12 June 2009, by A. Cedilla
In the first part of this series, we covered the overview for personal time management by bringing to the front truths that have often been passed over in the rush to maximize your time, namely:
You have to have a vision.
Not for nothing have we developed into sight-hunters. We evolved to use sight as our main sense in experiencing life. And having a vision comes from using your physical sight and mental visualization to paint a picture of the future you want, whether it’s the near future, or years off.
You need to have a goal.
A goal is a step towards your vision. Broken down into manageable chunks, each step you take keeps you going. A goal is something to test yourself on, see what you’re made of. You also need to have several goals, ones that come from the various facets of your personality and the needs you develop at different stages in your life. And as you change over time, so too do your goals.
It takes time to make time.
You need time to plan things, to coolly identify and lay out your most important goals, time to plan the steps toward these goals, as well as the time to wait for them to come to fruition while working on them.
It also takes time to identify what wastes your time — things you’ve been doing just because they’re a habit, things you outgrew without noticing, things that don’t really do anything positive for you, or don’t take you closer to where you want to go, or makes you truly happy (they just make you think you’re happy for a little while).
The really big goals are what you have examined and claimed as part of the Why of you, the What You’re Here For, and while the means to express them can change over time, the end-point — your North Star, your lodestone– doesn’t falter. And while big goals are often as scary as they are inspiring, there are ways and means where you can strengthen your resolve to achieve them.
What other attributes can you cultivate to help you along the way? Clarity, focus and attention.
Once you have your life’s vision, perhaps surrounded by your major and minor goals, visualize it. Lay the steps out, visualize yourself taking the actions necessary to get on the path to it. If you’re inclined, make your own vision poster from print-outs, pictures and magazine cut-outs, what-have you. Just have something you can use as a focus and reminder, your answer on the days when you’re asking yourself in frustration, “Why am I doing this? Why am I doing this?” One, you’ll see why and two, the sight can help you decide whether what you’re doing is worth the effort, or not.
Working in tandem with clarity, focus prepares you for emergencies and gears you up to hurdle obstacles without losing sight of the big picture. Focus lets you handle the petty irritations and snafus, potholes and detours because it’s akin to having a map in your hands, telling you how close or how far you are from the next goal. From this, you can calculate what adjustments you need to take to handle the situation and make the outcome go your way.
Clarity and focus are well and good to light your way, but you still need to take the first step. And the one after that, and the ones that follow. Even if you stumble, stub your toes and fall flat on you face, you need to keep going, if you want to make your Big Dream a reality.
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