Alice: Would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?
Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t matter much where you go.
Lewis Carroll penned this timeless advice more than a century ago. And while we probably will all agree that if life is a journey, you had better have a map. However, it’s far too easy to begin just “going through the motions” particularly when we are stressed and/or overwhelmed.
Hopefully you completed the quiz from last week’s blog, if not, take a second and do so. Today we are going to dive into the first of five time management hurdles- GOAL SETTING.
Take out a piece of paper and a writing utensil for the rest of this section, you’ll need it for the next few activities.
- First, I’d like you to think to yourself- why am I on the payroll and what is your purpose in life? Answer with 5-7 roles that you fill. Think that’s too difficult? Here are what I consider to be the major components of my life (work and personal):
- Program Developer
- Firefighter (For all those times when things go wrong)
- Sharpen the Saw/Professional Development
- Family Member
- Personal life (this is where my poultry hobby and my love of documentary films fits it!)
Most of what I do on a day to day basis, should fit into one of the fore-mentioned components.
2. Now that you have your 5-7 roles (no cheating, go back and write them now) I’d like you to ask yourself what is your unique gift (in terms of your profession). What are you especially good at? What do you enjoy? What can you offer to your profession that is different from the average employee? Write this down.
3. Thinking about your roles and your unique gift, write 2-3 goals which could improve you or your program on a large school if you were able to complete them. Write these down.
4. Which one of these would have the greatest impact on you or your program? Circle it.
5. Now, write down everything you did during your last workday.
6. Look at what you did yesterday compared to your roles and your goal. How close are the lists? How different? Your goal with time management is to a) keep your activities in line with your goals and b) manage your time such that you have large blocks of time to focus on your professional/personal goals. Think about this for a moment.
For extra credit today, check out: www.workflowy.com
I use this site as an online source to hold all my ideas and tasks related to my goals. Under my account I have added sections for each of my fore-mentioned roles- Mentor, Program Developer, Firefighter, Sharpen the Saw, Family Member, and Personal Life. I can list my ideas and tasks under the appropriate section and even add a # to help me sort later. For instance #Today is for priority to-do’s, #Budget is for things I’d like to buy, etc. You can check out this video for more details on How to Use Workflowy.
See you here next week as we begin discussing how you can manage interruptions such that you can find the time to spend on your goals.