Why Time Management Is Important In Life

Why Time Management Is Important In Life

To answer why time management is important in life, remember that controlling your life means controlling your time, and controlling your time means controlling the events in your life.  Time is what keeps one darned thing after another from becoming every darned thing at once!  Time, therefore, is a series or succession of events.  Why time management is Important in life? When the events in our lives are out of control, we feel miserable.  What we want to feel, is inner peace and happiness.  So, how do we get there…? By gaining control of events.

Gaining Control of Events

Lets explore further why time management is important in life- both personally and professionally.  Have you ever heard someone say, “I’ve lost control of my life?”  There are times when I look in the mirror and say, “Boy, you’re out of control!”  What I’m really saying is, “I am no longer in control of the events that make up my life.  I am reacting to events.  I do what everybody else thinks I ought to do, when they think I ought to do it.”  Being out of control is a terrible feeling.

The Symphony Conductor

Why time management is important

A Conductor Has Ultimate Control Of ‘Events.’

Think about a rather unusual question that is directly related to the issue of control.  What person has almost absolute total control over the events in his or her professional environment?  I once asked this question to a group of two hundred General Motors employees.  One man spoke up and said, ‘Mother!”  There were eighty-three women in the room, and they were ready to stone him.

The answer given by the experts is a symphony conductor.  What mental picture do you get of a symphony conductor?  John Williams or someone like him stands up, raises his baton–what happens?  A 110 piece orchestra responds right on cue, and every time that baton moves, the

orchestra follows.  Wonderful Control!  Is that the way it is in your life?  Wouldn’t it be great if we could get that kind of control over the events in our lives?

What group of people have no control over their professional environment…Probably the members of the orchestra!  They live in the reactive world.  They spend their lives trying to keep up with the guy with the stick!  But the real issue is this  How much control do we have?

Build A Control Continuum

The diagram below shows what I call the control continuum.

Why time management is important in life

What Events Do You Have Total Control Over

On the right side are events over which you have total control.  The left side represents events over which you have absolutely no control.  Everything in between is partially controlled.  What are some events over which you have no control?  The sunrise.  Certain Illnesses. Tornadoes.  Death.  Your boss.  The stock market.  The Super Bowl.  You’d be surprised how many things we have absolutely no control over.

What is important is not that there are uncontrollable events in our lives, but how we respond to them.  Often the most realistic response is to adapt.  Live with it!  Roll with it!  It makes no sense to get upset over things we can’t control.  Instead, we must adapt.  The only other choice is to be perpetually stressed out.

During my career I would ask people in our seminars to describe how they feel inside when they face events they can’t control.  They invariably use words like frustration, stress, anger, and fear.  What level of self-esteem is associated with these words?  Obviously, it’s low.  It doesn’t feel good to be out of control.

To Snow Ski Is To Be Out Of Control!

Perhaps you snow ski.  For me, that is an out-of-control experience.  I grew up in the Hawaiian Islands and there’s not a lot of snow skiing there.  When I started Franklin Quest, which became Franklin Covey, I moved to Salt Lake City.  After living there for three years, my wife and I decided to go skiing.  This way we could carry on a decent conversation in our neighborhood between the months of December and April.  We went to a ski resort in Park City and got into a line for the longest ski lift there.  Why?  Everybody was getting on this lift.  It never occurred to us to get lessons or anything.  Halfway up the mountain it dawned on me that the seats on the other side were coming back empty.  Now this bothered me, because the lift never stops… I asked my wife, “How do you get off this lift?”  I soon found out.  You ski off the lift.  I wish I had a recording of my first exit from the lift.  That was definitely not a controlled event.  In fact, I experienced all the words I just listed….with one addition, PAIN.  Believe, me it does not feel good to be out of control.

Events and Degrees of Control

A call to action:  Make a list of some of the different events in your life.  Then assign each event a number from 1 to 5 to indicate the degree of control you have over them,  with 5 represeting total control and 1 representing no control.  Your list might include events like these:

EVENT                                      Degree of Control

  • Time I get out of Bed   5
  • What I eat                      4
  • What I Wear  (to comply with company dress code)    3
  • Length of my commute to work    2
  • Meeting with my Boss  1
  • Lunch time and with whom    3
  • Meeting with a subordinate     4
  • How I react to a colleague I don’t care for  5
  • Traffic on the way home  1
  • What I do this evening    5

Your list may be entirely different, but make note of some of the typical events you encounter in life.  Then study the list and ask, “How much control do I have over my life?”  Even if there seem to be relatively few things you control, the skills and tools I am presenting to you will help you answer the question why time management is important in life.  It will help you exercise greater control than you presently do.

Inner Peace- Now This Feels Good!

What words describe how you fell when you control the events that you are able to control?  You may feel confident, happy, exhilarated, powerful, maybe even surprised.  But there are two words that encompass all the feelings we get when we are in control: Inner Peace.  What is inner peace?  Inner peace is having serenity, balance, and harmony in our lives through the appropriate control of events.

Why Time Management Is Important In Life?

So, why is time management important in Life?  Is not the objective of good time management inner peace?  But before we go further, you need to stop thinking ‘time management’ and start thinking ‘event control.’  Too often we think time management has something to do with our watch.  The only thing a watch tells you is how long it takes the sun to go across the sky.  That’s an event over which we have no control.  The real issue is:  What events can I control?  Focusing on ‘event control’ makes all the difference.  As you do this, you will discover why time management is important in life. Or should we now say ‘why event control is important in life.’

Hyrum W. Smith

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 Hyrum W. Smith