How We Do Time Management in Business


The first principle of time management is not to do the second thing first or third. I’ve found that the second thing you do is really the key. Put second things second.

One time I had to go to work, which I did first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, work was supposed to be second. The first thing I was supposed to do was shower and get dressed. Going to work naked is just one of the hazards of doing second things first.

Actually, I didn’t do that, it was only a dream. But I have the dream a lot, and it’s probably because I sleep naked. See Asset Management for more stuff that is vaguely related to being naked.
The Guilt Principle
To manage your time more effectively, you must first realize its urgency. Once you lose time, you never get it back. The only exception to this rule is if you’re in a spaceship traveling near the speed of light and you hit a wormhole. Otherwise, every second you waste is something you should feel really bad about. So we find that personal guilt about wasting time is the real key to time management.

This is really a loose paraphrase of Steven Covey’s fine book about time management, called First Things First. I think you’ll find, however, that my paraphrase is certainly not plagiarism. For one thing, Steven probably doesn’t recommend guilt. It’s been five years since I read the book anyway.

Goals and Other Non-Essentials
I have found that with or without goals, time seems to pass at the same rate. The majority of Americans recognize this fact and therefore refuse to set goals. I recommend this because setting goals takes an inordinate amount of time, and time is something we can never get back (see section 2). The one time I do recommend goals is when they are the second thing you have to do (see section 1). However, it is essential that you not do them first or third.

If you must establish goals, I recommend 5 and 10-year goals. These are far enough out that you will never waste time trying to execute them. Additionally, you won’t feel guilty when you fail to accomplish them. If you are following the Guilt Principle, you will already feel guilty about every second you waste. Therefore, it is not necessary to fret about wasted years and decades.

Time is the Enemy
It is a truism that time doesn’t kill people. People kill people. This is evidenced by the high crime rate and second-hand smoke. However, time is still the enemy. This is because without time, we could not arrange meetings. As you will find in our Business Management section, meetings are the father of Satan. And he’s nothing to sneeze at.

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