Time is the one resource we cannot get more of. Thank you for taking the time to read this book, I do hope it is a valuable use of your time. If we lose money, we can always make more, but if we waste time we cannot get it back. The lesson being; spend your time more wisely than you spend your money.
Targeting our time effectively is the key to maximizing our productivity. Most of our time is broken down into 4 zones – one of which is where we want to be:
Distraction – doing things that are not urgent and not important. How much time do you spend here? Cleaning your desk, surfing the net, watching TV, etc.
Delusion – doing things that we think are urgent and not important. What time are you spending answering email that could wait, answering the phone in the middle of more urgent tasks?
Demand – doing things that are urgent and important. On April 14 taxes that haven’t been done are urgent and important, when did you file yours?
The Zone – doing things that are not urgent and important. This is where planning and time management comes in. If you had done those taxes on March 1 they would have been important and not urgent.
How much time are you spending intentionally or unintentionally in distraction? Often when we need to do a task we aren’t thrilled about doing we will purposefully distract ourselves. It is an easy way to avoid the tough challenges. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like are currently the biggest distractions out there. How much time are you spending with these distractions?
Delusion is often less obvious than distraction but no less insidious. We think these things are important and need to be done, but they are actually just distracting us from the important task. Responding to every email immediately is a good example, but there are many other tasks that fall into this category as well.
Demand is often the most difficult place to move from. These tasks need to be done. They are urgent, have deadlines and due. They have reached this level because we didn’t manage our time effectively but now we have no choice but to get them done. The key here is to put in the time to get caught up and then work to balance your tasks more effectively in the future.
When you reach the zone everything works well. You are spending your time doing the important tasks before they become urgent and you are truly the master of your time. You don’t get thrown off track due to unexpected circumstances because you have plenty of time to stay on track. If you can spend the majority of your time in the zone you will find that everything works more easily.
Challenge yourselves to manage your time and spend as much time in The Zone as you can.