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Goal Setting and The Importance of Time Management



Time Management is the best indicator of the seriousness of any goals.  It is how you spend your time, not what you say to others or propose yourself.

Most people’s goals are really just good intentions, we / they just don’t know it, as we travel through the various stages of life — teen years, 20’s, 30’s etc. If you are a graduate of high school with a reading / math level of 8th grade, your goal of going to college was really just a good intention. During your school career, you were not investing small amounts of time daily to improve academic skills. There is little value in the things people do, instead of the important things necessary to accomplish goals. The best indicator of the seriousness of any goal is how you spend your time not what you say to others or promise yourself.

Our life is the sum total of the decisions we make. Where we end up in life is the result of the decisions we made early in our life about our future family, education, career, health, and finances. Our life is the sum total of how we prioritize the 24 hours that exist each day. Everyone has 24 hours a day; it is important to know what you are doing with those 24 hours. It is the difference between being a productive person with skills and a non-productive person with few employable skills.

People should know three important facts about time:
  1. How we spend our time will determine our life.
  2. We can never make up our time. It’s easy to pull an all-nighter to make up for the time you didn’t prepare for a test. When you are 65 years old, you can’t make up for years of bad health habits, poor financial decision etc.
  3. It’s important to know how you are spending / investing / wasting your time.
So the question to ask is If I’m serious about the goals I say I want for my future, “What is the wisest way to spend my time to accomplish my goals?”

Am I spending my time wisely? The only way to know is to graph your time. Chart everything you do, sleep, school, commute time, texting time, social media time, study time, etc. Then see how your time correlates to your goals. If you are not doing something every day to strengthen character traits or needed skills necessary to help you accomplish your goals, you are not serious.   You are either moving closer to your goals by your choices, standing still or stepping away from your goals.

FACTS:
  • There is a cumulative value to investing small amounts of time in certain activities over a long period of time — reading, fitness, doing homework, practicing a hobby -- musical instrument, sport, drawing etc. If you read a book 20 minutes a day for a year instead of watching TV, you will have enriched your mind and improved your reading skill with an extra 7,240 minutes (12 hours 40 minutes) of reading.
There is an incredible value to the cumulative value of investing 20 / 60 minutes a day over weeks, months, years. A little bit of time every day, over 6 months, or a year improves your ability in any endeavor. In the book Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, there is a chapter entitled The 10,000 - Hour Rule. It says:
 
“The emerging picture from studies is that 10,000 hours of practice (accumulated from age 5 to age 20) is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert — in anything.“
  • There is no immediate benefit to one installment of time.
  • Neglecting to invest small amounts of time in any important arena of life has a cumulative effect as well. You will have something to show for it. For example, I neglected my normal exercise routine for six months during one season of my life. I had a spare tire (Michelin size 17) around my waistline to show for my neglect.
  • There is rarely any immediate consequence for neglecting one installment of time in any arena of life. That is why it is easy to miss a day of exercise, or practice, or homework. The wheels don’t fall off if you miss one day. The wheels do fall off if you don’t give time to important areas of life.
We know of a person who watches Monday night football, Thursday night football and every football game on Saturday and Sunday; a good 20 to 30 hours of sports every week. When football season ends, basketball season begins.
 
He will tell you the two most important areas of his life are his job (which supports his family and he is not a coach of any sports team) and the relationship with his wife and children.
 
The way he spends his time says something else; once the time is spent, it is gone. He is spending / investing / wasting time watching sports on TV (where does his family fit into this picture).
 
A Student Activity: Have students make a graph showing how they spend their time 24 hours a day for a week.

The graph should include categories such as:
  • School (total school time which includes commuting to and from school,
  • Sleep, texting — each text equals 10 seconds and should be multiplied by the number of texts a day,
  • Social media of any kind,
  • Entertainment -- such as watching TV, after school activities, exercise, Reading
  • Time spent eating breakfast, dinner with family — lunch is in school time unless it is a weekend,
  • Homework
  • Family activity time
  • Dating
  • Work or Volunteering or chores
  • Other

SAMPLE TIMELINE TRACKING
Activity
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Total Hours
Homework
1
 
 
1
 
 
 
2.0
Dating
 
 
 
 
4
 
4
8.0
School
6
6
6
6
4
 
 
28.0
Sleep
7
7
7
7
7
9.5
10
54.5
Volunteering
 
 
 
 
 
4
 
4.0
Texting / Social Media
2
1
1
1
3
2
2
12.0
Entertainment
1
2
2
1
2
4
2
14.0
Eating
1.5
1.5
1.5
1.5
1.5
2
2
11.5
Family Time
 
 
 
 
 
2
2
4.0
Work or Volunteering or Chores
0.5
 
0.5
 
0.5
 
2
3.5
Other
 
 
 
 
2
0.5
 
2.5
Total Hours
19.0
17.5
18.0
17.5
24.0
24.0
24.0
144.0
Possible Hours
24
24
24
24
24
24
24
168.0
Percent of Time
79%
73%
75%
73%
100%
100%
100%
86%

Get a blank copy of this Worksheet at: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-3ufWJzrpXNuF4CpDtxil3rYbHuS9scaaYE9-2CrRiw/edit?usp=sharing

When you are finished: See how much of the time was spent helping you achieve what you claim you want for your life. If you want to go to college, how much prep time did you spend? If you want to get married and have a baby, how did you prepare for that event. Did you plan or was it something you will let just happen?