It’s 9:00pm, and the school term ends tomorrow.
The college student is frantically racing to complete a report worth 50% of his grade. It was assigned a month ago. It isn’t that he didn’t have time to work on it until now. He simply didn’t want to.
Trip to the library to gather information for his paper, or trip for frozen yogurt with friends? Frozen yogurt.
Get feedback on a draft of his paper at the college writing lab, or hang out and enjoy some draft of another kind? You know what happened.
Luckily he didn’t spill a can of coke on his expensive new laptop while finally finishing the paper minutes before it was due after a night of working on it.
I’ll protect the identity of this person, but I share the story to illustrate that people don’t manage their time in such a way as to free up time to do that which they don’t want to do in the first place. The activities that are most important to a student’s grade are often the things they least want to do.
This applies to work as well. Activities that are most important to performance outcomes are often things we least want to do. Need to call and speak with more clients and prospects to increase revenue? If it’s not something you want to do, then at 5:00pm today you’ll notice you just didn’t have time to make those extra calls.
What do you find people just can’t seem to find time for? And is it really a matter of time or of choice?
Julie Freeman is Regional Director for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.