Get SMART - 1st Installment
Get SMART about your goals to manage your time
Lots of people coach time management, using various techniques and measurement. And most people who talk about managing time agree that time cannot be separated from goals. Your time is precious because the amount you have of it to achieve your goals is limited.
If you have no goals, managing your time is irrelevant. As the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland pointed out, any way will get you there. But if you have goals, managing your time has a purpose.
The grandfather of time-management principles is Peter Drucker's "Management By Objectives," or MBO, created by and explained in his 1954 book The Practice of Management.
Goals, Drucker wrote, need to be written and be SMART:
Specific— stating exactly what is to be done;
Measurable—preferably numerically; you need to know the point at which you've achieved the goal;
Attainable—meaning, you have, or can get, the resources needed to complete the goal;
Relevant—what you state you'll accomplish is within the realm of possibility; and
Time Bound—the completion date or time frame for achieving your goal.
The "a" and "r" are sometimes linked to "achievable" or "realistic," but the words are always the same: specific, measurable and time-bound (or -constrained).
People in many different industries will tell you, "if it isn't documented, it didn't happen." In the next installments, we'll talk about ways of documenting your time, and allocating the right amount of it to goal-oriented tasks.