There’s no two ways about it. This is the Holy Grail of time management. If you don’t make good choices, the outcomes you get will reflect that.
If you’re wondering where your time goes, look at the choices you make.
If you’re wondering why you don’t get half the things done you’d like to, look at the choices you make.
If you’re wondering why you don’t have the success you want — whether financial, health, relationships, career — look at the choices you make.
This is not rocket science. There is no big secret to reaching goals. Your failure or ability to reach your goals lies in the choices you make.
The idea of your own personal choices as the core of your time management is frequently obscured by the games you play to deny your own personal responsibility.
You blame other people for taking your time. You chose to give it to them.
You waste time gossiping about others. You chose to waste that time.
You complain about how much time it takes to maintain your home. You chose to buy it.
It’s critical that you start to look at your own life as the result of the choices you make. Every choice ultimately will have an impact on your time and your ability to get the right things done.
Perhaps one of the most important choices you’ll make is that you’re not going to let anyone get in the way of you reaching your goals. (And that does not make you a bad person.)
You know that often your lack of progress in a particular direction has been your inability to focus on a specific choice, a specific road. You have either tried to do too many things at once or you started and stopped, started and stopped.
How many times have you “decided” to do something only to find that, after a couple of days or weeks of excited work, you stopped? You were addicted to the initial excitement but you never learned how to actually pursue a goal.
This is a massive waste of time.
The beauty of all of this — and one of the hardest parts — is that you get to choose. You can stay where you are or move forward. You can pursue goals that are really someone else’s or you can be courageous and listen to the voice in your heart and pursue your own goals.
Will you choose to let other people stop you? Will you choose to let your fear dictate the road ahead? Will you choose to waste time stuck in fear or wallowing in self-pity? Will you choose to believe that everything that came before dictates everything that is possible in the future?
Your ability to use your time wisely is firmly rooted in the choices you make.
Get the Nerve!
This blog is excerpted from Time Management: 50 Lessons on Finding Time for What’s Important by Joe Serio, Ph.D., 2015.