I had the privilege of listening to a presentation entitled: Talk about Time: Why We Fail at Work-Life Balance, given by, Dawna Ballard, Ph.D. I went into this thinking it was going to be a stereotypical motivational speech on how to fit more into my already packed day, and I was ready to hear it and be motivated. Instead, my thoughts on time management and productivity were confirmed and changed. Confirmed in the sense of me constantly finding myself saying, “This time management thing doesn’t always work for me.” Changed in the sense of provoking me to redefine my definition and idea of time management. I briefly spoke with Dr. Ballard after the presentation to thank her for her timely revelation. Pun intended! Sometimes I feel confined by time and causes me to feel resentful. She explained to me I had to let go of the resentment and make the proper adjustments that would make time work for me. I walked away more informed than motivated. Motivation can disappear without warning. There is no guarantee you will stay motivated, but you can never be uninformed. Being informed changes your perception. It allows you to learn to interpret information and apply it accordingly. You gain a personal understanding. The application of information induces change. During the presentation I understood that there is not a direct correlation in managing your time increases productivity. There is no guarantee! Long story short, you can manage your time down to the millisecond, but it’s about what you’re doing with your time. How comfortable are you during this “managed time”? Are you accomplishing goals or are you just calculating time and dreadfully moving to the next task. There is a difference in a goal and a task, but that’s another subject! Do you feel completely drained and resentful at the end of your “well-managed, highly productive” day? Some things are time-consuming purely by the nature of the work. How are you managing yourself through these times? I learned I needed to manage ME and not my time. Time is going to pass and task will need to be completed, how am I making the once unbearable bearable? Understanding what is going to cause me to be frustrated in one hour versus being frustrated in 10 minutes. Identifying ways to managing stresses that naturally comes with day-to-day task helps to manage what I’m doing with the time I’m given. Am I spending my time angry that I have to complete the task, or focusing on my favorite music in my ear while completing my task? Am I focused on the sun shining through the window that I enjoy so much? What am I doing to make my environment a place I can enjoy doing something I may not enjoy as sitting on the beach? When I think of equipping your space and daily activities for maximum production the word “ergonomics” comes to mind. Merriam- Webster dictionary describes ergonomics as, “an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely—called also human engineering, human factors engineering”. I’m learning that in order to be more productive and more successful has NOTHING to do with this thing in which we have bound ourselves called a CLOCK! It’s about how I engineer my day and my space. I’m learning how to make it work. How to manage myself throughout the day, and not let the day manage me! It’s about doing what you need to do to make the task personally manageable. No matter how much money a person has, they all have to do things they don’t like or are inconvenient. They don’t always change the task, they create an atmosphere in which the task is manageable and/or cause as less stress as possible. This may be the reason you hear celebrities make what we may consider “unreasonable request” to participate in a movie or T.V. show. What we don’t know is yes, they may enjoy making movies or appearances, but we don’t know what personal stress and strain this is causing. Time coupled with the events of life is possibly one of the most abstract things we attempt to make concrete. YOU get to define how productive you are, not “time”. You can’t control time, but you do have a choice in the encounter. I create things, thoughts, and ideas; therfore, I am a creator. So, I am productive regardless of what the clock tells me! How are you managing you?
“You’ve got to learn to enjoy the process!”
-Dr. Beth Peters