low the number was. When I thought about this more, however, I realized that I didn't know anyone who wrote their goals down consistently including myself. I got especially bad about this after I left corporate America and went out on my own because now I was only accountable to myself. The reason that we don't write goals down is that we think it's good enough if the goals are in our head and we don't worry about committing them to paper.
Goal setting is one of the foundations for effective time management. By effective time management, I mean a system that centers around productivity in your day versus just busy work. Goal setting allows you to better structure your day and understand what activities need to be managed in the time that you have. Doing this will allow you to ultimately achieve the goals that you have set. When used in conjunction with a solid time management system, you will also review your goals more often which is an important piece to goal achievement.
Time management is especially important in this day and age. I have seen numerous articles on how much “busier” we are as Americans. I laugh at that because while there can be more demands on our time, we are also master wasters of time as well. You know right now you are reading this blog when you should be working and you got to this blog while you were surfing Twitter or Facebook. Don't get me wrong, I am glad you are here, but it's easier to get distracted than every before. Every time I hear someone complain about spending too much time on social media tells me right away that that person doesn't have a plan.
Consider this your own personal recovery plan. Are you unsatisfied with how your life looks currently? Don't worry about it when it happens because we all visit that place from time-to-time. The question is what behaviors are you going to change to create a different outcome for yourself. A great way to change your outcomes is to create a productivity system that includes personal clarity, goals/planning and time management to get the things done that are most important to your personal success. Time management in and of itself is useless without the clarity and planning piece behind it.
How has your life been affected by having goals or a lack thereof? If you don't set goals, why not? Do you agree with me? Disagree? I would love to hear your perspective.