Time Management: Leading with Purpose

Time Management: Leading with Purpose

If one advances confidently in the direction of his goals and endeavors to live the life he has planned, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.

                                                            ~ Thoreau


Time management surfaces as one of the key tools necessary for today’s scholarly leader. In a move towards leadership, this brief article introduces time management as a way to increase the quality of your personal and professional life. Each day, week, month, year…holds the opportunity to advance our potential and the potentials of those we lead and/or serve. Effective time management strategies enhance our capacities and produce sustainable and generative products and processes.

Effective time management establishes the relationship between what you do in your life to who you are, to what you believe in, and to the people and relationships you value most.  By commanding your time, you can determine the quality of your life.  This, in essence, is personal mastery and it is the key to effective leadership. Time management is a lever that can be employed to leverage a twofold purpose; advance the potential of the organizations we serve efficiently while advancing our professional life effectively. Together a sense of high self-efficacy is developed and sustained. 

More than anything, time management is the key to becoming a proactive force in your own life.   It is connected to your own personal philosophy or mission statement. Time management is more than lists, daily planners or any other means of choosing priorities or organizing the time in your life.  It is organizing and executing from a sense of purpose.  It is, in short, guided by the future you choose to create and then leading yourself to meet that purpose.

The creation of a personal philosophy or mission statement is the first step effective time management.  Holding a three-fold purpose, this exercise will, first, grant you a better understanding of your own potential and what it means to you – what is important. Second, a personal philosophy or mission statement often reveal a catalyst for action – a way of building and maintaining momentum. Finally, a personally held and articulated philosophy or mission statement is in-and-of-itself potentiating in terms of our well-being. A personal philosophy or mission statement promotes self-governance. As a result we become less susceptible to the heavy propositions—manipulation, intimidation, coercion, and deception.              

Managing Your Time

The most recognized unit of time is the work week.  It only makes sense then to design a weekly plan and then follow it on a daily basis.  Take some time at the start of each week and study the significant purposes you have identified.  Plan time for them and then execute around them.  What you will find is that as you develop those areas that will improve the quality of your life, the other areas of crisis, manipulation, and indulgence will begin to diminish in size.  Your life will become purposeful.  You will have taken control of your life and established a direction based on those things that are most important to you and to the things that will have the most significant impact on you and those around you.  In conducting your life this way, you will begin to recognize that you are leading your life from the inside-out.  You are focusing on the very center of who you are.  You become less susceptible to those things beyond your control.

Any calendar, appointment book, or planner will work for personal time management.  The important thing to remember is that time works for you, you are not at the mercy of time.  It is simply a matter of connecting your most significant purposes to the relationships in your life.  The results of this endeavor will lead to an astonishing impact on the quality of your life.

Interested in learning more? Take part in the upcoming webinar series hosted by the Center for Leadership Studies and Educational Research.

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