The secret of time management: Part 2

I left part one asking ‘Is there a solution to not having enough time and if so what is it?’

 Forgive me for not telling you straight away at the start of this post. After all if it were as easy as being told what to do and then doing it you would have done it by now. If you knew what to do, and how to do it, and yet still did not do it, despite the personal cost you would have to challenge your own sanity surely.

The question is how can we move from knowing what we should be doing to doing it? Many people who seek this answer turn to life coaches or look outside of themselves for the answer. Many have such a profound experience that it changes them forever and others just do it, just make the change as if it were as easy as flicking on a switch. There is a realisation that must occur in us for there to be the will, the motivation or energy to change.

I think we would all agree that if we do not have enough time then we should stop doing something, plan better or share the task in order to save time. This leads me into another question, Is ‘not enough time’ a universal standard? By that I mean is your ‘not enough time’ the same as mine, or anyone else’s. I know people who take all day to do something that others can do in half that time yet they complain of not having enough time, surely they are wasting time! I would suggest ‘not enough time’ is a variable, it depends on the task, the person doing the task and the resources at hand. Well, although I have asked two more questions before answering the first, we are getting close to the answer of the question we started with.

Let’s briefly explore the variable of ‘not enough time’ (NET). I have said it depends on three things (a sort of equation):

1) the task

2) the person and

3) the resources at hand.

Say I had to prepare, plant and harvest an acre of land.

1) The task is fixed, there are no obvious short cuts or saving to be made here. The more land the more time that will be needed. I cannot plant until I have prepared and cannot harvest until the crop has reached maturity. This should be a fixed aspect of the equation (I am focusing on the task and not how long each aspect takes). If however the task includes unnecessary activities then saving can be made. If it has not been decided what crop will be planted before starting the task then time can indeed be wasted and you can have a NET situation.

2) The person who will undertake this task is most certainly a variable and can affect the NET situation. We know people who are more diligent, more creative or more industrious than others. Getting the right person for the job is essential if you are going to balance the NET equation. We know people who are content work better and so looking after the person who is carrying out the task is important in the NET equation. We also know that we can fool ourselves into thinking we are working on the task when in fact we are not. Taking work home that remains in the car, or in a bag and never makes it out is nothing more than a comfort blanket with scratchy bits.

3) The resources at hand once again is a variable in the NET equation. However it is a double variable because it also depends on the person carrying out the task. Once person may need something another does not. Consider having a tractor to prepare the land, plant and harvest the crop, we would agree this would save time. A tractor would be an excellent resource to have to help in the NET equation. What if the person who you have asked to carry out the task cannot drive a tractor? Now the resource is no longer of such value.

By now I hope you are forming the solution to the NET equation in your own mind. It looks as though I am going to need a part 3 to give you my solution. I hope you have begun to realise though NET is not just affected by the person. You are not entirely responsible for NET!

 Part 3 – My solution to the NET equation. Coming soon! 

Well now it is here!

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About 4c3d

"4c3d" (AcEd) is the abbreviation for Advocating Creativity in education, a company I set up to challenge how we think about and deliver education. The blog champions my concept of Learning intelligence, how we manage our learning environment to meet our learning needs.

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