Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time Management Is Like Filling A Bucket

One of my favorite time management gurus is Harold Taylor. I read his book Making Time Work For You sometime in the eighties. Until I read Taylor's book, most of the time management material I read focused on getting more stuff done in less time. But Taylor's book was different because he focused on effectiveness. Effectiveness entails being selective about what you do. Effectiveness implies a purpose. Instead of focusing on saving minutes attention should first be directed toward our goals.

Truth be told, it was a line in the introduction of the book that provided me with such a huge revelation that I still refer back to its imagery today. "To be effective we must displace less important tasks with more important ones."

In my mind I saw a 24-hour day as a bucket. Buckets are not very flexible. Trying to add more to the bucket when it's already full is futile. The bucket will not grow just because we want it to hold more.  If what is to be added to the bucket is important, something less important must first be removed. In order to determine what belongs in the bucket - our 24 hour day - we must ask it these are things that are contributing to our goals and satisfaction of life.

Since Making Time Work For You Taylor has written sixteen more books. He frequently speaks at the National Association of Professional Organizer conferences and I have found his sessions informative and fun - he is an accomplished speaker. So it gives me great pleasure to announce that Harold Taylor will be in St. Louis on September 23. He will be present a three-hour seminar to the public on "Time Management Strategies That Will Make Your Life Easier." You will find more information in the side margin of this blog. This is a rare opportunity to learn from the best.