Thoughts for a New Year (Book Excerpt)
Make the Transition From Time Management to Life Management
Time Management is something you're familiar with, and you're probably better at it than you think. Time Management involves dealing with Practices . It centers around efficiency and effectiveness techniques that help you handle your tasks, chores, and work load. It's invaluable for dealing with your external environment.
Choice Management involves dealing with Principles . It means sorting through what's important to you and what isn't. It's consciously and consistently living in accordance with your values and priorities. Just as it sounds, Choice Management is far more difficult than time management; it involves dealing with your internal environment, putting a whole new meaning in the phrase "interior design." I'd venture to say that few of us are operating at this level. Until we clarify what drives our behavior, we're merely going through the motions, and often the wrong ones, at that.
Then there's Life Management, an idea whose time has yet to come. Life Management involves dealing with Purpose. The reason so many of us are time- impoverished is because we haven't done the internal work, the spiritual work to define who we are, what we believe in, and our purpose for being on this earth. Life management involves the day-to-day discipline of constantly living in the reflection of our principles. As you can see, we've moved up the ladder of abstraction, from the physical to the metaphysical; from our Comfort Zone to Uncharted Territory. This may not be the answer you were looking for. We human beings are infatuated with method, quick fixes, and hard answers: things we can do . Purpose doesn't come from strategy or technique. It requires lots of being and thinking.
If you truly want to curb your time compressed, frantic lifestyle, you need to ascend to the top of that ladder and define what you and your life are all about. There's an elegantly simple book by Barbara Braham entitled Finding Your Purpose that I highly recommend . Until you do this work, your day-to-day activities will lack connection, and the energy you expend will feel wasted. Forget time management for now; you're probably already doing it. But start making conscious choices about how you spend your time and make sure it's connected to your purpose. Once you get your purpose nailed, life opens up to you in ways you haven't dreamed possible. If all of us actually took these steps, it would cause a massive cultural shift.