Better time management

A Plea for Increased Productivity

Reevaluating my thought process for better decision making

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I wanted to develop a system where every time I do something it's because it brings me closer to my end goal.

I realized I had to develop this system because I found myself performing tasks and saying yes to things that I ultimately didn't care about. I have dreams! I have goals! I swear! But in the past I really pushed them aside to do what was expected of me but now here I am.

Unfulfilled, chronically depressed and anxious, pissed off that life didn't go my way. And ironically I'm getting questions and dirty looks from people asking if me "well if that's what you want to do how come you're not doing it". To that I say, SHUT UP SUSAN! You don't know me!!

But she's right, because Susan (who may or may not exist) has been with me at work for the past few months. All she knows about me is what I do now. Susan doesn't know that I've limited myself, she wouldn't say I'm stuck in a situation that I can't change.

All Susan knows, all she sees, are the choices I make day to day. That I come into work, get my coffee and go about my day. She sees me do that day and night and is probably assuming that this is what I want since I keep showing up.

Because I think… I know at this point that I've been running on autopilot. Doing things because either it's just how it's been or it's what's expected of me. Which unfortunately, hasn't been beneficial in the long term.

Like going back to school. Saying you're going back to school is like losing weight. Yes it's always great and people admire you for it.

Susan: Way to go! You look great!

But whether Susan did it through crash dieting or racking up massive student loan debt. Versus conscious lifestyle changes or a strategic academic plan with internships and scholarships. It doesn't make a difference to them.

How we go about things matter and I was tired of going through these pitfalls. Not asking "why", due to outside pressures. In the end the regret was my own.

Good news is today's a good day for a drastic solution that will change your life forever!

False, in reality, radical lifestyle changes rarely last in the long term. The key is to make simple changes that can be practiced everyday and build up on as we progress. That you build up confidence, not only in yourself but also in path you are taking forward.

In the end the changes are less noticeable in the day to day but overall given a few weeks or months we can see the benefits of our efforts.

For this reason I decided to follow a proven principle to not only identify what my goals are set steps to reach them. But also to make sure I prioritize my tasks in order of what matters most of to me.



4 Quadrant time management

The four quadrant time management system is something i've known about for a while. As I'm sure you don't know... Bridging the gap between knowing the right thing and doing the right thing can be challenging. I mean you know you should make your bed every morning, but it's not something we do all the time without fail.

Well I've decided to finally put it into practice. Laying out my to dos not in a list but in a table where I have to decide what's between what's urgent and important. This way if someone comes to me with a fire to put out, it goes in box. It may be urgent, but if it's not important it goes in quadrant three. Then I confidently say it's not a priority and follow through with the tasks in the first two quadrants.

It may not be a drastic solution for life-changing results. But it does help simplify things and I'm alright with that. I'm sure Susan would be too.

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'Mom, I Am A Rich Man'

Cher owned it, and you can, too.
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Most likely if you’re on any social media platform, you’ve seen the iconic video of Cher in an interview with Jane Pauley telling the story of her mother telling Cher that one day she should settle down and marry a rich man, to which Cher replies, “Mom, I am a rich man.”

*Disclaimer: Don’t worry boys, this article will still pertain to you, too.

In the days of “Mad Men” and Andy Griffith, the family unit was very much structured and known: a mother, who made the home and raised several kids, and a father, who earned the money for the household. There was never any confusion as to how one was to live one’s life, because every individual knew that this was the structure to follow. Be born. Make friends. Play. Grow up. Go to school. Meet someone. Possibly attend college. Marry. Have multiple children. Follow gender-assigned role. Repeat for next generation.

Then one day, the world began to change.

Women began attending college for more than an MRS degree. Divorce rates began to increase. Individuals began staying single for longer. Couples began having fewer kids and also having kids later in life. Homosexuals and other members of the LGBTQ community started coming out and sharing their voices. Schools were finally being desegregated. Technology was beginning its exponential growth, and the world woke up.

Cher’s mother was raised to believe these were the next steps Cher should take in life, just as probably similarly your parents have made comments to you that you do not believe line up with your generation’s viewpoint in today’s society. You’ve probably come to already realize that this is a generational gap between you and your parents; however, this is not the topic I want to focus on today. I want to talk about the concept of the individual unit.

Earlier on, I spoke about the '60s family unit. Back then, that was the unit. Even while there were several different roles within a family unit, every family made decisions and moved together. Today, we move into the individual unit. We have gone from making decisions on how we think they would impact the family onto how they will impact the individual. Often, people think negatively on this way of decision making, because isn’t it selfish to makes decision based off oneself?

The answer is… no.

Now before I get some serious hate for that statement, let me back it up. For all my business majors out there (yes, I am one myself), you’ve likely taken or will likely have to take an economics course. One of the basic goals of economics is maximizing profit, which is sometimes depicted as not focusing on how large your slice of the pie is but determining how to make the pie as large as possible. Let’s take this back to the family and individual units.

When decisions were made based on how they would affect the family unit, sometimes the decisions of one individual would hold back the others within the family from “maximizing their profit” or maximizing their potential. Perhaps this was staying home to raise the kids rather than following a career path that interested the parent. This may have been staying in an unhappy marriage to follow society’s standards rather than leaving the marriage and benefiting one’s family more by being happy alone. Although at first glance, these sacrifices may have seemed heroic and for the best for the family unit, looking back the alternatives may have actually put the individuals of the family in a happier place which would have reflected in the long run positively on the rest of the family.

Maximizing your potential is maximizing your happiness, and vice versa. We often think that to be successful and have an abundance of money must make us an evil person to be so selfish. We think that the phrase “money doesn’t buy happiness” means that money equals success and therefore if we’re successful we’re not actually happy even if we think we are. That idea is often what holds so many back from their greatest potential.

To be successful doesn’t mean that one can’t look back and help the people from their past and their family up the ladder once they’ve reached the top. To be successful doesn’t mean that one can never marry or multiply their happiness in others surrounding them, friends, family, spouse, children and all. To be successful means that one takes a step back, looks around, and asks, “Am I the happiest I can be at this present moment? And if not, what can I do to take myself there?”

It’s with those answers that we maximize our potential and growth. It is in our growth that we find gratitude for our efforts. It is in our gratitude that we find happiness in all that we have become.

XOXO, Isa

Cover Image Credit: David Carroll

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Poetry On Odyssey: Conflicted

Resolving conflict and letting love back in.

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views

As life moves quickly,

It is to no surprise

That we are constantly faced with change.

With change

Comes peace.

With change

Comes suffering.

With change

Comes conflict.

I stroll through the days of old,

Recognizing how conflicted I was

When I chose to let the love go.

Each night I tossed,

Each night I turned,

Feeling unsure of my decisions,

Unsteady every time I dragged my legs from the bed

And forced myself to keep moving.

Today,

I walk happily through the days of new,

Giving thanks for my peace of mind

And my allowance to let a new love in.

I no longer toss,

I no longer turn.

I feel a sense of security

And a sense of pride in my decisions.

I walk steadily,

As I no longer have to force myself to keep moving.

I am no longer conflicted.

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