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Confessions of a Time Management Failure

Okay I'll admit it. In my pursuit to get more done, save time, be more efficient and all of
that, I've made horrible mistakes when it comes to effective time management. But really,
who hasn't? Life is for living and living sometimes involves making mistakes. Personal
development is about recognizing those mistakes and improving upon them.

A more empowering way of looking at this is that mistakes really aren't mistakes at all. As
long as you are willing to learn, what some people might call mistakes are really just
confirmations of what not to do in the future. Laboratory workers at Edison's lab tried nearly
10,000 combinations of materials to create a filament for the modern-day light bulb. When
interviewed, Thomas Edison did not view these iterations as mistakes. Instead he viewed it
as important scientific data that led to a high quality product.

Some of the homerun kings, in the sport of baseball, are also the strikeout kings. Some
basketball stars have a low percentage of baskets, but they're still the top point earners. By
not focusing on individual failures but instead moving forward to better achievements, these
sports stars set a great example for perseverance.

What does any of this have to do with time management?

All too often the biggest challenge in getting more done in using the time that we have more
wisely comes down to honesty.

Honesty with ourselves.

When I feel like I'm in a slump something that is helpful is to get out a blank day planner
sheet and log everything I did during the day in 15-minute increments. Sometimes I'm not
proud of myself when I see an hour or two of completely wasted time staring me in the
face. But this information is very important because it gives me a realistic look at where I'm
spending my time.

With that awareness comes the opportunity for improvement.

Every day I also write in my journal. This gives me an opportunity to reflect on my day. I
describe my perception of events and I also painted a picture of how I would've liked to
have seen certain events transpire.

To keep a journal, you can write passages as a letter to yourself or as a report to a person
that you wish was your mentor; like Albert Einstein. At the end of each entry describe your
intent for your next day or the rest of the week.

Time management is an interesting phrase because it implies that we can manage time, but
of course we can't. What we really learn is how to manage ourselves. As we strive to
become more effective the time we have seems more fruitful. It's because of this learning
that I no longer call myself a time management failure.

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